The last man to beat Floyd Mayweather wishes he had lost.
Former Bulgarian boxer Serafim Todorov was victorious over 19-year-old Mayweather in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics featherweight semifinals at the age of 27. And while you’d think the man who essentially sparked the career of one of the world’s greatest boxers would have enjoyed some success himself, a New York Times profile revealed that’s far from the case.
Instead of being worth $280 million as Mayweather is, Todorov lives in a small apartment in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, with his wife, his son and his pregnant daughter-in-law. He and his wife are unemployed, and they struggle to get by on a pension of 400 euros ($435.80) per month.
And it’s all because Todorov turned down a professional career after beating Mayweather, who’s 47-0 as a pro.
After the fight, Todorov was approached by American promoters who offered him all the bells and whistles: a signing bonus, a house, a car and more.
“Without considering, I said no,” Todorov told the Times’ Sam Borden. “I just said it quick, like that. No. You know what happened next? The two men went over to Floyd and started talking in English.”
Todorov doesn’t believe the promoters turned to Mayweather because he said no, but that doesn’t make it any easier. He went on to lose the Olympic final to Somluck Kamsing of Thailand, because of what Todorov believes was questionable judging. Todorov said Bulgarian judge Emil Jetchev approached him before the bout and told him that if he wanted to win, he’d have to knock out Kamsing. Todorov never was a knockout boxer, and Jetchev knew that.
Todorov, now 45, told the Times that had he lost to Mayweather, he wouldn’t have given up on boxing so easily. He would have tried to make another Olympic final. But he returned to Bulgaria, where things went sour.
“Instead, it all happened and I wanted to hope that things here could get better,” Todorov said. “It was stupid. I came back and I found hell.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Complex_Sports
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