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Tim Sylvia – the boxer?

One of the more unusual things I recently heard was from Tim Sylvia. Sylvia claimed that he would be an outstanding boxer – basically better than anyone else.

I’ll fight any heavyweight boxer in the world. Twelve rounds and I’d beat him,” said Sylvia.

Not only did Sylvia express how good he was, but he also put out an open call to all boxing promoters.

I’d love to be approached about a fight with a top heavyweight because I’d go out there and win.”

I wonder why the recent trend of former UFC heavyweight champions wanting to get involved with boxing. First, it was Andrei Arlovski and now Sylvia. Based on size and speed alone, I would think that Arlovski would make a better boxer though. It will be hard for Sylvia to push a boxer up against the ropes and hold them there since… um… holding isn’t allowed in boxing.

Sylvia does have good hands, but I don’t think he belongs anywhere near the same ring as consensus top heavyweight Wladmir Klitschko. Although by the same reasoning, Klitschko doesn’t belong anywhere near the same cage as Sylvia.

  • HexRei says:

    Ok, I am not defending ridiculous claims of “I’ll fight any heavyweight boxer in the world. Twelve rounds and I’d beat him”, that’s just big-talk.

    But Tim is a pretty freakishly built guy at 6’8″ 265 and of his 24 wins, 16 are KO’s- that’s a pretty sweet KO percentage at 18 total bouts. His long reach does give him a crazy advantage for boxing, and let’s not forget that, contrary to what you said, you can hold a guy in boxing… he’ll just have to keep it infrequent enough to avoid losing as a result.

    Tim wants the $$$ while he still has the youth to make it, and he knows that the payoff from a HW match against a decent boxer will pay as much or more than a match against a mediocre MMA fighter. Boxing does still pay a lot more for names than most MMA. Why wouldn’t he want to say something like this? It can only mean a payday for him, and he just might even win.

  • HexRei says:

    Oops, 28 total bouts. typo.

  • Mike Fagan says:

    Except that pro boxers are going to have much better footwork, much better power, and much better hand speed. Sylvia’s nuts.

  • HexRei says:

    And even if he was totally outmatched, he’d probably make more in 1 or 2 bouts than he made in the UFC in a year for most of his career… and then he returns to his MMA fate as 2nd rate champion. It’s a win/win proposition.

  • Rich S. says:

    any heavyweight boxer in the world, eh?

    I wouldn’t even pick Tim over a Featherweight..

    Pro Boxers are on a whole ‘nother level than MMA fighters in the stand-up realm.. Just as MMA fighters are on a whole ‘nother level on the ground.. here’s how i see it.. there’s no way a top ten MMA fighter could hang with a top Ten Boxer [in a boxing match] and there’s no way a top Ten boxer could hang with a top ten MMA fighter in an MMA match..

    you can give me all the flack you want but that’s the damn truth..

    That’s why i didn’t want A. Silva to go through with the Roy Jones fight.. because.. in a boxing match, Roy Jones would win… there’s no doubt in my mind..

    these guys go longer amounts of time.. they take more shots..

    Big Tim’s talking out of his ass, here..

    if i could possibly hate him any more [which i can’t] i would after this statement..

  • Funky k says:

    I guess all the boxing training tim does for his fights wouldnt help him in a boxing ring at all would it?

  • revjames13 says:

    The catch is that they should fight with 5 oz gloves, but no boxer would want to do that. The boxing gloves would mess Timmy up against any top ten 10 HW boxer.

  • Are you having a laugh?. says:

    What does tim do in MMA?…box. he is a boxing MMA fighter. He defends takedowns kicks very little and tries to box with his opp’s. He beat arlovski in what was mainly a boxing match so to switch to boxing is not that much of a stretch.
    “It will be hard for Sylvia to push a boxer up against the ropes and hold them there since… um… holding isn’t allowed in boxing.”
    You can’t clinch in boxing? look you don’t like Sylvia it seems but why can’t he fire from the outside and clinch or smother his opp when he opp gets inside and push him against the ropes for and wait for a restart.
    Rich I’ve seen pro boxers get koed by a puch in MMA as well as K1 fighters getting thier heads taken off by bjj guys head kicks(Mrko Crocop vs Gonzaga ring any bells) so why can’t a guy who trains boxing box.

  • Jeff Allen says:

    I think Tim would have a hard time transitioning to boxing, despite the fact that he trains in boxing. Pure boxing is much different than mma. He has never exhibited good footwork (unpredictable, angle making), any ability to throw a sequence of beguiling punches, head movement, body work, proper power shots. The one thing he does right is jab. I think he trains with other mma guys and does very well with them and that’s why he feels confident. mma striking is just that, striking. Not to diss it, it belongs to a different category, due to the potential for kicks, takedowns, etc. I can’t even see him taking out a middle tier guy like Tye Fields, let alone Samuel Peter or Vladimir. His striking is great for mma, though.

  • darkmetal says:

    Boxing is pretty different than MMA. While MMA fighters have to “Ultimate fighters” as in well rounded fighters who are good at multiple martial arts, Boxers are Specialists. They take standup to a whole different level.

    Not having fought a professional boxing match, I think that Sylvia is like a sheep wandering into a wolf’s den if he thinks he can outmatch a boxer at their own game.

    Just as boxers who make the claim of being able to become MMA fighters, boxers need to be respected as great at what they do. Personally, the debate over boxing vs MMA, at least to myself, was never about one “art” being better than the other, but about the way each is run.

    Boxers take the art of standup fighting and incorporate feints, jabs, and power punches to a level where most would be astonished. How many MMA fighters are prepared for 12 rounds of intense standup? Also, their speed is pretty formidable. I think if George Foreman was to come out of retirement, he would still probably handle big Tim pretty easily and win via a knockout.

  • ttt says:

    it’d be a boring match, but interesting who to see would win Schilt vs Sylvia in a K-1 match

  • Jay says:

    Oh Timmy, Here we go again. He may be onto something…the heavweight boxing division is probably the weakest it’s ever been. That being said Tim wouldn’t beat any of the title holders or anyone in the top 10. After 7 rounds he’d be gassed and KO’d.

  • I always defend Tim Sylvia. Have you ever had a situation where you constantly defend someone everybody hates and then they say something really stupid?


    I just want to know what drugs he’s on.

  • cheapshot says:

    i feel like im losing my mind reading half of these comments.

    does anyone remember big tim defending his title against randy last time around? i think i remember him landing about two or three punches in 25 minutes against a fighter known predominately for his grappling. good going that.

    i hope he does fight a boxer though to be honest, on the grounds that it would be pretty funny

  • Jackyl says:

    This is the most assanine statement I have ever heard. There is no way he can hang with a top ten boxer. He would get owned by: James Toney, Chris Byrd, Klitschco, Sam Peter, the list goes on. Go twelve rounds?!? hahahahahahahahahahaha, yeah right. Those Tabs they got him on for his back problems really got him kooky.

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    I agree with #8…

    Sylvia could easily become a boxer, and do better than Arlovski.

    Arlovski/Sylvia III was more or less a boxing match. Arlovski was using boxing footwork and he even tired his arm out using that boxing jab the whole fight. Sylvia just stood outside and used his reach. (Arlovski’s love of boxing vs. mixing it up with leg kicks and Sambo has been his downfall.)

    Boxers–esp HW boxers–clinch all the time… They lock up and rest on each other’s shoulders, whether against the ropes or not. This is the same as pushing someone up against a cage.

    I’m not sure how good Sylvia would do in the boxing world, but He’s easily the best striker in MMA.

  • Jay says:

    #16 are you saying Sylvia is the best striker in MMA?

    I need clarification before I jump all over that one.

  • BJJDenver says:

    forget Peter, Klitschko and all. I would watch him fight Valuev! That might be freakishly interesting!

  • romano says:

    guys, tim’s base sport is boxing…he worked in mfc with other boxers like pulver and at his size (and he wouldn’t have to cut) he’d employ the same tactics that lennox lewis rode to success….if you don’t think that tim could hang with boxers then you aren’t all that familiar with either tim or you don’t know heavyweight boxing….there aren’t any scary heavyweights out there and tim would hold his own with any of them…klitschko is a fine fighter, but he’s got a jaw made of ceramic…peter is a beast but very raw and no one else is even worth mentioning…sorry folks, no matter how much you may hate tim sylvia, he wouldn’t embarass himself.

  • MMA Man Up says:

    This has to be a joke Timmy would get destroyed.

  • Jay says:

    #19 seems to be forgetting that Lennox Lewis had the most punishing jab since George Foreman and comparing Sylvia to Lennox is a joke. Lewis also had one of those right hands that would put someone into next week!! So lets stop with the comparisons now.

    having boxing as a base is one thing but translating that into success is another.

  • Ken says:

    if Tim thinks he can do it, and a sanctioning board approves, i would LOVE to see him fight an elite boxer. great idea, as long as Tim has the skills.

  • Rich S. says:

    #15 can be quoted for truth..

    i’m just imagining Sylvia/Toney right now.. and all i see is sylvia laying on the mat, with his head rolling out into the audience…

    “I’m not sure how good Sylvia would do in the boxing world, but He’s easily the best striker in MMA.”

    wow.. that’s… hilarious.. that’s all i’ve got to say.. i’d sooner believe you if you said he was the shortest fighter in MMA to be honest.. that’s ridiculous..

  • HexRei says:

    Yeah, and GSP can’t hang with an olympic wrestler either.. its just impossible, cause no mma fighter could be competitive against a practitioner of another sport… /sarcasm

  • Revjames13 says:

    If Tim switched over from MMA to boxing and trained exclusively at it for about a year, he could enter the ranks and maybe beat a gatekeeper pro boxer. But it’s all talk, like Anderson fighting Roy Jones Jr.

    Top MMA fighters stand nothing to gain by entering someone else’s realm of expertise and getting schooled in the tricks of the trade. They should stick to their own sport and beat up on guys who think they can cross over into MMA, not the other way around.

    GSP wrestling is a different story because GSP is, IMO, the best athlete in MMA. He could be competitive, though I don’t think he’d be a threat to win any big international competitions.

  • HexRei says:

    Like I said in the first post of the thread, he may not be able to beat the best, but with his current skills and build I think he could hang with a mid-level HW boxer. And make a lot of money off of a high-level bout even if he lost.

  • THORAZINE says:

    Tim u’d better not let us MMA fans down with a big statement like that. If u lose.

  • Jackyl says:

    The question is not whether or not he can hang. It’s the fact that he said he could go 12 rounds with ANY top ten heavyweight. There is no way in hell. Have you seen how slow he is? No footwork. He must have been high when he said this. There is no other explanation.

  • HexRei says:

    Or maybe he was exaggerating his confidence level to the public as most fighters to do for the sake of their careers? Gotta aim high.

  • Revjames13 says:


    “Tim Sylvia Declares He Can Hang With Mid-level HW Boxer” isn’t going to make any headlines.

    If you’re going to call out someone from another sport it has to be one of the current top guys or a legend at the end of his career.

    Wilt Chamberlain once made a big fuss about wanting to fight Ali, and they even started to promote the fight as a possibility. At the press conference Ali looked at Wilt and said “timber!…” Wilt backed out of the fight shortly thereafter as he realized that he was going to get a seriously embarrassing ass-kicking at the hands of a masterful professional. He chose volleyball as his second sport sometime later.

  • Skwirrl says:

    Wlad Klits vs Sloth. I would never have to see Timmy fight again after Wlad was done with him and his head rolled off his body.

  • Are you having a laugh?. says:

    Reverse it. Would a pro boxers striking do well in MMA? would Karos judo do well in MMA? would Randy’s wrestling do well in MMA? How about frank Mirs bjj in a bjj comp?. I don’t know about all this talk about boxing being the great enigma to MMA fighters that you all say it is especially the MMA fighters that box like Tim. Its just a sport like any other and Tim trains in it, is a fighter and an athlete. So why say boxing is just too much of a challenge, I mean butterbean did OK and he is nowhere near the threat that a boxing-specific trained Sylvia would be.

  • Are you having a laugh?. says:

    And saying he can’t go 12 rds??? I think if he trained for a 12 rd fight he could possibly manage that don’t you?, considering that it’s just a different level of fittness and all. I mean what would stop him from preparing for 12 rds? All he has to do is train for it.


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