Floyd Mayweather’s unblemished professional record and hefty bank account must have seemed millions of miles away when he suffered his loss at the 1996 Olympics.
Even before becoming “Pretty Boy” Floyd – his nickname before the nickname “Money” – the talented featherweight received a cruel blow that will remain until his very last professional fight.
Mayweather was denied an Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games when a questionable referee won him bronze – something he would never settle for.
As a fiery, young and enthusiastic fighter, great things were expected of the teenager on his soil as he had boxing in his blood thanks to a formidable lineage in his uncle and father.
Of course, he could also fight and rack up victories as he entered the professional game, but he left the amateur ranks with a bitter taste in his mouth when he faced Bulgarian Serafim Todorov in semi final.
Mayweather Olympic record in 1996
The American was heartbroken and with a bronze medal after some questionable arbitrations
– Defeated Bakhtiyar Tileganov (Kazakhstan) by TKO
– Defeated Artur Gevorgyan (Armenia) on points (16–3)
– Defeated Lorenzo Aragon (Cuba) on points (12-11)
– Loss against Serafim Todorov (Bulgaria) on points (9-10)
The fight itself was messy, with Mayweather being the clear winner after dodging shots and hitting plenty of punches, meeting Olympic scoring criteria.
Surprisingly, all three judges scored it 10-9 in favor of the Bulgarian, much to the dismay of the American team.
Remarkably, the referee held up Mayweather’s hand at the end of the bout, assuming it was his name about to be called out by the announcer.
Instead, Todorov’s fist was eventually raised and he won Olympic silver, while Mayweather ended up with bronze.
In a post-fight interview, the bloodied Mayweather couldn’t find the words to calm down and walked away with tears in his eyes.
Initially he had been brash and arrogant, telling the crowd, “You all know who the real world champion is.
One of the US Games judges resigned immediately after the ruling, noting that he “refused to be part of an organization that continues to officiate in this manner.”
In 2015, the New York Post published a detailed article on Todorov and found him living in a modest first-floor apartment in Bulgaria with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. store and in a sausage factory. He now earns $ 435 per month from his pension.
“I only wish him the best,” Mayweather said News from the boxing world.
“I don’t know why he didn’t become a boxing coach because at the time we were fighting he was already much older than me.
“I was fighting at the elite stadium when I was 16. I wanted to turn pro when I was 14, but it never happened. Five years later, I turned pro at 19. Within a year, I was champion.
Now 44, Mayweather has since retired and is considered one of the best of all time and the 50-0 legend now promotes fighters including the much-loved Gervonta Davis.