Todorov in 2015
|Full name||Serafim Simeonov Todorov|
|Nickname(s)||Sarafa ("The Money-changer")|
|Born||6 July 1969|
Peshtera, Pazardzhik, Republic of Bulgaria
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
Serafim Simeonov Todorov (Bulgarian: Серафим Симеонов Тодоров; born 6 July 1969) is a former Bulgarian Olympic amateur boxer. He won three consecutive gold medals at both the World and European Championships, and silver at the 1996 Olympics. He is the last boxer to defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr., albeit via a highly controversial decision, who later went on to become one of the all-time greats in professional boxing.
As an amateur, Todorov won the world championships three times, in 1991 at bantamweight, and in 1993 and 1995 at featherweight. He won a silver medal at bantamweight in 1989, losing to Cuban Enrique Carrion in the final. He also won the European amateur championships in 1989 and 1991 at bantamweight, and in 1993 at featherweight.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics, Todorov qualified to the semi-finals where he met the then 19-year-old American, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Todorov won by a 10–9 margin, although many observers felt that Mayweather won the fight. The referee initially raised Mayweather's hand at the end of the fight. Todorov went on to the final where he lost to Somluck Kamsing from Thailand and settled for the silver medal. The majority of people believe Emil Jetchev, the Bulgarian chairman of the international referees' and judges' commission, had orchestrated Todorov's victory. Jetchev was forced to retire following the fight due to the allegations and involvement of foul play. Todorov does not deny the possibility, but says that Jetchev also orchestrated his unfair loss to Kamsing in the final.
1992 (at bantamweight)
- Defeated John Sem (Papua New Guinea) 11–0
- Defeated Joseph Chongo (Zambia) 18–6
- Lost to Li Gwang-Sik (North Korea) 15–16
1996 (at featherweight)
- Defeated Yevheniy Shestakov (Ukraine) 11–4
- Defeated Robbie Peden (Australia) 20–8
- Defeated Falk Huste (Germany) 14–6
- Defeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (United States) 10–9
- Lost to Somluck Kamsing (Thailand) 5–8
Soon after his victory over Mayweather, Todorov rejected a lucrative offer from a group of American boxing promoters. He believed that if he had won the gold medal match in 1996, the Bulgarian Boxing Federation would provide more financially than the proposed contract would have. However, he received little support and decided to switch nationalities and represent Turkey at the 1997 World Amateur Boxing Championships. The Bulgarian Boxing Federation barred this move, and Todorov refused to represent his native country, ending his amateur boxing career by 2003. As of 2015, Todorov lives in Pazardzhik.
As of 2015, Serafim, a feature-length documentary film about Todorov's life has been in production. The film, directed by Robert Kolodny, is slated to be released in 2019. The nonfiction piece covers his early years, controversy at the Olympics and what his life has become since then.
- Sam Borden (April 3, 2015). "The Last Man to Beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. Still Regrets It". New York Times.
- Sweetman, Tom; Thomas, Alex (April 27, 2015). "Tragic tale of the last man to beat Floyd Mayweather". CNN. Retrieved April 27, 2015.