Anomalies in Pacman’s fight quashed

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — WBA referee/judge Silvestre Abainza and WBC judge Rey Danseco said yesterday there is no basis to claims by referee Carlos Padilla that anomalies marred the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Australian Nedal Hussein in Antipolo 22 years ago. Padilla, who was the third man in the ring when Pacquiao scored a 10th-round TKO over Hussein, recently revealed he committed indiscretions during the WBC International superbantamweight title bout.

Hussein called Padilla a criminal for disclosing that he administered a long count when Pacquiao was floored in the fourth round and ruled a cut on Hussein’s left eyebrow was inflicted by a punch when it was actually by a headbutt. Abainza explained a ringside knockdown timekeeper, designated by the supervising authority, begins the count as soon as a fighter is dropped and the referee picks it up after leading the other fighter to a neutral corner so extending the count is not possible. In Pacquiao’s case, he got up at the count of five. Regarding the cut that was opened in the eighth round, Abainza said even if it was caused by a headbutt for the sake of argument, Pacquiao would’ve still won by a technical decision as when the bout was ended in the 10th, he was ahead on the three judges scorecards, including the tally of Australian Garry Dean.

Danseco said during the WBC convention last month, a landmark decision was made to award Australian Jeff Fenech a world title which he was robbed of when his fight against Azumah Nelson was declared a draw 31 years before. The outcome, however, is irreversible and the WBC awarded the championship to Fenech as a consolation after reviewing the fight without altering the result in the records. The WBC announced the other day it would form a panel to review the Pacquiao-Hussein fight in light of Padilla’s recollections.

Padilla, 88, created a storm of controversy with his admissions. Pacquiao said as a fighter, all he did was to do his job in the ring and nothing else. The speculation is Padilla, who lives in Las Vegas, spoke out to establish his legacy in “saving” Pacquiao to pave the way for his stardom and this has spawned widespread criticism for the “self-serving” claims. His daughter Suzy has called for understanding and sparing Padilla from brickbats.

Hussein said he’s crying out for justice, basing his rant on Padilla’s musings. After the Pacquiao fight, he had chances to win the WBC superbantamweight and WBO featherweight titles, losing both, so his allegation that the Antipolo defeat ruined his career is unfounded. Hussein is now a fitness coach and operates a gym in Sydney.



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