Floyd Mayweather Olympic loss: The controversy surrounding Money's defeat at the 1996 Olympics

Floyd Mayweather was inches away from capturing the silver medal in the 1996 Olympics
Floyd Mayweather was inches away from capturing the silver medal in the 1996 Olympics

In 1996, Floyd Mayweather competed at the Atlanta Olympics in the featherweight division. The 19-year-old impressively boxed his way to the semi-finals but had to settle for the bronze medal after a controversial loss to Bulgaria's Serafim Simeonov Todorov.

Serafim Todorov was fairly experienced in comparison to Floyd Mayweather. Prior to his pursuit for gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Todorov had competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul (flyweight division) and four years later in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona (Bantamweight division). However, in both of his attempts, Todorov fell short of claiming an Olympic medal.

Despite having the edge in terms of time spent in the ring, Serafim Todorov was clearly out-classed by Floyd Mayweather in their 1996 Olympic semi-final clash. Mayweather out-pointed the Bulgarian fighter by landing more significant strikes with his agile footwork on full display. Todorov couldn't land any damage as he had virtually no response to Mayweather's elite counter striking.

However, the results of the bout did not reflect what the spectators in Atlanta had just witnessed. The judges ruled the fight in favor of the Bulgarian Serafim Todorov by a thin 10-9 margin. The absurdity of the decision can be inferred by the fact that the referee in charge raised Mayweather's hand, presuming that the 19-year-old boxer had won the silver medal.

The Alexander Memorial Colleseum was filled with boos for the Bulgarian team and the U.S. team accused the judges of being under the influence of Emil Jetchev, a Bulgarian national who was a former president of the European Boxing Association. One of the judges, Bill Waeckerie, resigned after the fiasco, deeming the scoring to be "incompetent".

Floyd Mayweather was heartbroken by the defeat and said in a post-fight interview that he was done with amateur boxing.

Is Floyd Mayweather still boxing?

Floyd Mayweather is expected to face YouTuber turned pro boxer Logan Paul in an exhibition bout next. There has been no official announcement by either camp in this regard. However, Mayweather did reveal his plans for 2021 on Instagram, promising to fight three times in the coming months, including exhibition bouts with Jake Paul and rapper 50 cent.

The 44-year-old also made waves after UFC president Dana White recently posted a picture with him. Rizin Fighting Federation President Nobuyuki Sakakibara can also be seen standing alongside White and Mayweather:

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Edited by John Cunningham
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