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Floyd Mayweather tried to convince Team GB boxer and Olympics finalist Ben Whittaker to turn pro in 2017

TEAM GB’s Olympic star Ben Whittaker rejected Floyd Mayweather’s advice in 2017 to turn professional.

The 24-year-old will compete for the gold medal on Wednesday when he faces Cuba’s light-heavyweight Arlen Lopez.

Light-heavyweight Ben Whittaker faces Cuba’s Arlen Lopez for the gold medal on Wednesday

Lopez, 28, is looking to win back-to-back gold medals in the Games after scooping the top prize in the middleweight division in Rio 2016.

But he knows he will have to be at his best to beat Midlands supremo Whittaker, who won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships.

And in a clip that has emerged from 2017, American boxing legend Mayweather urged then-middleweight Whittaker to enter the paid ranks after Anthony Joshua introduced the pair.

In a video posed by FightHype, Joshua can be seen telling Mayweather: “This guy here, this is Ben Whittaker. The future.

“Olympic fighter right now, but I swear to you, this guy here, he’s the creme de la creme.”

Mayweather then asked Whittaker: “When are you turning pro?”

To which Whittaker said: “After the Olympics.”

A shocked Mayweather, who won the bronze medal at the 1996 Games, then remarked: “Oh hell no! Trophies don’t do nothing but collect dust.”

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Mayweather urged Team GB star Whittaker to turn professional in 2017

And speaking to the Daily Star, Whittaker has stated that winning a gold medal would put him in good stead for the future.

Commenting on his meeting with the 15-time world champion, he said: “He told me waiting for the Olympics is a waste, and that all medals do is catch dust.

“But he was kind of lying cos he did it himself.

“The medal might catch dust but it opened a lot of doors for him. It will do the same for me.”

Before adding: “I went to the worlds and got a bronze but if it wasn’t gold then it doesn’t matter.

“Being an Olympian is great but if I don’t do what I’m supposed to do out there then I’ll never talk about the Olympics again.”

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