With the 2012 London Olympic games just a few short days away, FightHype UK presents it’s “Tales Of Olympic Glory” series. This series will focus on a number of boxers all over the world who have represented their countries at the Olympic games before progressing to the professional ranks.
Understandably, not all boxing legends went to the Olympic games, but they still went on to have a successful career within the sport. For many, however, the Olympic games proved to be a platform maximize the exposure of individuals, which ultimately translated to success in the pro ranks. While fight fans will have their eyes firmly fixed on the Olympic games to see if they can identify a superstar in the making, it is important to note that the success of previous athletes is what inspires most of the young prospects today. Names like Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr, Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray Leanord, and Amir Khan, are just a few of the successful Olympians from both the past and present. You will notice not all of those guys won Olympic gold, but all went on to have to successful careers as world champions and beyond.
Part 1 of the Tales Of Olympic Glory series focuses on the man who is widely regarded as the best in the world today…the undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Whether you like Floyd Mayweather or hate him, you have to admire his success, and any young boxer growing up in the sport should really look to him as inspiration. Yes, you can look and admire his perfect professional record, currently sitting at 43-0, and be envious of all of that Floyd Mayweather has – flashy cars, lots of money, a beautiful woman, a family, a big mansion, the bright lights of Las Vegas, and being a world famous global icon, BUT it is all due to his success in boxing, which as he famously says comes down to “Hard work and Dedication”.
Every great athlete has to overcome adversity in his life and in his career. Many people will say, “What kind of adversity can a man who is unbeaten and has never been knocked down have to over come?” As prestigious as the Olympic Games are, to Floyd Mayweather, the Olympics Games acted as an extra incentive and motivation to go on and succeed, but maybe not for the reasons you would expect.
OLYMPIC GAMES 1996 - BRONZE MEDAL
Going in to the Olympic games, Floyd Mayweather was recognized for his defensive skills and given the nickname “Pretty Boy” Floyd due to the fact he never seemed to have any marks or scars after fights. It is well documented the role that father Floyd Sr. and Uncle Roger Mayweather played in developing the Floyd Mayweather you see today, and the defensive skills were attributed from an early age. Going into the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Floyd had won three national Golden Gloves championships in 1993, 1994 and 1996, ranging from 106lbs-125lbs and was hotly tipped to be a success at the Olympics, entering in the Featherweight division.
Bakhtiyar Tileganov from Kazakhstan was first up for Mayweather, and was quickly disposed of inside two rounds. Mayweather was comfortably ahead after round 1 with a score of 10-1, with the referee bringing the bout to a halt in the second round. Floyd then moved on to face Armenian Artur Gevorgyan and emerging victorious 16-3 on points. The next bout for Mayweather turned out to be a record breaking one, against Cuban Lorenzo Aragon. A 12-11 victory for Floyd Mayweather saw him become the first USA boxer to defeat a Cuban in 20 years. Despite making history, the next bout for the 19-year-old Mayweather turned out to be the most heartbreaking of his boxing career so far. Floyd Mayweather lost to Serafim Todorov of Bulgaria in one of the most controversial decisions in the history of boxing. If you have not seen the video, I strongly suggest you watch it. It is nothing short of disgraceful, similar to the travesty Roy Jones Jr. had previously suffered. The result seemed so one-sided that even the referee mistakenly raised the hand of Floyd Mayweather and held it a loft. Neither the referee nor Todorov were aware for a good few seconds that Mayweather had actually lost the bout, which was met with a huge chorus of boos from the crowd. The U.S. team filed a complaint which turned out to be unsuccessful. In their complaint, the following was mentioned:
As a result of the events, Bill Waeckerle, who was one of the four U.S. judges, quit as an Olympic Judge and as an International Amateur Boxing Federation judge. ”I refuse to be part of an organization that continues to conduct its officiating in this manner,” was what was written in his resignation letter.
After winning a bronze medal, Floyd turned professional in October 1996 and within two years of making his professional debut, Mayweather won his first world title with a stoppage victory over the late Gennaro Hernandez. As you would have seen in FightHype.com’s exclusive with Floyd Mayweather at his mansion, the money man holds Hernandez in high regard, and proudly displays memories of that fight in his mansion. 16 years later and title stints in five weight classes, Floyd Mayweather has gone on to break records and has gone on to boast accomplishments that can match anybody that went before him, not only winning numerous world titles, but drawing the appraise of the majority of the boxing world, including boxing insiders, for his brilliant in-ring ability and excellent self promotional skills.
Mayweather has gone on to to become the PPV king, with a number of successive 1 million plus buys, and breaking the record for the highest non-heavyweight PPV sales when he did 2.4 million in his 2007 victory over Oscar De La Hoya. Floyd Mayweather currently sits on top of the Forbes Richest Athletes list, making $85m for his previous two fights against Victor Ortiz and most recently Miguel Cotto, and is still the most sought after fighter in the sport today, with every fighter in and around the Welterweight weight class looking to get a payday and becoming the first man to beat him.
It is well documented the problems Mayweather has had outside of the ring, both in early life and most recently with his jail stint, currently due to end in August, but the hard work and dedication Mayweather has put in to becoming the best in the sport is highly admirable by anyone’s standards. While the in-ring performances get people talking, the training regime and preparation that Mayweather goes through to ensure he is never out of shape and is always prepared for his bouts is what really should prove to be inspiration and motivation for young Olympians on their road to glory.
So what can we learn from former Olympian and current pound-4-pound king Floyd Mayweather? For these young Olympians going into battle this year in London, it should be looked at as an opportunity to showcase their talents, and regardless of the outcome, use the experience as a springboard to success, using the determination to go and succeed whether it is to build on your current success or to rebuild your career and prove people wrong. As Floyd Mayweather found out, a bronze medal will be looked at as a success for most, and in Floyd Mayweather’s case, the heartbreak of having Olympic glory stolen away by a disgusting robbery proved to be the extra motivation needed to go on and be the best and he has certainly done that.
Floyd Mayweather amateur career photos
CHECK OUT PART TWO: TALES OF OLYMPIC GLORY: MUHAMMAD ALI
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