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Swami Sez It’s Cherry Pickin’ Time at USA

Let’s cut to the chase. The Swami sez the USA Overall title is A.D. Cherry’s to lose at this weekend’s USA Championships in Las Vegas. And, that Peter Putnam could be the guy joining Cherry as a member of the pro ranks when the final results are announced on stage at the Artemus Ham Auditorium on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Cherry was third behind Michael Ergas and Lionel Brown in his division last year, went on Miami Beach for the Nationals four months later, where he was narrowly edged by Brown in a highly controversial decision.

The 5’10”, 225-pound Cherry, out of Modesto, California, has great shape and usually comes in outstanding condition; if he duplicates his look from last November, and doesn’t duplicate his purple, green, or blonde hairdo we’ve been accustomed to seeing in past National shows, it should be Cherry pickin’ time in Nevada.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge:

blt-070307-0669.jpgManny TorresDan DeckerRobert HatchA.D. Cherry

Putnam, paced by his wheels of fortune, took second in the Lightheavyweight class last year, and got a lot of press in the process. His legs are world class, no doubt; the upper body needs to be marketedly improved if he wants to move up one notch in his division–and to move out of the amateur ranks and join his wife, Jessica, as a member of the IFBB.

Cherry is an obvious choice for me in this one; Putnam is a much tougher selection. First of all, he must defeat local ace Manny Torres, another guy with a prime time lower body. Not to mention a probable long list of other possible title contenders, including Dan (Guns) Decker.

Superheavies Robert Hatch, Rodney Davis and Jerome (Hollywood Ferguson), third and fifth last year, won’t pay much attention to my selections, and will take dead aim on their class before they take dead aim on Cherry to battle for one of the two pro cards.

No offense to the smaller guys in the other classes, but the pro cards will come from the Supers, the Heavyweights or the Lightheavyweights.

Going to the show? Well, if you do, make sure to congratulate me on yet another accurate prediction. Of course, if I’m off, pretend you didn’t read this.

Go to my News & Views column in the August ’07 issue of IRON MAN to get more great pics of these guys.

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