Hun Sen Says He Bet 5,000 Riel on Boxing, Not $5,000

Rebuffing international ridicule, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday claimed that he did not in fact bet $5,000 that Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao would beat U.S. fighter Floyd Mayweather in the “fight of the century” and then refused to honor the bet.

Mr. Hun Sen attracted derision after he said on May 4 that he would not pay up due to his belief that the result was unjust.

Yet he said Tuesday that media reports had incorrectly stated the currency of his bet.

“I said that—as a casual bet—I bet 5,000 riel [about $1.25],” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“The media, and the Straits Times, published saying that the prime minister made an excuse” not to pay $5,000, he added. Mr. Hun Sen did not specify a currency in his May 4 speech but said only that the bet had been “5,000.”

On Tuesday, he said he had since attempted to pay the 5,000 riel, but had been rebuffed.

“Now I went to give the 5,000 riel to the winner, but he refused to take it because Floyd was a chicken,” he said.

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