Wayne DeMilia has had his hands full in recent weeks. The widely publicized IFBB shakeup has been the source of industry-wide speculation. While most of the reports have come from less than credible sources, it is simply impossible to ignore the reality that changes appear to be on the horizon.
Pro Muscle Online and Bodybuilding.com have opted not to comment on these developmentsâ€¦ until all sides are heard from.
In the mean time, DeMilia is planning his annual New York City bodybuilding blowout. The 26th edition of the Night of Champions will get underway this weekend (May 22nd).
A Look At The Contenders
|Darrem Charles: After his victory in Orlando, Darrem was the first to admit that he was not at his best. Darrem indicated that some adjustments will be made to ensure a much harder physique. He explained "I'll be much sharper in New York. I was pleased to win the Orlando show, but I will be extremely prepared for the NOC. I'm saving my best for New York. I'll be ready."|
Others to keep an eye on include Craig Richardson, fresh off his Top 3 finish in Orlando. George Farah, Johnny Jackson and Mike Morris should also be considered dark horses to snag an "O" qualification. As a reminder, the Top 5 will secure a spot on the Olympia stage.
| Darrem Charles
| Nasser El Sonbaty
A Look Back At The Florida Xtreme Pro Challenge
When the 27 athletes walked on stage for pre-judging, one thing was loud and clear. The two Florida hometown boys were not about to let anyone else spoil their backyard party. Darrem Charles and Ahmad Haidar both journeyed to the inaugural Orlando Xtreme Pro show by car on less than a tank of gas.
It didn't take long to realize that the night belonged to the Sunshine State Sultans of Symmetry. Darrem showcased his classic chiseled condition, full muscle bellies, and masterful presentation. Meanwhile, Ahmad's physique might best be described as "breathtaking".
His abs are extraordinary and his lines are brilliant. But in the end, the judging panel awarded Darrem for his ability to achieve a slightly harder overall look. Specifically, Darrem's striated quads separated him from Ahmad enough to snag the victory.
For Darrem, the win was his 3rd professional conquest. He has now won a pro event in each of the past 3 years... but perhaps even more important for Darrem and his growing fan base, he proved once again that you don't have to be 275lbs to win on a pro stage.
Prior to pre-judging, I received a call from Dexter Jackson, who was in Pittsburgh for a guest appearance. Dexter was particularly interested in my feedback on a virtually unknown Craig Richardson.
Dexter was keeping close tabs on Richardson after helping him prepare for the show. Since earning his pro card at the 2000 NPC Nationals, Richardson finished 16th in his only prior professional event (2003 Night of Champions). In Orlando, Richardson snuck past the field and landed in the #3 spot. Yes folks, Craig Richardson is qualified for the Olympia.
A well conditioned Willie Stallings and a massive Art Atwood rounded out the top 5.
On Friday evening, I paid a visit to Craig Titus in his room prior to the athletes meeting. It looked as though he would be presenting something similar to what earned him a top 6 finish in Columbus.
Just 19 hours later, Craig stepped on stage at pre-judging holding a damaging layer of water that relegated him all the way down to the 7th position. It was Craig's 4th event of the year and it now appears that a 2004 Olympia qualification is out of reach.
Results - Top three qualify for the Olympia.
|16||Rodney St. Cloud||USA||74||78||152|
|18||Jose Alves Jorge||France||79||80||159|
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Until next time...