Despite being in the eighth inning stretch in preparation for this weekend’s North American Championships, Abbas Khatami was kind enough to make the hour and a half drive (LA traffic folks!) from his Irvine, California abode to Gold’s, Venice on Monday to film an interview with me.
Let me tell you, the Persian Missile looks really good…he’s weighing about 235 pounds (at 5’8”), and plans to be about 230 when he steps on the scale in Cleveland Friday prior to prejudging.
Khatami has had great success in his 15-year-career, but is still searching for that oh-so-hard-to-get pro card; he won the Overall at the ‘Cal a decade back, took his class at the NA two years ago, and was a highly disputed fourth in the Super Heavyweight division at the Nationals in 2007.
Abbas’ biggest problem? Bringing his upper body to the level of his incredible wheels, hams and calves. Yes, he even edged me in a calf down, but I think it’s because of the better tan. Check out the video and give me your honest evaluation.
Khatami says he’s confident he will bring the “complete” physique into Ohio this weekend, as he takes on the likes of Kirk DeFrancesco, Keith Williams and Chad Lacount, all considered co-favorites in the Gary Udit promoted affair.
Ran into former NPC star Dawn Riehl (pronounced Reel) as I was heading into the Mecca; Riehl told me she’s now divorced, and that she lives with her two sons in Costa Mesa, CA. Riehl, by the way, still has those unreal calves—and the guns don’t look too shabby. I asked her if there would be a comeback at 38. Nada, Dawn quickly responded. But, she remains in great shape.
Speaking of the Real Deal, the REAL deal, Chris Cormier, was in the house, training with Stan McQuay under the watchful eye of Charles Glass. Chris says he’s tipping the scales at 270, and is still planning to get back on stage at the IRON MAN in January. Cormier, who turned 42 last week (Flex Wheeler just turned 44; happy birthday wishes to both former USA champs), is anxious to prove he’s still got what it takes to be one of the major players in the game. Told me he’s leaving for Europe next week to train with Dorian Yates for a month or so.
I got Stan and Charles on tape—look for the video on this site soon—and asked why Stan the Man went from great at the Jacksonville Pro (won the 202 and under) to 8 at the Europa in the same class. Charles jumped in, said it was a “team effort”, that mistakes were made, and that those will be corrected by the time McQuay hits the stage at the Olympia 202 and Under a month from now. I’m hoping to get Stan into Michael Neveux’s studio prior to the Olympia—hell, the man with the classic lines has been on every magazine cover but IRON MAN–ain’t it about time?
Also ran into Sherlyn Roy, who was training a client but still took the time to show me her abs as she prepares for the Houston Pro this weekend in Texas. Sherlyn always looks hot to me. McQuay quickly agreed, by the way.
Sherlyn’s big, strong boyfriend, Mighty Mike O’Hearn was lifting some heavy iron, as usual, and told me he is starting a movie (will be on the set for three weeks) that features James Caan and Ving Rhames. Said he’d try to bring me down to the set as soon as he settles in. Will be waitin’, Titan.
‘Nuff for now. So, does Khatami win it in Cleveland?