PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen admitted on Monday he won’t make good on a $5,000 bet he lost on the recent bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and regional hero Manny Pacquiao because he was so incensed by the match outcome.
The 62-year-old strongman delivered a nine-minute rebuke of judges who ruled Mayweather had squarely beaten Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday, Philippine time).
Echoing many of Pacquiao’s Filipino compatriots who have also cried foul, Hun Sen accused the American officials of being biased toward Mayweather in the $400-million fight.
“Yesterday, us viewers could barely give a point for Floyd, but the three judges unanimously decided Floyd was the winner,” he said.
Hun Sen added that he had made a $5,000 bet with an official on the match outcome, a bet he would no longer honor.
“I would not settle this, I will not give you the money,” he said without giving further details.
The admission is somewhat surprising given gambling is technically illegal in Cambodia outside of licensed casinos — although there is a thriving black market for betting on everything from the English Premier League to local cock fights.
The strongman’s betting habits were not lost on many Cambodian social media users.
“Hun Sen violated the betting rules by gambling on boxing,” wrote one Facebook user So Naro.
Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia with an iron fist for the last 30 years, tolerating little opposition.
He is known for his love of sports, particularly football, and has previously broken off from speeches to give his thoughts on a recent match or surprise score.