by Christian Duque
When it comes to success, no IFBB Pro in the world can stand next to Dexter "The Blade" Jackson. From his 29 pro wins, 9 Arnold Classic titles to his Mr. Olympia title in 2008, Dexter has undeniably influenced bodybuilding. His name will go with greatness forever.
It is also expected that an athlete may want to move on to other chapters of his life after a long and promising career. However, when he announced that 2020 would be his last year of competition, many fans could hardly believe it – they still don't want to believe it. That being said, he's as sharp as ever and has recently participated in top form at The Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH. This was one of the most competitive lineups in many years and Dexter won almost everything !! While many media and leading experts refused to give him the respect he so clearly deserved, I was noisy all the way. I not only wrote that he would be competitive, I said he would fight for victory.
I wholeheartedly believed that Dexter could seal the deal, and if someone is a prime example of age being just a number, it is. And indeed, Dexter was in combat when the first mission was announced. Although the media had hyped it as a fight between the (returning) Egyptian phenomenon Big Ramy and the former Arnold Classic champion William "The Conqueror" Bonac, it became clear very early on that the real fight between two Arnold champions took place in Dexter Jackson and William Bonac. And while both Big Ramy and Steve Kuclo looked impressive, none were good enough to fight for the top 2 at the time.
Interestingly, the media only began to change attitudes at this point. While they started showing some love to Dexter, it didn't come without conditions. It was later discovered and basically accepted across the media that Dexter looked better for the final and that he might have won if he had looked like it in the prejudice. Not only was this not the case, the prejudice said otherwise. Dexter was keen as always for both prejudice and the finale; In fact, during prejudice, he was brought to the center, if only briefly. When everything was said and done, he finished 2nd, but I think he really got Bonac to fight for it. If Dexter had won in Columbus, it would have been his tenth title, but he still has time to win his 10th Arnold and go to Las Vegas with a lot of intensity. The fact is that Dexter could win his second Sandow and retire at the top of the world !!
However, this involves more than just winning titles. I've always seen Dexter as the high-ranking statesmen of the pro ranks. Not only is he a great champion, he's also the bridge between the 90s, 2000s, and the previous decade. He was a driving force in three eras and inspired countless men and women to pick up the iron and compete on stage. In addition, a big part of his job was to show competitors what is possible if your heart and your work ethic are in sync. A lot of people like to set very high goals, but the only problem is that they don't support it with hard work. If you're the most successful professional in the history of a sport, your commitment to achieving your goals is ironic. I think a lot of people have to take note of Dexter.
Since Olympia 2020 is almost six months away, some things just never change. Although Jacson amazed the world with the 2nd place in Columbus, he is again overlooked (by the media) for the Olympics. Interestingly, many of the guys he hit are favorites again when it comes to doing great damage on the main stage of the sport. It's all good – being an outsider has been part of The Blade's entire career, but as a fan (who is also a journalist) it always surprises me. Some may even think that it drives him to be overlooked, but I honestly don't think he cares about it at all, especially in his last year of competition. Here, too, it's all about actions. Talking is cheap. Dexter-level superstars don't care about being accepted by the media. They take care of the fans, of course, but ultimately they all work – all petrol, no breaks – until they are among the winners!
Interestingly, big speakers seem to be in the spotlight more than big speakers these days. What is more impressive? Those who talk big or who go out and let things happen for themselves? I feel like certain media are so obsessed with chasing hits that they forget how important it is for fans to do it right. The (real) fans want honest media reports. You want to know more about the champions.
That's why I greet media breaker Patrick Bet David from Valuetainment. I think what he does really gives bodybuilding enthusiasts something to get excited about. He has a real set with a real promo and takes the time to make his interviews look exactly right. The guy dresses the role, he always sounds professional and you can tell that he has been putting together his entire repertoire for quite some time. When Dexter's interview came out, I knew people were excited. I think it was both entertaining and educational. Everyone who sees this interview actually leaves with a better knowledge of the sport. This is really the sign of a great interview and a great template that everyone else should follow.
It's like reporting. A lot has changed since the days of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and even Peter Jennings. Newscasters no longer report the news to the public. Now the anchor is the main attraction. Sometimes the news itself takes a back seat to the anchor's opinions. We have seen that much of this is also manifested in bodybuilding and other sports. Those who deal with sport have shifted the importance of reporting on events to self-expression. In fact, you have many interviewers who talk more than their guests! Nobody tunes in to hear them answer their own questions, but mostly the superstars listen more than they speak. It's a pretty bizarre situation. Bet David, on the other hand, is an old school in its approach. He asks the question and leans back; He tries not to interrupt his guest and clearly takes the time to create a relaxed atmosphere. He does a very good job and I can only recommend everyone to read his interview with The Blade.
Regarding the Olympics, I will record again and will likely be ignored by my colleagues in the press again, but I am convinced that Dexter will be incredibly competitive. I know Brandon has had time to prepare all year round and I know that he will do everything to defend his title. I also know that Roelly had time to prepare all year round. When Dexter won the Olympia in 2008, he also won the Arnold Classic. If you insist that it was twelve years ago, I would like to remind you that the age at The Blade is just a number so I don't spend too much time on that argument. I'll just go ahead and leave my statement, Dexter will be very competitive at the 2020 Olympics. What I think would be the microphone drop of the century if it won – and then retired. I couldn't even imagine someone doing that – winning all in the same competition and retiring – THIS competition of all places !! But Dexter has always made history. Why should his retirement be different? I know if it were up to the fans, he would never retire. The fans will never be ready to see him stop competing.
I am curious what your thoughts are. How will Dexter do at Mr. Olympia 2020? Did you see The Blade's interview at Valuetainment? What do you think about it?
I hope you enjoyed reading this article here in Iron Magazine. I am looking forward to read your comments. Please don't forget to use the discount code IML15 to save 15% at IronMagLabs.com – iincluding the new CBD Gummies !!!