by Christian Duque
We have heard more and more of Big Ramy as he prepares to compete in his very first Arnold Classic in less than five weeks. The truth is that 2019 was a difficult year for The Egyptian Phenom. In 2017 he was at the top of the world with a very impressive second place at Mr. Olympia and gave the then champion Phil Heath a pretty good run for his money. 2018 should have been his year, but it wasn't.
In 2019 he missed the Arnold due to injury and the Tampa Pro. As a result, he missed last year's Olympics. Ramy also left The Camel Crew and decided to train with Neil Hill, but that never worked. When Ramy announced that he would do the Arnold, there was some speculation as to whether he would actually do it. I have to admit, as much as I like him, I was a bit doubtful if we would see him. This is just one factor that cannot be overridden. The longer a participant is away from the stage, the greater the speculation about whether he will return.
Nothing speaks for a competitor's commitment than progress shots. In the past, Ramy was old school and showed next to nothing as the competition approached. Before, it was not uncommon to see him in a sweat and hoodie before entering the stage. The strategy was to keep the competition (and even the media) completely in the dark. Most people go so far that even press conference posedowns are a thing of the past. With that said, a photo of Ramy's bikes leaked showing some very impressive items and conditions, about five weeks before the show. This is the name of the game with Ramy.
At the moment, the world is looking at two men, which could be one of the most intense showdowns ever. William "The Conqueror" Bonac vs. Big Ramy. Blockbuster wrote this everywhere. Bonac is the heavy favorite to win. In 2018 he won the title. In 2019, Brandon Curry slapped him through the skin of his teeth. Six months later, Bonac would again take 2nd place for curry at the 2019 Olympics. What is very interesting is that both men looked the best at last year's Arnold. With curry out of lineup, it looked like a somewhat sure win for Bonac.
A few months ago we all saw a very cool Arnold poster with Shawn Rhoden and Big Ramy that went viral. When the poster suddenly disappeared and it became clear that Shawn would no longer compete, many fans wondered if Big Ramy would also be missing. The fans were devastated when they were disappointed with Shawn. However, if this had been the case with Ramy, this would have been a major problem for the second largest bodybuilding show in the world. Fortunately, at least one of the two seems to be in the mix.
While many of the faithful would like to see Ramy on stage with over £ 300, the wise money would be used to refine the preparation and come in as dry and vascular as possible. Ramy's big problem was always his hamstrings and glutes. If he can come in peeled and pose hard, he has a very good chance of getting away with the title.
Ramy has to pose hard. This whole competition has to be a struggle. It's great to pose for the audience, and posing for the cameras isn't bad either, but great shots and awards from the crowd won't seal the deal. The judges will definitely have to work for them, especially with young weapons like Patrick Moore and veterans like Dexter Jackson who do their best for Columbus. The judges must see Ramy, he must know exactly how he can best present his body to the panel. This is a guy who is naturally reserved and humble. I'm not saying that he has to be loud and cheesy, but he has to pose perfectly, walk smoothly and do his routine flawlessly.
I think Ramy can win Arnold and if that happens he has six months to prepare for the Olympics. He will also ride one of the biggest waves to the biggest show in bodybuilding than anyone ever could. If Ramy won, Bonac would still be the recipient of a lion's share of the press if he took 2nd place. As Olympic runner-up at Curry last year and potentially Arnold runner-up at Ramy in Columbus, he would be a media favorite. The Olympia would be a Bonac curry rematch and a Bonac Ramy rematch in one. If Bonac holds back Ramy, but Ramy manages to finish second, he has accumulated a lot of points to qualify and will have a chance to meet Bonac again and possibly face Curry. The truth is that even a top 3 at Arnold would still be a marketing bonus for the Egyptian superstar. Regardless of whether he wins, finishes second or even rounds off the top 3, this would be an enormous return for one of the most discussed bodybuilders of all time.
I don't think Ramy can be placed outside the top 3. As with everything, all possibilities should be analyzed. I think he chose this show, with a lot of time to prepare, and when the progress shots run out, he'll be done. In my eyes, there is simply no way that he can take less than third place.
I think Ramy's place is on stage, fighting and taking every opportunity to win Arnold and Olympias. I think he can either or totally and I think he is a great ambassador for the sport. When Phil was finally overthrown, it heralded a new kind of champion. People like Rhoden, Curry, Winklaar, Jackson and Bonac created a positive atmosphere in which constructive criticism was not only accepted but also encouraged. Ramy is just like these five champions in terms of their good sport, their philanthropy and their love for fans – all fans – even those who disagree with them.
Imagine the pandemonium at the show when fans see a torn Big Ramy signing autographs, posing for photos, and speaking to them.
Where do you think Big Ramy will be when the smoke clears? Do you think he can win in Columbus? Do you think he can win in Las Vegas? I am looking forward to read your comments.
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