NY Times- The interpreter sat next to Todorov. He said that the men had been impressed by Todorov and wanted to sign him to a professional contract. “They saw my style, they saw me in the ring, they saw that I was white,” Todorov said, grinning at the memory. “There will never be another white boxer like me, and they knew this. They wanted me to stay.”
The terms of the contract were familiar to Todorov, he said, because he had been approached by Australian promoters after he won the 1991 world championship in Sydney. In Atlanta, Todorov recalled, he smiled as the interpreter checked off the perks. A big signing bonus. A house. A car. A new life and big fights in front of big crowds. 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 is not foolish enough to think the men went to Mayweather only because he had rejected their offer, but the image remains burned in his memory all the same. It could have been him, he thinks now. It should have been.
Even 19 years later, it does not take much for Todorov’s brow to furrow and his glare to sharpen, because the regret hangs heavy. Albena wishes her husband had called her after the promoters made their offer. “It could have changed our lives and the lives of our children,” she said, her eyes wide. Todorov cannot hide his disappointment.
If he had lost to Mayweather, he said, he would have surely continued fighting in an attempt to reach an Olympic final. He would not have wondered about the chance to stay in America, or about a subsequent betrayal against Kamsing. “Instead, it all happened and I wanted to hope that things here could get better,” he said. “It was stupid. I came back and I found hell.”
Self justification at it's finest. I suppose it is more healing to regret the biggest accomplishment of your life than the biggest mistake that subsequently followed. What a beautifully spun web. Almost made me forget he was a weak-minded alcoholic. Is that a rational way for Todorov to view things? Probably not, but if he viewed his transgressions in a rational way he would have already put himself in an early grave. Sure it's a little misguided bitterness. It's like when people win the lottery and say it is the worst thing that ever happened to them. It is easier to say that a gift is a curse than admit to yourself that you pissed that gift away. Is it pretty obvious that it's not beating Floyd Mayweather thats caused him a lifetime of grief, but his propensity to say 'no' faster than Jameis Winston's last one night stand.
Let's go back in time and do a little revisionist history. Let's say Serafim lost to Floyd Mayweather. Is his life any better now? Would he be in a penthouse looking the New York City skyline instead of in Pazardzhik with a less than formidable view of a banana clad coffee shanty? Yeaaaaah, no. Beating the most dominant athlete in his sport before he had reached such acclaim is a good thing. Rejecting the bells and whistles of a life altering contract is a bad thing. While their is certainly correlation between that victory and a dark time in his life, there definitely isn't causation.
Winning and turning down a lifetime of financial stability doesn't mean that your next fight has to be with the bottom of the bottle. Bad shit happens to people all the time, and mostly it's not of their own volition. Making one decidedly ill informed choice doesn't mean you have to resort to becoming a degenerate drunk with no ambition or will to live. You are telling me that if Todorov could go back in time and change ONE thing he would lose and remain a no name fighter in the middle of Bulgaria? His dream scenario is to not have accomplished any of his dreams? Interesting. That's like finding a magical genie and using your one wish to request her disappearance. Maybe next time use your wish on a functional brain or a financial advisor.
Hey Todorov, you are the last person to beat one of the richest men on the planet. You are the lone black mark on his resume. Even if you didn't accept the money and fame that came along with beating Floyd Mayweather, you could still use the accomplishment to your advantage after the fact. Floyd has been making subpar opponents rich for the last decade and a half. You should have run your mouth until he was begging to pay you a couple million to beat in your brain with your nose bone. Crying about how awful it is to accomplish something the entire boxing community has been fantasizing about isn't just disingenuous, it's about the least lucrative way to exploit your one triumph.
Has 'the grass is always greener' ever been applied more literally?