2007 Iron Man Pre-Judging Review - Toney Freeman & The Callouts!

From the moment he stepped on the stage it was evident that the X-Man was heading towards a victory at the 2007 Iron Man! Let's take a look at the rest of the callouts and see how the others fared. Read on!

From the moment he stepped on the stage it was evident that the "X-Man" was heading towards a victory at the 2007 Iron Man. Toney Freeman was dialed in and displayed a dry physique with plenty of mass on his six-foot-two frame.

He was clearly the winner and the judges only needed to figure out the order for the rest of the guys, which wasn't going to be an easy task because of the similar conditioning of many of the athletes.


First Callout

The first callout of the morning had Freeman, Eddie Abbew, Mark Dugdale and Silvio Samuel. Right away this showed who the judges were considering for the top five placings (It isn't always the indicator of the final placings as I remember Gunter getting the first callout in the 2005 Olympia judging along with Coleman and Cutler and he didn't place third in that competition.).


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Abbew, Freeman, Dugdale & Samuel.
View More Pics From The 2007 Iron Man Prejudging Here.

Abbew looked massive and even bigger than Freeman in some poses. Dugdale looked like granite and was chiseled with deep separations in his quads.


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Abbew & Dugdale.
View More Pics From The 2007 Iron Man Prejudging Here.

Silvio Samuel's abs looked like they were covered only by a layer of shrink-wrapped cellophane instead of skin. Marcus Haley was in good condition and very dry.


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Samuel & Haley.
View More Pics From The 2007 Iron Man Prejudging Here.

The biggest surprise of the judging was David Henry's conditioning. He looked bigger and fuller than other contests, but he also looked smooth. That was unusual because Henry is always shredded with little striations feathering out from nearly every muscle group.


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David Henry.
View More Pics Of David Henry From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of David Henry From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of David Henry From The Press Conference Here.

At the conclusion of the judging I had him pegged for sixth or seventh. My son, Joshua, was bummed because he is a big fan of David Henry and was hoping he'd pull out a victory this year after his narrow defeat to Lee Priest last year. Henry was called out into the first callout lineup a little later. It might have been an oversight on account of the judges.


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Henry & Haley.
View More Pics From The 2007 Iron Man Prejudging Here.

Silvio Samuel was in great condition and the fans really liked him. His arms are huge, almost too big if that's possible. As I was analyzing his physique I came to the conclusion that his delts were too small. It wasn't that his arms were too big (That proves at least part of Bob C's pearl of wisdom where he stated that you can never have too much money and your arms can never be too big.).


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Silvio Samuel.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel From Finals Here.

Samuel's delts are clearly developed and have great separation where they tie in with his arms, but the actual delts could stand to be bigger. They look like little cantaloupes covering his shoulder joints and I guess they should be big cantaloupes (maybe even honeydews!) to help his proportions and v-taper. His conditioning was tremendous, but I thought Silvio should have around fifth place and grab one of the Olympia-qualifying spots.


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Silvio Samuel.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel From Finals Here.


Second Callout

Omar Deckard made his pro debut and was in the second callout. Ahmad Haidar, Hidetada Yamagishi and Joel Stubbs walked up and joined Deckard for the second group to be judged together. Omar Deckard looked confident and was in good condition for his first pro show.


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Deckard, Haidar, Yamagishi & Stubbs.
View More Pics From The 2007 Iron Man Prejudging Here.

He hadn't made the mistake of trying to put on a quick 25 pounds to try and make the jump into the pro ranks. At his already unbelievable size he still looks a little lanky and needs fill out a little more. Give him a couple more years and he'll be placing in the top five.


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Omar Deckard.
View More Pics Of Omar Deckard From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Omar Deckard From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Omar Deckard From The Press Conference Here.

Hidetada, who was really dialed in this year, had an entire row for his cheering section. They were waving Japanese flags and hooting it up with Japanese commentary. It was quite comical and everyone got a good laugh out of it.

Abzilla, aka Ahmad Haidar, was in great shape and very dry. He looked the best I've seen him in a long time. His midsection, as always, was second to none. He could stand to put on some more size according to today's judging standards, but aesthetically speaking, he's about perfect.


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Ahmad Haidar.
View More Pics Of Ahmad Haidar From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Ahmad Haidar From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Ahmad Haidar From The Press Conference Here.

Joel Stubbs was huge and imposing just standing there. His back is unreal. I have to agree with Flex Wheeler when he said, "Stubbs has the best back in bodybuilding." If he brings up his thighs and calves, no one will beat this airline pilot when he spreads his wings.


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Joel Stubbs.
View More Pics Of Joel Stubbs From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Joel Stubbs From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Joel Stubbs From The Press Conference Here.


The Rest Of The Pack

The rest of the prejudging continued to sort out the rest of the 16 competitors. I was looking forward to seeing Frank McRath, Sergey Shelestov and Rusty Jeffers. McRath was huge in the upper body but his legs looked a little thin in comparison and he was smooth. He didn't look like he was feeling very well either.

Shelestov, the big Russian, was not as dry as he needed to be in order to place higher. Rusty Jeffers has a great physique - He's aesthetic, balanced, well proportioned and athletic looking, but according to today's judging standards, his legs are thin and soft, especially from the back.


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Rusty Jeffers.
View More Pics Of Rusty Jeffers From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Rusty Jeffers From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Rusty Jeffers From The Press Conference Here.


Conclusion

The general consensus felt that there weren't enough comparisons. With an Olympia bid up for grabs there should have been more comparisons of the guys who were battling it out for the fourth and fifth spots.

I talked with Mike Ergas at the Expo afterwards and he said many people he had spoken to also felt that way. Not enough comparisons had been a complaint at the Mr. Olympia for some time. Personally, I don't think the endless comparisons are necessary.

I didn't think it was necessary at the Iron Man either. It was clear who were the top six or seven and which five guys were getting the Olympia spots. It was a little harder picking the rest of the top ten, but they were out of the money spots anyway.

RELATED POLL
Were There Enough Comparisons During The Prejudging Of The 2007 Iron Man?

Yes.
No.
Not Sure.

The judges were satisfied after about an hour and a half. They had seen enough to make their decisions and I was confident that the first callout revealed the top five, but I'd have to wait until the finals show that night to see if I was right. Until then, I had to eat, check out the FitExpo, enjoy the absolutely perfect weather of Pasadena and then eat again.