2006 IFBB Masters Professional World Championship Preview!

The 2006 IFBB Masters Professional World Championships could be one of the most anticipated shows of the year and with many 'old-timers' getting into the mix you can expect an exciting show. Get the preview right here and see who is competing.
Later this fall, Ronnie Coleman will be battling it out with Jay Cutler again to hopefully set a record with nine Olympia titles.

This spring, however, an IFBB pro title is up for grabs in New York and many "old-timers" have thrown themselves into the gauntlet. Next to the Mr. Olympia, the IFBB Masters World Championships could be the most anticipated pro show of the year!


History & Rumours

The last IFBB Pro Masters competition was the 2003 Masters Mr. Olympia and was won by Claude Groulx. Fans like myself have been eagerly waiting for another Masters competition. Steve Weinberger stepped up and made that longing a reality by promoting the IFBB Masters World Championships on April 15, 2006.

The competitor list has been uncertain for months and, of course, rumors have run rampant with fans speculating on the message boards. Vince Taylor was said to have thrown his hat in the ring. Gary Strydom was rumored to make his comeback in New York, also. Thanks to Pro Bodybuilding Weekly, we all knew that Bob Cicherillo was going to compete!

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There could be no indecisiveness on his part, as his whole contest prep was broadcast on the Internet for the world to see. (And judging from that last episode of "War For The Worlds", Big Bob looks to be in good condition to battle it out for a possible first-place trophy.)

Vince Taylor, however, made it clear that he is not competing in the Masters World, and he plans on jumping over to the PDI. Strydom? Not on the list, but who knows...?


The Line-Up

This contest will have many quality athletes and a number of competitors I've never heard of before today. Here's the list of competitors scheduled to compete (how many do you recognize?):

  1. Alberto Bitocchi
  2. Claude Groulx
  3. Leon Brown
  4. Bob Cicherillo
  5. Pietro Gilberto
  6. Nicolae Giurgi
  7. Pavol Jablonicky
  8. Rusty Jeffers
  9. William Leonard
  10. David Marinelli
  11. Stan McCrary
  12. Joseph Palumbo
  13. Josef Rac
  14. Quincy Roberts
  15. Rudy Soliman
  16. Roberto Sabatini
  17. Behnam Samini
  18. Abdul Sharif
  19. John Simmons
  20. Daryl Stafford
  21. Johnny Stewart
  22. George Turmon
  23. Charles Urrego
  24. Massimo Valli
  25. Nathan Wonsley


Brief Bios

Leon Brown

    Leon Brown is still from the Pumping Iron era. His photos are in the book published in the early '70s. Although I don't see him as a major contender, it is indeed inspirational for all of us to see someone still competing on an IFBB stage through four decades!

What Does IFBB Stand For?
IFBB stands for the "International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness". Visit their official website at http://www.ifbb.com/.

Claude Groulx

Nathan Wonsley

    Nate Wonsley Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back, Nathan Wonsley, who received a pro card for his placing at the 2005 NPC Masters Nationals, made his pro debut at the 2006 Iron Man where he took 15th place.

    Nathan was a light-heavyweight when he won his class at the Masters Nationals but he weighed in at 220 lbs. at the Iron Man. He has a great physique with full muscle bellies and looks absolutely massive on stage.

Stan McCrary

    Stan McCrary won his pro card at the 1995 North American Championships where he won the heavyweight and overall title. Although he brings a lot of mass to the posing platform, Stan hasn't placed better than 9th in a pro competition.

Pavol Jablonicky

    Pavol Jablonicky Pavol Jablonicky has won three IFBB pro titles and always has that dry, grainy look all competitors are striving to obtain.

    He placed 11th at the 2004 Mr. Olympia and 7th at his last show, which was the 2005 Europa Supershow last fall.

Bob Cicherillo

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    I was recently looking at some old photos I had taken at the 1990 Nationals where Bob was in the light-heavyweight class. He took 5th, and standing on stage with him was the third-place finisher, Daryl Stafford, who is also scheduled to compete in this Masters World. I smell a rematch!

Rusty Jeffers

    Rusty Jeffers turned pro at the 2004 NPC Masters Nationals where he won the super-heavyweight class and the overall. When I think of Rusty Jeffers, I immediately think of the photo, which was taken in the late '80s or early '90s, where he's holding a sword in the Palm Springs desert and he has long hair and a mustache.

    The last time I saw him compete was at the 2005 Iron Man - he was sporting neither a mustache nor hair. He had a refreshing, classical posing style...

    Now that brought back memories of the olden days when bodybuilders hit more than most muscular shots and front double bicep poses. Jeffers placed 5th at the Olympia Wild Card and looks to be in great shape according to the photos posted on Milos' site.


Predictions

As far as predictions go, I think I'll need a crystal ball to get these placings correct. Lots of things need to be factored into Masters' contests. Metabolisms start to slow down and peaks are missed because of that. Motivation and drive is another factor.

Are all of these guys still hungry? (No, I don't mean hungry for food! That's a given when they're all starving themselves for weeks.) So, with all things being considered, Pavol has the most pro wins of the competitors, so I have to go with him to take the title. Here's how I see the top six:

  • 1st - Pavol Jablonicky
  • 2nd - Bob Cicherillo
  • 3rd - Claude Groulx
  • 4th - Rusty Jeffers
  • 5th - Nathan Wonsley
  • 6th - Stan McCrary

If you want to see for yourself, watch the webcast and see what the judges think. It should be a great show with a degree of unpredictability to make it really interesting!