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The Last Boxer To Defeat Floyd Mayweather Has Led A Different Life To 'Money'

Josh Lawless

Published 

The Last Boxer To Defeat Floyd Mayweather Has Led A Different Life To 'Money'

Serafim Todorov's is that he is the last man to defeat Floyd Mayweather but it's fair to say his career didn't go the same way as the former world champion's.

Mayweather, as we know, is 50-0 in his illustrious professional career and has beaten 16 world champions inside the squared circle.

But he did taste defeat in controversial circumstances back at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. A 19-year-old Mayweather lost 10-9 to Bulgarian Todorov, eight years his senior, on the scores.

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However, the referee had mistakenly lifted Mayweather's hand while Todorov was announced the winner of the semi-final contest.

Todorov, a three-time gold medalist at world and European championships, went on to take the silver medal after losing to Somluck Kamsing of Thailand in the final.

And while bronze medalist Mayweather has gone on to become the biggest name in boxing, making around $1 billion through boxing, Todorov's career went in a very different direction.

Image: PA
Image: PA

He turned down an offer from a group of promoters in the United States and later tried to represent Turkey at the 1997 World Amateur Boxing Champions because he felt his home nation were not supporting him.

The national switch did not happen though, with the Bulgarian Boxing Federation standing firm. As a result, Todorov would retire from boxing 2003.

After 12 years away, he returned to the ring in 2015 at the age of 46 and beat Aleksandar Chukaleiski via unanimous decision in a four-round welterweight contest, as per Boxing News Online.

That same year, however, the New York Times did a detailed piece on him and revealed he was living on a pension that pays him $435 per month. He didn't even have a flat screen TV the last time he was heard from.

Living in a modest first-floor unit in Pazardzhik with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, his jobs have varied from working as a driver, in a grocery store and in a sausage factory.

Reflecting on his triumph over one of the greats and how he never kicked on, he said: "My experience was much stronger. I beat all the Russians, all the Cubans, some Americans, Germans, Olympic champions.

"I was making fun of them in the ring. British, French - I beat them all. I was very smart. I was a very beautiful and attractive fighter to watch. You must be an artist in the ring. I was an artist.

"It was just like any other fight, to be honest - I had beaten much stronger fighters.

"I wanted to hope that things here could get better. It was stupid. I came back and I found hell."

It's an incredibly sad story and one that Mayweather himself has been talking about recently. He believes his loss, although unfortunate, was "one of the best things that ever happened to me" as it spurred him on in the professional game.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Claiming he had heard the 51-year-old had been homeless, he added that he couldn't understand why Todorov didn't transition into a boxing trainer.

"I wish him nothing but the best," he told World Boxing News.

"I don't know why he didn't become a boxing trainer because at the time when we fought, he was already a lot older than I was.

"I was fighting at the elite stage at 16. I wanted to turn pro at 14, but it never happened. Five years later, I turned pro at 19. Within a year, I was a champion."

They are very different contrasting tales 24 years on but at least Todorov can say he did what Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de La Hoya, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Conor McGregor failed to do: beat Floyd Mayweather.

Topics: olympics, Boxing, Floyd Mayweather

Josh Lawless
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