CORK, Ireland (Dec. 3, 2014) – International boxing manager Gary Hyde has announced that his company, Nowhere2Hyde, has signed 18-year-old Bulgarian amateur star Blagoy “Golden Boy” Naydenov to a long-term contract.
Naydenov’s long-range goal is to become the first Bulgarian-born male world champion of a major boxing organization.
Last summer, Naydenov captured a gold medal at the prestigious Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, to go along with his championship winning performances at the Under-19 World Championships and Under-17 European Championships.
Naydanov was considered a top contender, if not the outright favorite, in the light heavyweight division at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, but he decided to turn professional and sign a managerial deal with Hyde. He is expected to make his pro debut in January, either in the United States or Germany.
“I am absolutely delighted to add one of the best amateurs in the world to our team,” Hyde said. “I reached out to Team Naydenov during the past two years to sign this ‘Wonder-Kid’ and I am obviously very excited that he has decided to turn pro under my guidance. At the tender age of 18, Blagoy will be a major force in the light heavyweight division in a couple of years.”
Hyde has quickly developed into a power-broker in worldwide boxing as manager of a growing list present, past and future world champions, including WBA Super & WBO super bantamweight champion and two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (14-0, 9 KOs), WBA Interim cruiserweight champion Youri “El Toro” Kalenga (21-1, 14 KOs), former WBO middleweight champion and current IBF mandatory challenger Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (31-1, 18 KOs), former world junior middleweight title challenger Michel Soro (23-1-1, 13 KOs) and Georgian junior welterweight prospect Levan “The Wolf” Ghvamichava (13-1, 10 KOs).
Born in Sofia, Naydenov was a member of the Slavia Boxing Club, also the home-base for the last boxer to defeat the great Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Serafim Todorov, as well as Olympic champion Daniel Petrov. Todorovc defeated the 19-year-old Mayweather by way of a controversial decision in their semifinals match, 10-9, at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Petrov was a light flyweight who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics and silver at the 1992 Olympics.
Naydenov is a highly technical boxer who enjoys fighting on the outside, but he’s equally adept at mixing it up inside, if needed. “The decision to turn pro wasn’t a very tough one,” Naydenov told Bulgaria Today. “The money isn’t enough in Olympic boxing. The initial plan is to fight 5 or 6 times a year.”