Reported February 21, 2004
The Arnold Classic Men’s Bodybuilding Competition on Pay Per View, in 2004?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is true. This year, all the unlucky ones who won’t be able to get into the sold out Veteran’s Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio, will be able to get the show live, starting at 7pm Eastern Standard Time, or 4pm Pacific Standard Time.
And who wouldn’t want to see Jay Cutler, Chris Cormier, Dexter Jackson, King Kamali, Craig Titus and others battle it out in an incredible show. Add to this Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvestor Stallone, and this should be one of the most exciting shows ever.
Now keep in mind that most of the time you only can order this event one week out from the broadcast, so don’t despair if you don’t see it. Call your pay-per-view system to make sure it is on. The announcer will be Joe Amato, and his two colorful commentators will be 6-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, and bodybuilding’s most honored emcee and premier journalist, Lonnie Teper.
From an official press release, which states: The Pro Division and Physical TV are happy to announce that the 2004 Arnold Classic will be shown live on Pay Per View Television on Saturday, March 6th, at 7:00PM eastern time. The event will be shown on the following systems in the United States and Canada:
In- Demand; Direct TV; Viewers Choice; Star Choice
We hope to increase the number of viewers this year with the addition of Direct TV, which goes to 11 million homes in the United States. We are also taking the step by having two events on PPV this year, the Arnold Classic and the Mr. Olympia finals on October 30th.
As other PPV systems are signed for this broadcast, we will keep you updated. If the event is not being shown in your area, call you local cable or satellite company and ask them how you can get it.
Blade Cuts Down Opponents at IRON MAN Pro
It was raining hard outside the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday, February 21, but Dexter Jackson was dry as can be en route to a unanimous victory at the IRON MAN Pro, which opened up the 2004 IFBB season.
The pre-contest hype had Jackson, coming off a win over Jay Cutler at the GNC Show of Strength to end the 2003 campaign, as the strong favorite going into the annual event. But Lee Priest, bouncing back from a dismal 15th place showing at the ’03 ‘Olympia (Jackson was third behind champion Ronnie Coleman and Cutler), showed up in great shape and pushed Jackson to the title.
Priest amazed fans at the Friday afternoon press conference/official weigh-in when he tipped the scale at 199 pounds, with clothes on. Jackson, citing a required photo shoot with MuscleTech (who Jackson is signed with), was the only competitor absent from the entertaining affair, the first of its kind since the 1988 Mr. Olympia, held in Los Angeles.
The Jackson/Priest showdown was no surprise to most people; the emergence of Gustavo Badell was. The Carolina, Puerto Rico resident, who has been a decent, if not high ranking, pro since he earned his IFBB card back in 1997, showed up in the best condition of his career. Badell, who gave credit to Milos Sarcev for working with him, carried 234 pounds of finely tuned muscle on his 5’8″ frame. Sitting in seventh place after round one (symmetry), Badell slowly moved up the ladder, eventually finishing in third place and upsetting veterans Ahmad Haidar (fourth) and Craig Titus (fifth) when the final results were announced. More importantly, Badell qualified for his first Mr. Olympia in the process.
David Henry, the 2002 NPC Nationals Middleweight champion, made his pro debut at the strongly attended contest, and faired very well, just missing the finalist list with a sixth place finish. At 5’5″ and 187 pounds, Henry proved he could hang with the big boys.
Johnnie Jackson, at 5’7″ and 231 pounds, was about 10-15 pounds too heavy to make a higher dent than seventh in the line-up, while the weight factor was also a problem for Bob Cicherillo who, at 252, seemed to be at least 15 pounds too heavy and ended up in eighth place in his initial crack at the IRON MAN Pro lineup.
Two other competitors seen for the first time on the IRON MAN stage, Idrise Ward-El and Ronny Rockel, finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the 20-man field. Tom Prince, the second heaviest competitor at the weigh-in at 276 pounds (Mo Amouti was first, at 279), dropped out of the show prior to pre-judging due to illness. Apparently Prince, beset by health problems in the last year, announced his retirement from bodybuilding the following day.
In the NPC Figure competition, Short class winner Abby Duncan bested Medium class champion Marcy Porter and Tall division winner Michelle Troll to nab the Overall crown. Karla Ray won the Masters competition.
Ben Weider, who with his brother Joe created the IFBB, was honored with the Perry and Mabel Rader Lifetime Achievement Award, while Flex Magazine lensman Chris Lund was cited as the winner of the Art Zeller Award for Artistic Excellence.
2004 IRON MAN Pro Results
View contest images at our Contest Site.
1)’ Dexter Jackson
2) Lee Priest
3)’ Gustavo Badell
4)’ Ahmad Haidar
5)’ Craig Titus
6)’ David Henry
7)’ Johnnie Jackson
8)’ Robert Cicherillo
9)’ Idrise Ward-El
10)’ Ronny Rockel
11)’ Jason Arntz
12)’ Lee Powell
13)’ Paul Baker
14)’ Mohamed Amouti
15)’ Rod Ketchens
16)’ George Turmon
17)’ Ntuk Ntuk
18)’ Dragan Paunovic
19)’ Ken Jones
20)’ Clifton Torres