Bring It On! The Bodybuilding World Is In A New York State Of Muscle This Weekend!

The 2011 IFBB New York Pro: The Official Bodybuilding.com Preview

Bring It On! The Bodybuilding World Is In A New York State Of Muscle This Weekend!

With more quality beef than a Texas cattle ranch--32 competitors compared to 2010's lineup of 26--this year's IFBB New York Pro show (both the men's 202-pound and open categories) promises to be one of pro bodybuilding's more heavily contested events for 2011.

Several competitors will be testing the pro waters for the first time: Robert Burneika, Jason Huh, Dave Watson, Jason Joseph, and Marvin Ward. A fair few veteran competitors are returning to the stage after several years' absence.

The result: a battle between those seeking to establish themselves, and a league of wily warriors with experience to burn.

Mind you, those aren't the names selling tickets. The well-publicized champions that fans will be coming to see really need no introduction, but the implications of their inclusion certainly merit some discussion.

This will be a battle between those seeking to establish themselves, and a league of wily warriors with experience to burn
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This will be a battle between those seeking to establish themselves, and a league of wily warriors with experience to burn.

First of all, in the open class, we have defending champ Roelly Winklaar, a veritable walking butchers shop, so massive is his physique. His battle against favorite Kai Greene and expected frontrunner Ronny Rockel will have the audience on the edge of their seats.

Then we have the potentially great Jason Huh and Brandon Curry, both of whom are expected to land within the open men's top six. If that wasn't enough, there are the always-dangerous Michael Kefalianos and Ben White seeking further pro honors.

Also, making his pro debut, Robert Burneika, of whom much is expected, certainly has the size, but does he have the class to match the stellar lineup of talent awaiting him come May 28, is the question.

The men's 202-pound category will showcase 2010 New York Pro runner up Jose Raymond as he seeks to snatch his first win of the season. He will first, however, need to overcome a much-improved Flex Lewis, as the Welshman aims for his second pro win of the year. Making it difficult for both men will be the dangerous Lou Joseph, in only his second pro show.

In the following review, all 32 New York Pro athletes will be assessed on their individual merits and where they may land in the final placements.

Men's open class top 10 predictions


10th place: Robert Burneika

Fresh off his 2011 NPC National Championships super-heavyweight and overall win, the gigantic Robert Burneika is expected to arrive with all guns blazing as he challenges for his first pro title.

As well as possessing some of the largest arms ever seen on a rookie pro, Burneika carries astonishing levels of super thick muscle on every square inch of his 5' 9" frame.

Seemingly tailor-made for the big leagues, he will certainly impress with his size, and should he nail his conditioning will provide a definite threat for those seeking top ten glory.

Robert Burneika At The 2010 National Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships. Robert Burneika At The 2010 National Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships.
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Robert Burneika at the 2010 National Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships.
View more pics of Robert Burneika at the 2010 National Bodybuilding, Figure & Bikini Championships.


9th place: Grigori Atoyan

Not the prettiest physique on the planet, Atoyan nevertheless brings a certain mass appeal that has seen him make the top ten in his last seven professional outings.

With massive, flaring thighs and-when he is on-some of the crispest conditioning around, the 2009 NPC USA champion is always in the hunt for medal contention. He does, however, appear either to over-diet and compete below his size potential or miss his peak and arrive soft and watery looking, rather than hard and cut.

If Atoyan can perfect his prep to achieve the best of both worlds he may surprise.

Grigori Atoyan At The 2011 Flex Pro Show. Grigori Atoyan At The 2011 Flex Pro Show.
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Grigori Atoyan at the 2011 Flex Pro Show.
View more pics of Grigori Atoyan at the 2011 Flex Pro Show.


8th place: Craig Richardson

One of the more underrated competitors on today's IFBB pro circuit, Richardson, who placed fifth in his last New York Pro (in 2008), routinely trods the stage with a well-balanced, no-frills physique with a tiny waist and excellent conditioning.

The New Jersey personal trainer is best known for his remarkable thigh sweep, bulging biceps development, and entertaining stage presence.

Should he unveil an improved package this time around, the eight-year pro veteran may even break the top six in this formidable NY Pro lineup.

Craig Richardson At The 2010 Olympia. Craig Richardson At The 2010 Olympia.
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Craig Richardson at the 2010 Olympia.
View more pics of Craig Richardson at the 2010 Olympia.


7th place: Jason Huh

Unlike Richardson, newcomer Jason Huh possesses the wow factor by virtue of the sheer degree of mass he carries on his 5'9" physique.

Adding to the effect is the assemblage of freaky body parts- most notably, legs, arms and shoulders-he is able to present without obscuring his excellent lines and phenomenal balance.

Touted as being one of the next big pro bodybuilding stars, the 2010 NPC USA super-heavyweight and overall winner will look to make the 2011 New York Pro his statement of intent. The statement? "I'm here to kick your ass."

There will be few that can match him in the mass department and, with the exclusion of Branch Warren and Ben Pakulski from this lineup, even fewer with leg mass to rival pro bodybuilding's newest sensation. Look for Huh to challenge for the top six.

Jason Huh At The 2010 USA Championships. Jason Huh At The 2010 USA Championships.
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Jason Huh at the 2010 USA Championships.
View more pics of Jason Huh at the 2010 USA Championships.


6th place: Brandon Curry

Proving the adage that one should not believe the hype, heavyweight and overall 2010 NPC USA victor Brandon Curry has failed to live up to the lofty expectations many in the bodybuilding world had of him.

In respectively placing sixth and eighth in his first two pro show outings-the 2010 Pro bodybuilding Weekly Championships and the 2010 Europa Supershow-Curry was less-than-impressive in both conditioning and overall muscle size. Back to the drawing board he went in preparation for what will hopefully be a showing that catapults him to eventual stardom.

When he hits his mark, as he did when turning pro, Curry's near-perfect symmetry and proportions are evident; however, he is now in the big leagues. With a little more lower-body mass and improved conditioning, he could upset the top order at this year's New York Pro.

Perhaps he will then fulfill his vast potential.

Brandon Curry At The 2010 Europa Super Show. Brandon Curry At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Brandon Curry at the 2010 Europa Super Show.
View more pics of Brandon Curry at the 2010 Europa Super Show.


5th place: Ben White

The yearly improvements Ben "Show Stopper" White has made to his thick, shredded physique have secured him respectable placements in his last three pro show appearances.

Beginning a stellar 2010 with a big win at the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships, White has not been able to capitalize this success so far this year. However, he does have incentive enough to prove the doubters wrong at the upcoming New York Pro: the show is held in his backyard and he has, as his personality and pre competition stratagem dictates, been announcing his intentions to beat the best.

Let's hope for him that his colorful personality and champions will to win can be translated into top-six success.

Ben White At The 2011 Flex Pro Show. Ben White At The 2011 Flex Pro Show.
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Ben White at the 2011 Flex Pro Show.
View more pics of Ben White at the 2011 Flex Pro Show.


4th place: Michael Kefalianos

The durable Greek taxi driver Kefalianos will be hoping to put the red light to his opponents' efforts at this year's New York Pro, as he continues to plough his way through the pro ranks en route to Olympia success.

With his improbably shredded conditioning highlighting some of the freakiest development in the pro ranks today, including Christmas tree lower back definition which defies description, Kefalianos is on a current roll through the division, his eight top six placements since early 2010 proving his consistency as a competitor.

With a recent fifth place finish amidst formidable company at the IFBB FIBO Power Pro in Germany, Kefalianos presented perhaps his best shape yet. If he can repeat, or better still, improve on such a look then there is little doubt he will challenge for the top spots come May 28.

Michael Kefalianos At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany. Michael Kefalianos At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
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Michael Kefalianos at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
View more pics of Michael Kefalianos at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.


3rd place: Roelly Winklaar

In placing top three at his last three pro shows and seventh in his first Arnold Classic foray in 2010, Roelly Winklaar has proven his top-tier potential and is now ready to make his mark with another career defining pro win (his first came at last year's New York Pro).

With the New York Pro lineup stacked more than ever with top-line competition, he will have his work cut out for him. But should he arrive in his best shape, and either of the likely winners miss-time their peak by the slimmest of margins, he will have taken a massive step toward eventual Olympia success.

With respectable balance and gargantuan mass caped off with the thickest triceps in the game today, all Winklaar really needs to do to claim pro victory is to arrive freaky shredded.

Roelly Winklaar At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany. Roelly Winklaar At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
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Roelly Winklaar at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
View more pics of Roelly Winklaar at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.


2nd place: Ronny Rockel

With the best combination of mass and aesthetics on today's pro bodybuilding stage, Ronny Rockel is as likely to be seen outside of any top-six lineup as Amy Winehouse is to be seen ordering her drink from a lemonade stand any time soon.

With many years of relegation to the minor placements based on a comparative lack of extreme size and a failure to really hit his conditioning, Rockel appeared to be resigned to second-tier status.

Fortunately, he hung in there and had faith in his abilities. Now, with added size and improved conditioning without any loss of balance, he is being justly rewarded for his continued evolvement.

The question is: Can he topple the mighty Kai Greene to win his third pro victory?

Ronny Rockel At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany. Ronny Rockel At The 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
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Ronny Rockel at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.
View more pics of Ronny Rockel at the 2011 FIBO Power Pro Germany.


Open Men's winner: Kai Greene

Ever since his disappointing seventh place finish at the 2010 Mr. Olympia, much speculation has centered on whether Kai Greene will ever truly claim his place as the world's best bodybuilder.

As winner of two Arnold Classic titles and fourth-place finalist at the 2009 Olympia, he certainly has the credentials to go all the way. The 2011 New York Pro will, in a sense, be his comeback show; a contest in which he will, should he win, show he is still in the hunt for that so far elusive Sandow trophy.

With all the size in the world, supported by an excellent structure and exceptional posing and presentation skills, Green is the hot favorite to win the 2011 New York Pro.

All of us fans are just waiting to see the improvements he has made since last September.

Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International. Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
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Kai Greene at the 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
View more pics of Kai Greene at the 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.


The rest of the field

Khalid Almohsinawi

Competing as a pro since 2007, the 2004 NABBA Mr. Universe Almohsinawi has hit the pro stage ten times, each time showing steady improvements culminating in an impressive sixth place finish at the 2011 IFBB Europa Show of Champions where he presented an evenly balanced physique with more than enough muscle size.

If he can improve his conditioning he may be a dark horse going into this year's New York Pro.

Khalid Almohsinawi At The 2009 Sacramento. Khalid Almohsinawi At The 2009 Sacramento.
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Khalid Almohsinawi at the 2009 Sacramento.
View more pics of Khalid Almohsinawi at the 2009 Sacramento.


Ken Jones

A 13-year pro bodybuilding workhorse, 1996 NPC Nationals bantamweight champions Ken Jones is still throwing down with the world's best professional athletes.

Many spectators are left wondering why. Marred with the distinction of placing outside of the top ten in all 34 pro shows he has entered (with the exception of the 2008 Houston Pro, in which he placed sixth in a field of six competitors), Jones continues on and appears to thoroughly enjoy posing down in the world's biggest bodybuilding events whilst being routinely trounced by vastly superior competitors.

An entertaining poser, he is, however, too small for the pro ranks and usually lacks the conditioning needed to take on the big boys.

Lionel Beyeke

In placing a well-deserved sixth at the 2010 Phoenix Pro, Lionel Beyeke took the scalps of several notable pro contenders, namely Johnnie Jackson and Michael Liberatore.

Although he was in less-than-stellar form at this contest, he did show excellent symmetry and proportion and enough size to hang with the pro elite.

Should he improve on his last pro outing, Beyeke, like Almohsinawi, may break through to the top ten at this year's New York Pro.

Lionel Beyeke At The 2010 Phoenix Pro. Lionel Beyeke At The 2010 Phoenix Pro.
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Lionel Beyeke at the 2010 Phoenix Pro.
View more pics of Lionel Beyeke at the 2010 Phoenix Pro.


Raul Carrasco-Jimenez

By beating out 11 other competitors to take fourth in the 202-pound class at the 2011 British Grand Prix, Raul Carrasco-Jimenez proved that he is capable of attaining a super-shredded appearance and displaying nice lines and pleasing symmetry.

However, in stepping up into the open division he's likely to get lost in the shuffle.

Raul Carrasco-Jimenez At The 2011 British Grand Prix. Raul Carrasco-Jimenez At The 2011 British Grand Prix.
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Raul Carrasco-Jimenez at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
View more pics of Raul Carrasco-Jimenez at the 2011 British Grand Prix.


Milton Holloway, Jr.

The 1995 NPC Team Universe light heavyweight second-place finisher Milton Holloway, Jr., has good basic symmetry. In placing ninth in the 2010 New York Pro 202-pound category, he also showed that he can nail his conditioning.

However, size, or lack thereof, appears to be an issue for him, at least when compared alongside the giants of the game. But he has had almost a year to bring up his mass; should he have accomplished this mission, he will be an impressive sight, but still no match for Kai and company.

Pavol Jablonicky

Now here is a true bodybuilding veteran, a champion who competed in his first pro contest (the 1989 Mr. Olympia) when many of his current professional brethren were still learning to walk, much less pumping out endless sets of biceps curls.

With three pro victories and countless top ten placements to his name, Jablonicky is a bodybuilding legend who can be counted on to bring an impressive, ripped physique to each of his competitive forays.

Massive arms and back development and shredded conditioning are signature strengths of his, as is, of course, his ability to endure, as exemplified by his longevity in the sport.

However, in placing 15th at his last show - the 2009 Sacramento Pro - Jablonicky, though still looking very good, showed an uncharacteristic drop in form. At this year's New York Pro he is unlikely to fare much better.

Pavol Jablonicky At The 2009 Sacramento. Pavol Jablonicky At The 2009 Sacramento.
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Pavol Jablonicky at the 2009 Sacramento.
View more pics of Pavol Jablonicky at the 2009 Sacramento.


Yans Salaks

Landing in 16th spot in his last event - the 2009 Europa Supershow - Yans Salaks was simply outclassed and outmassed. Not being remotely close to competition shape did not aid his chances. But that was then.

With a good, basic structure and a small waistline, additional mass - especially in the chest and shoulders - will bump him up a few notches, but a top ten placement would be a big ask.

Yans Salaks At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo. Yans Salaks At The 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
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Yans Salaks at the 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.
View more pics of Yans Salaks at the 2009 Europa Super Show & Supplement Expo.


David Watson

A long time competitor with 30 years of training experience under his belt, Dave Watson, at age 45, finally earned his pro card at the 2010 NPC Master's Nationals.

A great set of wheels and ultra wide back and boulder shoulders characterize the Watson physique. Let's see if he can use his strengths to his advantage as he seeks to make a major splash in his pro debut.


Men's 202 pound class top six


6th place: Jason Joseph

Rookie pro and 2010 NPC USA middleweight champion Jason Joseph is shaping to be one of the premier 202-pound bodybuilders in the division today.

In trouncing a field of 20 amateur rivals to win the USA's, Joseph was cut and covered from head to toe in quality grade-A muscle. With a physique reminiscent of 202 great Tricky Jackson, only with more muscle mass, look for New York native Joseph to turn up the heat on his competition in his first pro outing.

Jason Joseph At The 2010 USA Championships. Jason Joseph At The 2010 USA Championships.
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Jason Joseph at the 2010 USA Championships.
View more pics of Jason Joseph at the 2010 USA Championships.


5th place: Clarence De Vis

In placing seventh in his last pro event - the 2010 Europa Supershow - Clarence De Vis was not marked down for any lack of muscle mass: he was stacked from head to toe with quality beef.

It was his conditioning that let him down on this occasion. Known for his massive off-season size gains, when he enters stage right De Vis is one of the more impressive 202-pounders.

With a muscular fullness seldom seen, except among the very elite of the division, De Vis will impress come the May 28.

Clarence De Vis At The 2010 Europa Super Show. Clarence De Vis At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Clarence De Vis at the 2010 Europa Super Show.
View more pics of Clarence De Vis at the 2010 Europa Super Show.


4th place: Vincent Galanti

One of the '90s more promising amateur talents, Vince Galanti did not, however, turn pro until 2007. Since then he has only competed once professionally: snatching sixth in the Sacramento Pro 202-pound division.

Respected for his great symmetry and for possessing some of the biggest calves in his weight class, Galanti, a popular competitor with a large fan base, is always in the mix.

He will be looking to make his second entrance into elite level bodybuilding a profitable one; this is likely to mean top six for the New Jersey native.

Vince Galanti At The 2010 Sacramento Pro. Vince Galanti At The 2010 Sacramento Pro.
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Vince Galanti at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.
View more pics of Vince Galanti at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.


3rd place: Lou Joseph

Here is a man who could, given the amount of freaky size he has and the shape in which he routinely competes, quite easily break into the top three at any 202-pound event.

With few physique flaws, phenomenal presentation skills and mass to belie his onstage bodyweight, Joseph, should he bring it all together at his second New York Pro outing (in 2010 he placed 8th in his first, which was also his pro debut), he should not only impress onlookers, but secure a respectable placing.

2nd place: Jose Raymond

Among the top three 202-pound competitors currently competing, Jose Raymond, winner of two pro events (the 2010 Europa Battle of Champions and Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships), will be gunning for no less than victory at this year's New York Pro.

Compact, freaky huge and ripped to the bone Raymond, at his best, is unstoppable. However, when he loses even the slightest edge in muscularity he tends to look blocky and at his height of 5'5" this is not a good thing, especially given he doesn't exactly have the smallest waistline in his division.

Should he perfect his pre comp prep while maintaining the muscular fullness for which he is famous, Raymond will make the night a long one for James 'Flex' Lewis.

Jose Raymond At The 2010 Sacramento Pro. Jose Raymond At The 2010 Sacramento Pro.
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Jose Raymond at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.
View more pics of Jose Raymond at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.


Men's 202-pound class winner: James 'Flex' Lewis

In part through adopting a new training strategy - a greater focus on form over weight - Flex Lewis has managed, in 2010, his best pro year yet, snagging the second pro win of his career at the British Grand Prix and presenting a physique light years removed from the one that earned him an impressive second at his first pro event - the Tampa Bay Pro - in 2008.

With additional size in all muscle groups, a vastly improved back and the same unbeatable leg development, Lewis has, with his enhanced conditioning, proven to be a breakthrough athlete for 2010.

With a big win at the New York Pro he will cement his spot as one to beat at September's Olympia showdown.

James Flex Lewis At The 2011 British Grand Prix. James Flex Lewis At The 2011 British Grand Prix.
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James Flex Lewis at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
View more pics of James Flex Lewis at the 2011 British Grand Prix.


The rest of the field

Marvin Ward

Another rookie pro with the potential to go all the way, 2008 NPC Nationals lightweight champion Marvin "The Giant Killer" Ward, is set to make his long-awaited pro debut.

At 5'2" and with a physique as complete as will be found anywhere in the 202-pound division, big things are expected of Ward. Beginning his bodybuilding career in 1990, he has, since then, placed highly in amateur shows, in the process revealing a physique which, compact and full, defies its actual physical dimensions.

If he can perfect his conditioning and prove that the last three years have been spent in the training trenches, then he may surprise many with a placing well inside the top six.

Marvin Ward At The 2008 National Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.
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Marvin Ward at the 2008 National Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.
View more pics of Marvin Ward at the 2008 National Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.


Ivory 'Papoose' Turner

A movie and television actor and model, Ivory 'Papoose' Turner last competed in the big leagues at the now-defunct 2002 Ironman Pro. A regular winner of 'best poser' awards, Turner is known for his presentational abilities.

But that isn't the only possible advantage he has coming into the New York Pro after an extended hiatus from pro competition: his physique is balanced, and when his conditioning is on his razor sharp detail highlights full muscle development.

Luc Molines

With his great size and shape, along with near-perfect conditioning, Luc Molines captured third place in the 2010 Europa Show of Champions 202-pound division.

Now he is set to go one, or two, better as he looks to reign supreme at the 2011 New York Pro. What is especially notably about Molines physique is that nothing really jumps out at you, a sign of good muscle balance, yet another advantage he has.

Luc Molines At The 2010 Olympia. Luc Molines At The 2010 Olympia.
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Luc Molines at the 2010 Olympia.
View more pics of Luc Molines at the 2010 Olympia.


John Arendsz

Judging by his most recent placement - 8th at the 2010 Jacksonville Pro - John Arendsz is one to watch for in future 202-pound events.

With massive guns that would not look out of place on a competitor many pounds heavier and thick back and chest development that is right up there with the best in his division, Arendsz appears only to falter in calf and waist development, the former too narrow and the latter blocky in comparison to the overall width of his physique.

John Arendsz At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships. John Arendsz At The 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
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John Arendsz at the 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.
View more pics of John Arendsz at the 2010 New York Pro Bodybuilding & Bikini Championships.


Pierre Chamoun

Not appearing to possess the sheer quality of Arendsz (his shredded, detailed development), Pierre Chamoun does however have a great deal more overall mass and better leg and waist development, qualities that no doubt had him ahead of Arendsz at the 2010 Jacksonville by one placement.

Rounding off 2010 with 9th place at the Europa Supershow showed that, while he does have an impressive physique and a lot of size for his stature, Chamoun is far from a top contender in this class.

Pierre Chamoun At The 2010 Europa Super Show. Pierre Chamoun At The 2010 Europa Super Show.
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Pierre Chamoun at the 2010 Europa Super Show.
View more pics of Pierre Chamoun at the 2010 Europa Super Show.


Parenthesis Devers

Another bodybuilding veteran who began his journey at the 1996 NPC Nationals, where he placed 10th, Parenthesis Devers, who finally turned pro at the 2010 North American Championships, got off to a flying start with his 5th place finish at the John Simmons Classic that same year.

Dropping back to 10th at the 2010 Sacramento Pro, Devers arrived at this contest in what could only be described as smooth conditioning. A shame really, since he does have an outstanding physique, complete with wide, flaring thighs and an impressive set of ripped abs (when he is on).

Let's see if he can redeem himself at the 2011 New York Pro and punctuate his current pro run with a top six finish.

Parenthesis Devers At The 2010 Sacramento Pro. Parenthesis Devers At The 2010 Sacramento Pro.
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Parenthesis Devers at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.
View more pics of Parenthesis Devers at the 2010 Sacramento Pro.


Mirko Petrovski

In failing to place at this year's British Grand Prix, Mirko Petrovski did not have the auspicious beginning to 2011 he would have wanted.

Instead, he came in smooth and lacking the kind of impact needed to gain attention on any IFBB pro stage. One expects he will again be relegated to the minors placements at this weekend's New York Pro.

Mirko Petrovski At The 2011 British Grand Prix. Mirko Petrovski At The 2011 British Grand Prix.
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Mirko Petrovski at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
View more pics of Mirko Petrovski at the 2011 British Grand Prix.


Cvetko Stojmenovski

With a record of missing the cut at most of his pro outings so far, the 1999 Joe Weider World Pro 13th placed athlete will have a lot of work ahead of him to make the top six on any pro stage.

Despite his excellent upper body size and a pretty impressive overall look (especially from the back, when he nails his conditioning), Stojmenovski will not have the goods to take on the world's best and beat them at their own game.

Cvetko Stojmenovski At The 2011 British Grand Prix. Cvetko Stojmenovski At The 2011 British Grand Prix.
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Cvetko Stojmenovski at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
View more pics of Cvetko Stojmenovski at the 2011 British Grand Prix.


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