Trekked down to the Mecca on Monday, meeting 21-year-old wunderkind Anthony (Kid Kong) Pomponio for an 11 am interview to appear in a future issue of IRON MAN.
A year ago he was preparing for his senior season at Whittier College —where he went on to lead the Poets in rushing, averaging over 100 yards per game. Pomponio then began his bodybuilding career in 2009 at the San Diego Championships before winning the Middleweight class at the Max Muscle Naturals (yes, the kid says he’s 100% clean).
Then, in June, he was the star of stars at my Junior Cal with an Overall victory in the Collegiate division, and wins in the Unlimited and Novice Middleweight classes.
Anthony also made the two and a half hour drive from Palm Desert to work chest with Mike (Titan) O’Hearn and Jason Kozma. He told me he has benched 425, squatted 570 and has produced a 400 hang clean (at 5’7”, 185), so obviously I was more than curious to check on his veracity.
Although I ended up doing other video interviews, I did see the kid incline 365 (he says he lifted 385, but not sure if he had any assistance on that one… still impressive enough). He said, at the end of their hour-long session, he was exhausted…but still finished the power workout with 5 reps at 315 on the flat bench.
While I was watching the three amigos incline, I noticed out of the corner of my eye some short dude with giant, ripped wheels. Found out it was Pedro Barron, Mexico’s only male pro bodybuilder. Pedro is a 5’2”, 190-pound freak who was working with Charles Glass in prep for his first fling in the pro ranks at the Europa 202 and Under this weekend in Dallas, Texas.
Barron was training with Stan (The Man) McQuay, under Charles’ watchful eye; I congratulated Stan for two things: winning his pro debut in that division at the Jacksonville Pro two weeks ago, and getting revenge on me. See, I said Charles Dixon, not McQuay, should have won the Light Heavyweight division at the 2006 Nationals in Miami Beach, Florida.
Dixon got his pro card the following year, and this was the first time they renewed their battle; Stan spanked Dixon for some sweet revenge….at least against me.
Back to Barron. This cat is something else. I slightly remember him from last season’s North American Championships—he was second in the Middleweight division—and knew he was very good.
But, I didn’t know he was THIS good. Make sure to check out my video interview with him on the site; as I say, he may have, pound for pound, the best legs in the game. Well, how about among the best? In fact, the dude has more lumps on his hamstrings than Ricky Hatton has on his noggin after taking a beating from Manny Pacquiao in their May title fight. A clearer picture now?
Pedro had the whole gym in awe when he flexed his wheels of fortune; I had him show the camera his vastly improved upper body, too, and he said he’ll only be about 4-5 pounds lighter when he steps on stage in Texas.
I think he can land in the top 3. With David Henry and McQuay leading an outstanding line-up, that’s saying a mouthful. Stay tuned.