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The summer of Money. A look back at Floyd Mayweather, Jr., at the Atlanta Games

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Before Floyd Mayweather, Jr. turned pro on October 11, 1996, he concluded his amateur boxing career on August 2nd of the same year in Atlanta, GA at the 1996 Olympics with an official record of 84-6.

To many, the sixth and final loss happened in a controversial manner against then world amateur 57kg champion Serafim Todorov of Bulgaria. At the time of the bout, which took place at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Todorov was eight years Mayweather’s senior and appearing in his third Olympic games.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr., appearing in his first Olympic games, was already an accomplished amateur boxer and by the age of 19 had won three National Golden Gloves titles.

Mayweather won his first two Olympic bouts in dominant fashion. His first bout, against Bakhtiyar Tileganov, ended with Little Floyd stopping the Kazakh via a second round RSC (Referee Stopped Contest). Money, or Pretty Boy, as he was called then, decisioned Armenian Artur Grigorian by a margin of 16-3 in the second round of the tournament.

Next on the menu for Floyd, in the Olympic quarterfinals, was Cuban boxer Lorenzo Aragon where Mayweather squeaked out a narrow 12-11 decision victory. In beating Aragon, Mayweather became the first American boxer to defeat a Cuban boxer in 20 years.

Prior to his semifinal match against Todorov, Mayweather had already been vocal about his skepticism of the computerized scoring system utilized in the Olympics. Although he was able to roll many of Todorov’s punches, Mayweather did get hit with some clean blows. Todorov was warned by referee Hamadi Hafez Shouman on several occasions for slapping, which could have been just cause to deduct points from Todorov. However, no points were taken away.

In the end, Mayweather lost a close decision to the Bulgarian boxer by a score of 9-10. Shouman, thinking Mayweather had won the bout, mistakenly raised his hand in victory as the decision was being announced.

The U.S. boxing team unsuccessfully filed a protest on Mayweather’s behalf. Subsequently, Mayweather left Atlanta, the last time he has ever fought in the city, with the Bronze medal in his weight class.


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