Heard from Fred Smalls, one of my former Rising Stars, who let me know he’ll be on stage Friday at the USA prejudging in the Heavyweight class. Smalls, who is anything but, finished fifth in his division at the Nationals last year, and I could tell he was a bit disappointed I didn’t mention him in my USA preview currently burning up this website (11,000 views by Tuesday morn).
Sorry ‘bout that Fred, but I did my predictions in the News and Views two months back, and Merv, Alex Azarian and I filmed the video on June 13, so had no idea you’d be trekking to Las Vegas this season to try the USA. Plus, no competitor lists were allowed out prior to the show, so…… Anyway, first time at the USA, right?
You look darn good in that backyard shot taken on Sunday and, yes, I think you will be among the top HW’s come call-out time on Friday night. You are definitely the best-built man in Delaware, easily besting runner-up Roland (On the River) Balik, the crack IM photo/video gem who happens to reside in Dover.
Sorry, but am still sticking with my pick of Mark Alvisi to win the HW and Overall, but there will be a lot of great bodybuilders who are just itchin’ to make me look stupid. For those living under a rock the past two weeks, and actually willing to admit they actually haven’t viewed the prediction tape, I also tab Malcolm Marshall (SHW) and Branden Ray (LHW) to win their pro cards.
BUT, after seeing Daryl Gee, the 5’5”, 175-pound dynamo, dominate both the Middleweight and Overall at the LA this past weekend, I think Gee-Whiz is not only capable of beating the great Shavis Higa in what has become a terrific MW division, but can grab one of those pro cards as well.
By the way, Jerome (Hollywood) Ferguson looked really good in the ‘USA Posedown” at the LA on Saturday, as did Tamer (The Razor) El-Guindy and Pistol Pete Ciccone, so look for these fella’s to be among the first call-outs at the prejudging.
Regarding the women, just chatted with Isaac Hinds, and asked Hardbody (as in www.hardbody.com–check out his great site) what he thought about the inaugural Bikini division. He said to watch out for Amanda Latona, Monique Minton, Jamie Baird, Mandy Henderson and Kat Holmes, just to name a few. And, as we all (should) know by now, when Hinds talks women’s figure and bikini, listen very carefully.
Since I am teaching a late afternoon class at Pasadena City College this summer, I won’t be taking off for Sin City until Friday morning. Will be on the same flight as Yogi Avidan, actually. And, on the subject of Isaac and Yogi, “The Experts” will once again be doing a video wrap-up of the men’s finals on Saturday night, then will tell the world who will win the Sandow at the end of September in our always precise (well, at least mine are) Mr. Olympia predictions. I’m even bringing a towel again to protect myself (don’t get my drift? —then check out last year’s Mr. O predictions video under my name on the site).
‘Til we meet again—I’m out!