I for one don't understand all the hate for Sylvia. He came out of nowhere to defeat Ricco Rodriguez, back then the UFC Heavyweight Champion, one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world, and heavily favored. Not only does Sylvia beat him, he knocks him out in the first round. Ricco's not the same since. Defends his title against the one guy who's bigger than him, and proceeds to knock him out.
Sure he got caught with the 'roids, but he man'd up and admitted it when confronted about it, so he relinquishes his belt. People make mistakes. Something like this will usually derail someone's career or legacy. Ask Bonds, McGwire, or Palmeiro. How about Ben Johnson?
Sylvia hits a bad stretch in 2004/early 2005, coming back from his suspension and getting his arm broken by Frank Mir. He comes back, destroys Wes Sims at Superbrawl, then has to tap in less than a minute to Andrei Arlovski. This last loss, especially one so quick and humiliating and uncompetitive, could also derail someone's career. Tim defies the odds and comes back again, knocking out Tra Telligman with a surprise roundhouse to the head and pounding Assuerio Silva for three rounds for a decision win. He earns yet another title shot, and ironically finds himself in nearly the same place he did earlier, facing a heavily favored, top 5 champion in Arlovski once again. Sylvia does the unthinkable and knocks him out. Then he defeats him again in the rematch, winning their trilogy.
Guys who've made comebacks like this to climb back to the top of the mountain are typically lionized in boxing. Hell, Barnett is pretty much well-loved, and he was roided up for his title win too. They say Sylvia is an ass, too cocky and such. I dunno, but if you've overcome the odds like he did, size advantage or no, supposed "lack of skill" notwithstanding, I think you deserve to talk shit.
There's a guy in boxing right now who's come back to beat the odds time and time again, and has established a bona fide legacy. He's had controversy in his career again, and has a supposed "lack of skill". Yet this man is practically universally loved. That man is Arturo Gatti.
__________________ Israel Vazquez....Super Bantamweight Champ....Super Heavyweight Heart
This man is my hero.