It's also appropriate that I include a Hollywood movie heading in my work, since Mild Bill hails from Hollywood. Hollywood, Florida, that is.
Wilmore, who stands just under 5'11" and will pack around 250 pounds of symmetrical, hard-core beef in Georgia, could have won his pro card in Miami Beach in 2003, when Mat DuVall was awarded the Superheavyweight crown.
Ditto for last year in Dallas, when Chris Cook showed enough improvement from the USA to be placed one slot ahead of Wilmore.
I had no problems with the above decisions, since Mat and Chris showed up in their all-time best shape, but I will have a problem this year if Wilmore and his wings of fire can't win a class that probably won't have any major players he must deal with.
I had Bill pull off the shirt when I hosted an hour of The Fit Show at the Bodybuilding.com booth during the Olympia Weekend, and William was just about ready to go.
He has handled his controversial defeats in the past two years with class, got a contract with VYO-Tech during the year, and is the type of guy who prefers to do his talking on the stage. So, I'll do the talking-again-for him. It'll be on to the pros for Wilmore in but a few more days.
Marcus Haley won his pro card at the North American in September.
Marcus Haley At The 2005 North American Bodybuilding Contest This Year.
Omar Deckard and Jerome Ferguson are sitting this one out after competing in the USA, Nationals and North American the past couple of years.
Video With Jerome Ferguson.
| Training W/ Jerome Fergusson!
This week on The Fit Show, Hollywood is back finishing up his bicep workout. Also David and Alexis Ellis are back in the kitchen to make eating healthy feel like cheating with Gourmet Fitness Foods.
| Training W/ Jerome Fergusson!
This week we've got what you all have been asking for, an episode with arm training. Get ready for a bicep workout with the one and only Jerome Fergusson, followed by a look at healthy living with NPC competitor Tony Dodd.
In fact, the toughest job I have right now is figuring out who will be second in the class. But, keep an eye on Leo Ingram. Leo was a bad man a few years back, then sort of dropped out of sight.
If he starred in a flick, I'd call that "I know What You Did Last Summer." Because I know what he did last summer-he won the Overall at the Armed Forces Championships in August.
The Other Classes...
The other classes will be another story. In the Heavyweight division, I can see Faramarz Aghazadeh, Jeff Schwartzer, Greg Atoyan and Mike Ergas all battling for the title.
Faramarz has looked terrific in the past two USA's; in this year's battle he had the unfortunate experience of becoming the answer to a trivia question question-who was the guy who finished behind whiz kid Phil Heath? And, I thought he could have won the class two years back, when he landed in third behind Will Harris and Haley.
Click To Enlarge.
Phil Heath @ The 2005 Junior Nationals.
Special Thanks To Bill Comstock For The Photos. More Photos.
Schwartzer has the nastiest wheels in the game but hasn't been seen since his second place finish at the Nationals two years ago.
If he comes back even sharper than before, and brings up his upper body to match his mind-boggling legs, he could take the crown.
Atoyan was second in last year's contest to Caprice Murray, and has been a title threat for sometime now. Ergas, up to now better known as the guy who played Franco Colombu in the "See Arnold Run" movie, is another chap who has been a top five finisher for some time, but guarantees that this is the season he will move to the top of the list.
I got to see Ergas on Saturday as he posed for fans at Muscle Beach, and the cat is in top shape.
Check the video of Ergas giving a preview of what he's bringing to the plate at www.graphicmuscle.com.
Video With Ergas.
Now, Ronnie Coleman called me last week to inform me his training partner is pissed off. I knew why. Because I didn't include him in my Nationals picks in my News and Views column in IRON MAN. True, I did not mention Gus (The Bus) Carter; like I told The Big Nasty, though, I think the Bus has run out of gas, and he has to prove it to me in Atlanta that his tank is still full.
IRON MAN photographer/videographer Big Bill Comstock says Mark Erpelding, who took the Lightheavyweight crown at the North American, could do likewise at the Nationals.
I haven't seen Erpelding in person, but I have witnessed the marvelous physique of Shaun (Ain't No Chump) Crump, the former North Carolina State champ, who will rank among the leaders of the pack.
Another guy I like in this class is David Truly, last year's California State champion, who will truly battle for the title if he shows up spot on.
I hear Jose (Can You See) Raymond, who has more titles than I have hair follicles (which ain't saying a lot, now that I think about it), is going after the Middleweight crown in Atlanta, and if so has to be the fave in the class.
Do I need to tell ya how sharp this Massachusetts physique star shows up in every contest he competes in?
Who Else Could Take The Title?
If there is a guy, or two, who can take that title from Jose, it will be Garrett Allin, the 2004 USA Middleweight winner, or Ricky (Tricky) Jackson, who has won his class in every major NPC show-except the Nationals, where he has been second.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention a guy who hasn't been there yet - Daryl Gee. Gee Wiz won the Overall at the Contra Costa last year, then went on to take the Welterweight class at the 'Cal. A top finish by Gee, or Ohio's Andre Ewing, wouldn't surprise me, now that I think about it.
In the Welterweight class, I'm going with The General. You know, Robert E. Lee, a guy who has been known to toss the iron around as Coleman's training partner when Gus was out driving the bus. Robert E. will lead his troups to victory.
After 15 years of competing in the class (okay, I might be exaggerating a tad), Hawaii's Sugar Rey Ronquillo is hoping to finally take home the bacon. But, I really like North Carolina's Perry McRae, and Leonardo Ortiz ain't no slouch. And, Heath Warren is made of championship parts, too.
In the Bantamweight class, I'm hoping Randy Jackson Sr. gets the win. If for no other reason that I love to see 46-year-old grandfather whip the young boys. Scott Foster is a good one, too, and so is Lazarus Angulo.
That's it, gang. Take it to the bank. Applause-and gift cards-will be accepted.