Manny Pacquiao breaks his silence after the referee cheated to win the Australian boxer

Eight-division world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has finally broken his silence on the cheating scandal surrounding his title fight against Australia’s Nedal Hussein, stating that nothing inappropriate happened during the fight.

Hussein took on Pacquiao for the World Boxing Council International super bantamweight title in the Philippines in 2000, losing by a questionable stoppage despite knocking out the Filipino legend with a fourth-round jab.

Pacquiao was given 18 seconds to recover from Filipino referee Carlos Padilla, who admitted to cheating during a sensational interview released by the World Boxing Council (WBC) governing body last week.

Padilla also confessed that he found an excuse to stop the fight early because he thought Manny would not win if the fight was decided by the referees.

Pacquiao (pictured with Australian trainer Justin Fortune) is confident nothing untoward happened in the fight despite being given 18 seconds to recover from a heavy knockdown

Filipino referee Carlos Padilla (pictured) admitted cheating Aussie fighter Nedal Hussein out of a knockout win over the Filipino fighting icon

Filipino referee Carlos Padilla (pictured) admitted cheating Aussie fighter Nedal Hussein out of a knockout win over the Filipino fighting icon

The contest was called off due to a cut on Hussein’s face, which was caused by a Pacquiao headbutt, but was ruled as the result of a punch by Padilla.

The referee said he signaled to the ringside doctor to wave the fight off, then unexpectedly threw his arms in the air to end the action, giving Pacquiao the win.

On Thursday, Pacquiao addressed the furor surrounding the result after a training session in his home country.

“It’s not cheating,” he said.

“We were favored because we were on our home ground.

“As a boxer, I did the right thing. For me, I’m just a boxer. I just did my job in the ring.

A furious Hussein is now seeking justice from the WBC, asking for the fight to be ruled a no-contest in a correction similar to the one the body gave his compatriot Jeff Fenech, who was recently awarded a fourth world title after being robbed of a win in his match in 1991 with Azumah Nelson.

Hussein (centre) is seeking justice from the WBC, but does not have high hopes that the record will be set straight

Hussein (centre) is seeking justice from the WBC, but does not have high hopes that the record will be set straight

Pacquiao was badly injured by Hussein's jab in the fight (pictured) and would have lost by knockout if the rules had been applied by Padilla

Pacquiao was badly injured by Hussein’s jab in the fight (pictured) and would have lost by knockout if the rules had been applied by Padilla

‘He [Padilla] has openly admitted to cheating here – the man in charge of the match, Hussein told Daily Mail Australia.

“I mean, if someone confessed to a crime 20 years later, the police would hunt it down. The corruption in this sport is so bad.

“Winning that fight would have changed my life. I missed out on a couple of hundred thousand and a world title fight. I would have been able to buy a house and be so much better off.

Hussein’s lawyer has already fired off legal letters to WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán, but the Aussie isn’t sure anything will come of it.

‘The [the WBC] is the most corrupt commission in the world, says Hussein. “There is no respect for them in the boxing world.”

In the interview with the WBC, Padilla did not hold back when he described how he committed one of boxing’s cardinal sins.

“Manny was knocked down, I thought he was going to get up but his eyes were crooked [laughs]. I’m Filipino and everyone watching the game is Filipino, so I extended the count. I know how to do it.

The Australian boxer (pictured recently) said the blatant cheating cost him a world title fight, where the payday would have changed his life for the better

The Australian boxer (pictured recently) said the blatant cheating cost him a world title fight and the payday for it would have changed his life for the better

‘When he got up, I said to him, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ still prolongs the fight. ‘Are you okay?’ [Pacquiao makes groan noise in response] “OK, fight!” and then Hussein… because Manny wasn’t like Manny is now, he wasn’t trained by Freddie Roach yet, he’s holding on for dear life and the guy throws him and he [Manny] went down again.

‘I said to the opponent ‘hey, you don’t do this’, you know, I extended the fight, ‘you don’t. OK, judges, [point] deduction.”

On Thursday, the WBC announced it had received a letter from Padilla’s daughter Suzy, in which she insisted her father’s statements had been taken out of context.

‘My father is an 88-year-old man who is just that – old and aging!’ she wrote.

“Despite living in the US for decades, English is still his second language. Communication can be misunderstood and well-intentioned words can be misinterpreted.

‘The current situation is such a glaring example of what may have actually been said (no pun intended), and what may have been taken out of context.’

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