Reported July 17, 2002
Babes in the USA
So much for the demise of womens bodybuilding and fitness, proclaims a press release from So. Cal. superpromoter Jon Lindsay regarding his upcoming NPC USA Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships on July 2627 in Las Vegas. Lindsay is expecting a record 120 women62 fitness contenders and 58 bodybuildersan almost 10 percent increase over the numbers for 2001. Mentioning the nondemise of womens bodybuilding is almost de rigueur these days, although the numbers in the amateurs have been going up steadily over the past few years. Whats interesting to note is that he includes fitness in the supposedly-endangered-species category. Lindsay has some interesting comments on that subject in Pump & Circumstance in the August 02 IRONMAN (on newsstands now; get it while its hot), where he predicts, accurately, it seems, that the wild success of the NPCs figure competitions will not affect the fitness lineups at pro qualifiers.
Also in that issue I make a few predictions about whom among the leading contenders from last year will go to the pros thanks to Lindsays Vegas bash. While I stand by my statement that Kim Lyons is a good bet in the Medium class if she competes, how could I have forgotten California golden girl Heather Cox, who was fifth at the 00 Nationals? I ran into Cox at the recent California Championships, and she reminded me that Id picked her for elevation to the flip-for-pay level in the past. Out for the 2001 pro-qualifying season, Heather was looking heavenly and promised to be better than ever onstage at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Ive never known her to break a promise. Fortunately, the top two in each class earn tickets to the pros at this show.
For tickets contact Lindsay Productions online at www.musclecontest.com or call toll-free to 866-370-3011.
Ms. O Ins and Outs
Scratch those previous reports that Laura Creavalle would automatically get this years special invite to womens pro bodybuildings annual battle of the biggest and best. Because so many notable physique athletes (well, three) have come forward to request the S.I., the word out of the IFBB Pro Division is that a committee will decide. That wont happen till the end of the season, which this year means after the Jan Tana Classic on August 1617. Even so, Laura, who has 10 top-five finishes in 12 appearances at the Olympia, including twice runner-up to Lenda Murray, is likely to be the committees favorite over the ladies Lewis (a coming-out-of-retirement Nancy and last years Ms. O fifth-placer Lesa). Minus two points if you thought that list of three included the also-coming-out-of-retirement Murray; as a former winner she has a lifetime qualification.
Speaking of lifetime qualifications. That applies to 00 Ms. O Lightweight Andrulla Blanchette, whos doing a Jay Cutler and passing on this years best-of-the-best festivities. That leaves a sizable hole in the Lightweight lineup for October 1718 at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, but Valentina Chepiga, Dayana Cadeau and company should be up to the task of facing reigning Overall champ Juliette Bergmann alone. Oh, well, well see you in 2003, Andrulla.
Speaking of October 1718. Yes, you read those dates right. The prejudging of the Ms. and Fitness Olympia contests will be held on Thursday, October 17, with the finals the next night.
Speaking of Athletes Pulling Out
Fans of the irrepressible Nicole Bass will probably not get to see her onstage at the Jan Tanaat least not in the lineup. Howard Sterns favorite woman of muscle hates to cancelshes really a bodybuilder at heartbut if plans for her upcoming boxing match with Long Island lothario Joey Buttafuoco solidify in time, she just may be in training for a whole new career.
History buffs will recall that Buttafuoco was acquitted of charges that he conspired with L.I. Lolita Amy Fisher to kill his wife, Mary Jo. Striking out on his own new career, the former auto mechanic took on former WWF poster gal Chyna, a.k.a. Joanie Laurer, in a celebrity boxing match and won in a split decision, an accomplishment that got him on the air on Sterns syndicated radio program. In a turn of events that could only happen on a show that takes calls from our gal Nicole as well as Donald Trump, Buttafuocos next match was set. The 62, 228-pound Bass, whos been featured many times on the show, and the 511, 240-pound Buttafuoco will soon be duking it out in a televised bout at Trumps Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, maybe even on pay-per-view. Woo-oo.
What are her chances? According to one observer, pretty good: Shes bigger than Joey and at 36 more than a little younger. Chyna, on the other hand, weighed 168. Okay, Im convinced. Rumor has it theres a mid-five-figure payday for each pugilist, with a like amount also going to the winner. The match could happen as soon as September. If Bass wins, it could be a nice change of pace for the 97 NPC National Overall champ.