Floyd Mayweather has never lost a professional boxing match.
His last loss in any match came in the semifinals of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
The fighter who beat him was then-27-year-old Serafim Todorov, a Bulgarian boxer who was considered one of the best and most experienced boxers in the Olympics.
Sam Borden of the New York Times caught up with Todorov, and his life couldn’t be more different than Mayweather’s since the fight.
While Mayweather is now the highest-paid athlete in the world, Todorov lives on a monthly pension of $US435. He and his wife are both unemployed after working at supermarkets and sausage factories, Borden reports. Todorov’s neighbourhood in Bulgaria is ridden with drug dealers and “underworld bosses” who have offered Todorov positions, but he has turned them down.
It’s a far cry from where Todorov was in the 1996 Olympics. Todorov beat Mayweather in a close 10-9 decision, which was later appealed by Mayweather and the U.S. team, believing that Bulgarian judge Emil Jetchev was judging unfairly.
According to Borden, Todorov had a chance to cash in on his win. He says he was approached by three men after the fight who offered him a professional contract, but he turned them down outright. Here’s how Borden tells it:
The other two men leaned in, one of them holding a pen. But Todorov pushed it away.
“Without considering, I said no,” he said. “I just said it quick, like that. No.”
He looked down. “You know what happened next? The two men went over to Floyd and started talking in English.”
Todorov says he later had an offer on the table to transfer his nationality Turkey for the 1997 world championships. If he won the gold, Turkey would have paid him $US1 million. But the deal fell through at the last minute.
He has barely competed since.
“It was stupid. I came back and I found hell,” Todorov said.
Here’s the full fight:
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