Mayweather Loss Spurs A U.s. Protest A U.s. Olympic Boxing Judge Resigned. He Cited The ``incompetent'' Judging In The Bout.

Posted: August 03, 1996

ATLANTA — U.S. boxing coaches have been at odds with the Olympics' scoring system and judging since the competition began, and last night, after yet another controversial decision went against them, one of four Americans serving as a judge and referee here joined in.

With the crowd at Alexander Memorial Coliseum still angry about a decision that cost Floyd Mayweather a chance at a gold medal, Bill Waeckerle sent a letter to the president of the International Boxing Association announcing his resignation.

``We have all looked forward to the Centennial Olympic Games with the hope that our sport could overcome a long history of bad judging and refereeing,'' Waeckerle wrote to AIBA president Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan. ``It is apparent that the system is not capable of correcting itself with the people currently in charge of selecting and assigning officials.''

Waeckerle was referring to Emil Jetchev of Bulgaria, who supervises referees and officials for AIBA.

Mayweather lost, 10-9, to three-time world champion Sefarim Todorov of Bulgaria.

``We feel that the officials are intimidated where anyone competing against Mr. Jetchev's fellow countrymen do not have a chance, as demonstrated in this bout,'' U.S. team leader Gerald Smith wrote in filing an official protest of the Mayweather decision.

Three of the 12 gold-medal bouts include Bulgarian fighters.

Last night, Mayweather got inside Todorov's long jab time after time to deliver combinations that often received no points.

That was particularly true of the first round, which Todorov won by 2-1 despite being hit so cleanly twice that his head snapped back.

The last 10 seconds of the fight also were questionable.

Mayweather, with a right hand, cut the lead to 10-9 with about six seconds left, then followed it with a second head-snapping right before the bell toned. But the score did not change.

``Bout 323 between Bulgaria's Sefarim Todorov and USA's Floyd Mayweather was the blatant example of incompetent officiating,'' Waeckerle's letter continued. ``The referee cautioned the Bulgarian boxer at least five times for slapping without a warning, and even worse was that the judges were counting them as scoring blows. Judging was totally incompetent.''

The IOC has 24 hours to rule on the U.S. protest. A boxing protest has never been upheld in Olympic history, but if the IOC did so, Mayweather and Todorov would fight again.

The Mayweather decision set his coaches off.

``I was going crazy,'' Jesse Ravelo said. ``I was about ready to jump in the ring and fight. This is a soap opera, and we're the bad guys. It's going to continue.''

The referee, Hamadi Hafez Shouman of Egypt, either mistakenly or because he thought Mayweather won, raised the American's hand after the bout.

Just moments before that, Todorov walked to the center of the ring on wobbly legs. Mayweather was as fresh as a daisy.

``They say he's the world champion,'' Mayweather said after the fight. ``Now you know who the real world champion is.''

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