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!
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.)
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?):
- Alberto Bitocchi
- Claude Groulx
- Leon Brown
- Bob Cicherillo
- Pietro Gilberto
- Nicolae Giurgi
- Pavol Jablonicky
- Rusty Jeffers
- William Leonard
- David Marinelli
- Stan McCrary
- Joseph Palumbo
- Josef Rac
- Quincy Roberts
- Rudy Soliman
- Roberto Sabatini
- Behnam Samini
- Abdul Sharif
- John Simmons
- Daryl Stafford
- Johnny Stewart
- George Turmon
- Charles Urrego
- Massimo Valli
- Nathan Wonsley
To Watch The Live Webcast, Click Here!
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/.
He has been known for being in great shape, and if Claude can come in with his 2003 Masters Olympia conditioning, he will be battling it out for first 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 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 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.
The 2000 USA Champion was runner-up at the 2002 IFBB Night of Champions. This was Bob's best showing and if he duplicates that look, he'll be having a storybook ending to "War For The Worlds, Part Four".
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 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.
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!