Getbig2004 Ironman Notes

Notes & Reports from the Ironman Pro Press Conference
By Ron Avidan

  • It was a rainy day in Southern California, and as I has heading to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium through the freeways, I kept hoping that the rain would not keep the people away. Six months in a row of perfect weekend weather, and today it rains. But it wasn't too bad when I got to Pasadena an hour before the press conference began.

    I went to get my press pass, and who but who is working the Media Booth. None other than Ironbakes, or Bakes for short, our own moderator on the bulletin boards. Needless to say, I didn't need to show my ID to get the pass.

    All of the competitors, with the exception of Dexter Jackson, who did not show up, were initially lined up in the first and second rows of the room. At precisely 3pm, Lonnie Teper started the press conference by introducing John Balik, owner and promoter of Ironman Magazine and the show. John said a few words, and then the fun began.

    The first time that I have seen in a pro competition a true weigh in. There were two scales there, one digital, one non-digital (the old fashioned way), but they used the digital one. The competitors were allowed to go up there with shoes, clothes, etc, although most of them wore a specially designed Max Muscle jersey.

    I should say that weight should not matter, nor does in matter nor influences a judges decision in terms of what a competitor will place in a show. Chris Dickerson won the Mr. Olympia when he was 184 pounds. Samir Bannout won his Mr. Olympia trophy when he was 196 pounds. Lonnie Teper, the mc of the show, weights 205, and Flex, in the audience, weighed 225 pounds. The weigh ins were initially started in alphabetically order, and once an athlete was weighed, they stayed on the stage in a seat. They also were weighed with their clothes on, their shoes, and anything else in their pockets if needed.

  • Here is the results of the weigh ins.

    1. Jason Arntz - 212 pounds
    2. Gustavo Badell - 234 pounds
    3. Baker - 266 pounds
    4. Bob Cicherillo - 252 pounds
    5. Ahmad Haidar - 223 pounds
    6. David Henry - 187 pounds
    7. Johhnie Jackson - 231 pounds
    8. Dexter Jackson - did not show up
    9. Kenny Jones - 172 pounds
    10. Rod Ketchens - 227 pounds
    11. Dragan Pavnovic - 220 pounds
    12. Lee Powell - 224 pounds
    13. Lee Priest - 199 pounds
    14. Tom Prince - 276 pounds
    15. Ronnie Rockel - 223 pounds
    16. Craig Titus - 241 pounds
    17. Clifton Torres - 154 pounds
    18. Geoge Turmon - 245 pounds
    19. Mohammed Anouti - 279 pounds
    20. Idrise Ward-El - 251 pounds
    21. Ntuk Ntuk - 197 pounds

  • Although Dexter did not show up, Flex Wheeler said that his weight is 228 pounds. There were a number of people in the audience. Chris Dickerson, Samir Bannout, Ronnie Coleman, Shawn Ray, Lou Ferrigno, Kelly Ryan, and quite a number of other competitors checking out the competition.

    This is David Henry's pro debut, and he is weight 20 pounds more than he did at the NPC Nationals. This is also the pro debut of Dragan Pavnovic, and Mo Anouti, who is from Lebanon, and the heaviest competitor in the show. Lee Powell is from England, and George Turmon is the oldest, at age 46 years old.

    The press conference itself was interesting. Kenny Jones said that tomorrow evening 'He is going to turn the house up with his routine. That's what makes him special'. Jonnie Jackson and Lee Priest at fun on who can eat the most donuts, with Jonnie eating about 12, but Lee saying that he ate 36 donuts in a day. As for Ronnie Coleman, when asked if he ate donuts, Ronnie said 'I don't eat any donuts'. Ronnie Coleman came point blank asking Tom Prince what's up with Tom saying he might compete naturally and then coming into this show at 276 pounds. Tom later said that he couldn't believe that 'Ronnie Coleman was busting my balls onstage'. Of course, the Craig Titus and how old he is came up. Bob Cicherillo said that if Craig is going to compete until he is 45, then he must be 42 now.

    The only moments that the press conference got a little heated is when Craig Titus got irked at Kenny Jones. Craig had said earlier that the best times for a pro bodybuilder to peak is between age 33 and 42, and then it goes down from there. Kenny said something, and Craig shot back saying that all he said was that you excel during that time.

    Ronnie Coleman asked a question to Johnnie Jackson about how much he squats, since Ronnie squatted 800 pounds once, and does 500 pounds bench. Johnnie said that his best is when he weight 214 pounds, and squatted 826 pounds, 814 pounds deadlift, and 545 bench. Everyone was impressed, even Ronnie Coleman at those stats.

    Probably my favorite question of the night is when a cute girl asked point blank to all of the competitors 'Which person would like to show me his chest?' Lee Priest answered back "Ladies before Gentleman". But it set off a chain reaction of some pf the competitors giving us a peak preview on the contest.

    The competitors were gave us a peak include Mo Annouti, Craig Titus, Idrise Ward-El, Ken Jones, Ahmad Haidar, Jason Arntz, Gustavo Badell, Clifton Torres, Johnnie Jackson, and David Henry.

    It should be noted that Bob Cicherillo, Tom Prince, and Craig Titus work with Chad Nicholls. Gustova Badell made it a point to say that this is the first time that someone is helping him in a show, that he feels he is in his best condition ever, and that person is Milos Sarcev.

    Another interesting moment was when we heard that Carmen Electra is at the Fit Expo, and Kelly Ryan said 'I think Carmen Electra is hot', and Craig Titus raised his eyebrows. Lonnie Teper said 'Oh, I think there may be another After Party tomorrow night".

    This was the first press conference that I can remember at the Ironman, and I liked it. It gives the fans to see the athletes up close and personal, and ask them any questions they want. Let's do it again next year!

  • Other notes: It was nice to see Gunter Schlierkamp roaming through the halls on the way to his seminar which he was doing on Legs. Gunter is quite excited about the Arnold two weeks from now where he says will he be in great shape. Troy Alves and his wife were here along with Hany Rambod having a good time, and saying hello to everyone. Shawn Ray came with the Carla & Chris to support the athletes. Laura Mak and her Dance Performance team did wonders on the main stage in the exhibition hall, as well as Bebe Giraldo (who did her fitness routine) and Madonna Grimes, who has her dance troupe perform. Bill Kazmaier, the world's strongest man, has a strength seminar.