This is no idle boast. What have already occurred are sea changes in Gunter's life, since his annus horribilis of 2003 and 2004. That was a time wounded by domestic changes that derailed his concentration on bodybuilding, as well as his support team that had been so outstandingly successful in 2002. That was the year that he stormed to fifth place at the O and became the Peoples Champion. Then three weeks later he beat Ronnie at the GNC Show of Strength in possibly the most stunning upset in bodybuilding history.
"This year," says Gunter, "all of what was good in 2002 has returned, in even greater strength. For the fist time since 2002 I'm working again with Chad Nichols for my nutrition program, and Charles Glass is guiding my training. The results are phenomenal. On stage, I will probably weigh right at 300 pounds.
About the same as in 2004, but everyone is already amazed at how much harder I am, even a week out from the show. My muscles are fuller and more solid, and their quality is deeper. All of my body parts have improved, most noticeably my back.
"In my training, I've added more cardio - up to two hours a day - and increased the intensity with lots of supersets and tri-sets. I go for it.
"I will beat Ronnie in several areas: symmetry, balance, proportions and an overall better look. I know I've made dramatic improvements, but other people have also mentioned them, and that's important for one's confidence, conviction and spirit. This year, with my life back to normal, the peace is evident in my physical appearance. It broadcasts the message: 'This is a champion.'
"Everybody used to speak with awe at how big and freaky Ronnie has been, but what you will see in me, above and beyond my superior physique qualities, is greater size and mass than he has, or has ever had. Not only will I outweigh him by 15 or 20 pounds, my muscularity will be cleaner and crisper. Now, who is the freaky monster? You had a great run Ronnie. But it's over."
Will Gunter dethrone Ronnie Coleman or will the reigning champ win his record-breaking eighth title on October 15? Book your place in history to find out. Go to 2005olympia.com, flexonline.com or muscleandfitness.com for full details about Joe Weider's 2005 Olympia Weekend. Or check your PPV provider for local details.