Myron Mielke's 2009 New York Pro Preview!

The 2009 New York Pro is just days away and there is not a clear-cut winner predicted. Silvio might be the favorite in the lineup, but this show is up for grabs and it's going to be a race to the finish to see who comes out on top.

The 2009 New York Pro is just days away and there is not a clear-cut winner predicted. Silvio might be the favorite in the lineup, but this show is up for grabs and it's going to be a race to the finish to see who comes out on top.

dot Competitor's List: dot

dot Markus Ruhl: dot

    Markus Ruhl won the Night of Champions in 2002. The name of the competition was changed to the New York Pro because Wayne Demilia started the PDI back in 2006 and he owned the rights to the name Night of Champions. So suffice it to say that Markus wants his title back - even if it has a different name these days!

    Ruhl gave notice of his retirement following the 2007 Mr. Olympia. He was ready to move on with other things in life and concentrate on areas in life besides competitive pro bodybuilding. What happened? Why is he coming back? He changed his mind…

    One interesting tidbit about Markus is how big he looked at the 2004 Mr. Olympia. I was sitting in the nosebleed section of the Mandalay Bay during the judging.


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Markus Ruhl At The 2007 IFBB Olympia.
Markus Ruhl At The 2007 IFBB Olympia.

    Without the big screens, the competitors looked pretty darn small - except for Markus Ruhl. He still looked big. His bicep peaks were visible from several hundred feet away. No one else in that show had biceps like that - not even that Coleman guy.

dot Evan Centopani: dot

    Evan Centopani is ready to make his first pro show his first pro win. He got up to 315 pounds before he started his pre-contest diet of 18 weeks. He'll most likely come in near 260 in shredded condition.

    And speaking of his condition, we will undoubtedly see a new look of conditioning combined with more fullness. Shortly after the Arnold Classic, Evan changed gurus and made the decision to go with Kai Greene's trainer, Oscar Arden instead of Dave Palumbo who was in Evan's corner when he turned pro.

    Evan has assured everyone his decision was a career choice and had nothing to do with the fallout between Muscular Development and RxMuscle.

Evan Centopani Evan Centopani
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Evan Centopani At The 2007 NPC National Championships.
Evan Centopani At The 2007 NPC National Championships.

    Palumbo had Evan following a keto diet, which is pretty much zero carbs. Evan was shredded at the Junior Nationals and Nationals, but he wasn't as full as he thought he should be and basically felt he needed carbs to fill out more. Oscar certainly has done a remarkable job with Kai Greene so we'll find out in a few days how he fares with Evan.

dot Silvio Samuel: dot

    Silvio Samuel is back and hungry for another win, despite announcing he was finished with pro competitions after the Arnold Classic.

    Yeah, post-competition interviews can be really interesting and should be taken with a grain of salt. When guys haven't eaten carbs in weeks, you never know what they might say!

Silvio Samuel Silvio Samuel
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Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Australia Pro Grand Prix IX.
Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Australia Pro Grand Prix IX.

dot Dennis James: dot

    Dennis James returns to the pro stage after a disappointing finish at the Arnold classic a two months ago. He was in great condition a few weeks before the show and then got sick leading up to the competition and didn't place as well as he had hoped.

    I suspected something was up because he looked very tired in the pump room at the Arnold Classic. With some rest and recuperation, James should be looking for a top-five at the New York Pro.

Dennis James Dennis James
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Dennis James At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
Dennis James At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.

dot Darrem Charles: dot

    Darrem Charles is looking to keep his eight-year win streak alive. He'd like to make it nine years straight. He was hoping to gain that win at the Europa last month, but Troy Alves foiled Darrem's plans for another win.

    Charles never can be counted out in any of the smaller shows he enters. He always has the potential to squeak by with another win.

Darrem Charles Darrem Charles
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Darrem Charles At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
Darrem Charles At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.

dot Predictions: dot

    Although Silvio will be peeled as usual, he won't have the size. I'm going to predict that Evan will put it all together for his first show. I'm predicting a win for the big guy from Connecticut.

    Here is who I think will be the top five:

    1. Evan Centopani
    2. Silvio Samuel
    3. Dennis James
    4. Markus Ruhl
    5. Darrem Charles

dot
202lb & Under Class
dot

dot The Competitor's List: dot

  1. Jason Arntz
  2. Giles Bellehumeur
  3. Ed Correa
  4. Mark Dugdale
  5. Kevin English
  6. David Henry
  7. Vinny Galanti
  8. Fakhri Mubarak
  9. Jose Raymond

dot David Henry: dot

    If David Henry is in the 202 Class, he will most likely win if his conditioning is on spot. The reason I say "if" he's in the class is because I saw him at the Arnold Classic Expo and then chatted with him the next day at the Columbus airport while we were waiting for our planes.

    He looked much bigger than when I saw him in September and because of his size, I was skeptical if he was staying in the 202 Class. He assured me he was staying with the 202. Even though he was just beginning his prep, I still thought he looked too big for the 202 Class.

David Henry David Henry
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David Henry At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.
David Henry At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.

dot Jose Raymond: dot

    The pro debut of Jose Raymond is a highlight of the 202 show. I thought years ago that Jose Raymond's brother, Tito, would be the one standing on a pro stage, but it would be Jose who would go on to win several weight classes at National level shows.

    He had held off with the pro card until the introduction of the 202 Class. Jose felt he could be competitive with guys that were more his size.

    According to Ron Harris, Jose got up to 260 pounds in the offseason and it wasn't a hard 260. I saw some guestposing photos of Raymond from a few weeks ago and he definitely has added some size, but whether or not he can dial it in with his excellent conditioning, is still to be revealed on May 16.

Jose Raymond Jose Raymond
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Jose Raymond At The 2007 NPC National Championships.
Jose Raymond At The 2007 NPC National Championships.

dot Fakhri Mubarak: dot

    Fakhri Mubarak makes his return to the IFBB stage after an absence of several years. He gained his pro card at the USAs in 2005. The other guy grabbing a pro card at that event was some guy by the name of Phil Heath.

    Mubarak jumped right into pro competition in the fall of 2005, but hasn't competed since. He has great shape and should do well in the 202 Class.

dot Ed Correa: dot

    Ed Correa burst onto the scene a couple weeks ago in Pittsburgh when he won his pro debut there. He is HUGE! About his only weakness at that show was his coloring for the morning judging and he fixed that by the finals. I'll have to say I'm looking forward to seeing what this guy looks like on a stage with decent lighting.

    The Pittsburgh Pro had the worst lighting I've ever seen for a bodybuilding competition. I'm sure Correa will look even better in New York with good lighting and will give David Henry a run for the money.

Ed Correa Ed Correa
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Ed Correa At The 2009 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro.
Ed Correa At The 2009 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro.

dot Mark Dugdale: dot

    Mark Dugdale is back again after placing second to Correa in Pittsburgh. Many thought Dugdale was the man to beat in Pittsburgh, but Correa came out of nowhere and Mark had to settle for second.

    Dugdale's conditioning was very good, but it was hard to tell how good it was due to the lighting. Regardless, the decision for Dugdale to drop down to the 202 Class was a good one.

Mark Dugdale Mark Dugdale
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Mark Dugdale At The 2009 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro.
Mark Dugdale At The 2009 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro.

dot Kevin English: dot

    Kevin English won this show last year and went on to place second in the open division. He won't be able to do that this year because there are no crossovers allowed this year. All I can say is that it will be very interesting to see how English stacks up with Henry and Correa.

Kevin English Kevin English
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Kevin English At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.
Kevin English At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.

dot Predictions: dot

    Here's how I see the top five in the 202 Class:

    1. David Henry
    2. Ed Correa
    3. Fakhri Mubarak
    4. Mark Dugdale
    5. Kevin English