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Inside the ’08 Nationals

I assumed that Edward Nunn wasn’t done after his dominating victory in thesuperheavyweight class in Las Vegas last summer at the USA, where plenty of folks thought he should have earned one of the two pro cards that eventually went to Brandon Curry and Curtis Bryant. With the North American Championships but five weeks away, I figured it would be a Nunn deal that Ed would enter the Cleveland, Ohio, event as the fave and emerge with pro status after an overall victory. Figured wrong. Instead, Nunn passed on the NAC and will take his chances at this season’s Nationals, which are set for November 21 and 22 in Atlanta. And although he did look terrific in Vegas, he’s not automatically guaranteed a victory.

No siree—not with a pair of Texas physique stars like Stephen Frazier and Real “Deal” Johnson waiting in the wings. Frazier, out of Fort Worth, was third a year ago, at the ’07 Nationals, while Tyler’s Johnson finished one slot behind—and one place ahead of Nunn. Should be a terrific battle—if Nunn can duplicate the conditioning he displayed at the USA.
Will doing back-to-back shows be too much for Nunn, especially since Frazier, Johnson and the gang focused all year on the Nationals? Considering what happened to Curry, who followed up back-to-back second-place landings at the USA and Nationals in 2007 with heavyweight and overall victories at the USA, the answer is no.

As for the heavyweights, I wrote last month about the great Michael Liberatore–Mark Alvisi battles that have taken place in recent times, and the rivalry could continue in Atlanta—although an East Coast inside source says Alvisi could be dropping down a division. Can the two remain as sharp as they were at the USA? If so, it could be a one-two finish, and I think Alvisi could score an upset.

Abbas Khatami has been unusually quiet, but I don’t know if that means he’s putting all of his attention on the Nationals after his impressive fourth-place finish in the heavyweight class last year or if he’s retired. I’ll assume (again) and say the Irvine, California, physique ace is in intense training to do battle in Georgia.

Since Lee Banks, third in this division a year ago, did both the USA and the NAC, I’ll make another assumption (actually, I’m assuming a lot in any predictions piece at press time, since I don’t know who’s really going to get onstage)—that Banks will pass on the Nationals. I do expect to see title contenders like Darrell “One More Time” Terrell, Shaun “Ain’t No Chump” Crump and Fred “I Ain’t” Smalls onstage.


In the light-heavyweight class the Peter PutnamAl Auguste battle will likely resume—I say Putnam will finally get his pro card this time (all class winners qualify), but he’ll be pushed by not only Auguste but also a recent “Teper’s Rising Star,” Monte Mabry, who was impressive, if overlooked, last year with a fourth-place finish. By the way, Mabry’s son is 14 years old, not 14 months, as stated in the Rising Star data sheet a few months back, so I’ll correct that error here and now. Find him online at

Will Jose Raymond return to defend his middleweight title? If not, look for Guy Cisternino and Alan Bailey to flex it out in that division. The welterweight class should be a great battle between Stoli Stolov, Tommy Robertson, Victor DelCampo and my partner on the “Inside Look at the USA” video, Alex Azarian, who is moving up from the lightweight division.

I was really impressed with 22-year-old Jeff Olcsvary, who was third in the lightweights last year. I say Jeff could nab the title this season. And I’m going (again) with Fernando Abaco to win the bantams.

Remember to check out the Nationals predictions video with Alex Azarian and I. Isaac “Lift Studios” Hinds picked Nunn out of the crowd at last year’s weigh-in, so look for him to come up with more successful longshots. And, of course, look for Ron “Yogi” Avidan to try and come up with a competitor list so he could at least read off a name or two of his alleged selections.

Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk


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