Floyd Mayweather should have walked away from the 1996 Olympics with a gold medal. It wasn’t to be as a future Muay Thai star took the podium top spot.
Mayweather coming out of the Atlanta Games on home soil without the main prize seems an unfathomable event considering what he went on to achieve.
But like others before and after him, namely Roy Jones Jr. and Michael Conlan, Mayweather was a victim of a broken amateur system.
Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers ever to grace the sport. Therefore, anyone’s guess is how unheralded Bulgarian Serafim Todorov knocked him out of the competition in the Tournament Quarter-Finals.
Conspiracy theories have reared their heads ever since a 19-year-old Mayweather bemusingly left Georgia with only a bronze medal. Fingers have pointed fingers at Emil Jetchev, the Bulgarian chairman of the International Referees’ and Judges’ Commission, on more than one occasion.
Although unproven, Jetchev was involved in one of his home country’s most significant victories and could tell its own story. Add to that a deflection story that Jetchev also affected the final to ensure Todorov didn’t win. Then you have a perfect storm.
Whatever the case may be, Mayweather lost and has since been unfazed by questions about his reverse controversy.
If you believe the former pound-for-pound star, gaining an Olympic gold medal wasn’t the principal mission of his career. He went on to become one of ‘The Best Ever’ anyway.
The man he should have met in the final and the competitor who took Mayweather’s gold was Somluck Kamsing. A former Asian champion, Kamsing defeated Todorov 8-5 in the showpiece event of the 96′ Games.
In an ideal world, for USA Boxing, Mayweather should have been the organization’s poster boy.
Four years prior, Oscar De La Hoya emerged as a world star after claiming gold in Barcelona. Due to subsequent publicity, De La Hoya was pushed hard and was an instant ticket seller.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER GOLD MEDAL
Mayweather had to fight considerably stronger to make his name, as a Bronze medal just didn’t cut it.
Saying that – even David Reid – who did win the gold at light-middleweight, struggled to get a leg up.
So what became of Kamsing? – Well, the man with a nickname that means ‘Boastful Forever’ stayed in the unpaid ranks until 2004, competing in two more Olympic Games.
At the Sydney 2000 competition, Kamsing lost in the Round of 16. Four years later, in Athens, he lost at the very first stage.
It begs the question of what would have changed if Floyd Mayweather had earned his rightful place at the two steps above Kamsing.
Kamsing refrained from embarking on a professional boxing career. He ended up competing in Muay Thai – largely unsuccessfully in the championship and legacy stakes.
Dabbling in movies and a music career due to his notoriety on the back of unwarranted achievement, Kamsing has become something of a sideshow when competing in exhibitions where he was only allowed to punch.
Sounds familiar, considering.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.