Score one for the little guy. On Saturday night at the Europa Super Show in Dallas, Texas - a state where, as a rule, bigger is almost always better - Silvio Samuel proved there exceptions to every rule by winning the first major contest of his professional career.
The win was the second in as many days for Samuel, and came on the heels of his win in the inaugural Under 210-pound class.
"It all goes along with what (trainer Charles Glass) and I had planned," Samuel said. "The plan was to try to get a victory and then go to the Olympia with a win. I plan on putting on some size between now and then to really give myself a chance to be at the top at the Olympia. "
While Samuel's win in the U-210 class on Friday came with relative ease, Saturday's was much tougher as both Will Harris and Bill Wilmore emerged as serious threats to spoil Samuel's perfect weekend. But, despite weighing in at 206 pounds - nearly 40 pounds less than both Wilmore and Harris - Samuel's combination of shape and conditioning proved to be too much for the bigger men to overcome.
Perhaps even more impressive than the weight at which Samuel won the show was the fact that he didn't decide to enter the Europa until three weeks before the contest
"When I saw the lineup I said, 'I'm still in shape, so why not enter the contest," Samuel said.
For Harris, the runner-up finish - by far his highest placing since turning pro in 2004- was well deserved, as he showed up in Dallas in the best shape of his professional career.
Wilmore finished third to grab the final of three Olympia qualifications given out at the show. Quincy Taylor (fourth) and Omar Deckard (fifth) rounded out the top five.
For Taylor, who had aspirations of winning the contest after finishing as the runner-up here in 2006, placing outside the top three was a disappointment. He had guaranteed a win leading up to the contest while dismissing Samuel's chances to win, referring to Samuel as an "ankle biter" in the process, a reference to the 10-inch height difference between the 6-foot-4 Taylor and the 5-foot-6 Samuel. And, although Samuel won the show, he lived up to the description by playfully lifting the legs of each member of the top five during the posdedown and pretending to bite each on an ankle.