Well, as we all know by now, A.D. Cherry didn’t win the Overall at the USA. Ben White, the Muhammad Ali of bodybuilding, did. Check out this cat’s physique from both the contest pictures and my video interview with him the morning after his big victory.
Actually, Cherry only finished third in his class (won by DeShaun Grimez, who got the second pro card in at the show.) So, the Swami took a hit in Las Vegas.
Taylor, working the Kemistry booth at the Artemas Ham Auditorium, was the largest man in the house at 6’4″ and about 325 pounds, but displayed a physique far from the crispness he showed last year when he finished second only to Toney Freeman at the Ed and Betty Pariso promoted event. He swore to me “it’s just water.” For his sake, and the Swami’s, let’s hope so.
When I picked Taylor to win the show I didn’t know Silvio Samuel would be entering. Isaac Hinds tells me Silvio will be competing in the newly-formed 210 and under class; I bet Hinds a dinner that Samuel (and if you ever saw Lift Studios eat, you know this won’t be cheap) won’t be that light in Texas.
If I knew Samuel was competing, would I still have picked Taylor? Perhaps. I thought he looked terrific last year, his best ever look on a pro stage since winning the USA back in 2001, and he would dominate Samuel in the size department.
But the 6’4″ Taylor felt he was a tad too light (he says he was 305; I’ll give him 295) last year, and said he purposely put on more size to make sure the judges couldn’t say lightening struck twice. I say show up in the exact same condition, and the outcome would be nice.
Also, can Silvio keep the condition after competing several times earlier this year, starting with the IRON MAN Pro and running through the Colorado Pro the first weekend of June? Major props to him if he does show up in Dallas in spot on condition. And yes, if he does, it could result in his first pro win.
Admittedly everyone, including me, has left out one guy who just might be battling for top honors on Saturday. It’s Mild Bill Wilmore who, according to top NPC contender and fellow Floridian James “Broadway” Bivens, looked insane two weeks out. “I saw Bill in the gym, and he is the best he’s ever been,” said Bivens. “He was around 280 and thick as hell. He looked ready to step on stage right there.”
So, toss another name in the hat to see who’s top dog in Dallas. I talked to promoter Betty Pariso today and she said the final list of competitor’s hadn’t reached her fax machine as of yet, so check back for my next blog in a few to let you know how the line-up stands.
As Yogi Avidan from GetBig.com always says, “it will be interesting.”
I’ll finish by saying you should all keep an eye on another dark horse as well–Will Harris. He has been in great shape for two months now, and is ready to prove he belongs among the elite on a pro stage. Will could thrill in Dallas.