- Sep 4, 2006
by David Lee
November 21, 2008
Four months ago in Las Vegas, Ed Nunn won the super heavyweight class but narrowly missed out on winning his pro card. At the 2008 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday night, Nunn looked to be ready to take his game to the next level.
Much like he did at the USAs in July, Nunn overwhelmed a strong super heavyweight class the moment he stepped onstage with substantial improvements to his upper body, which, when combined with perhaps the best wheels in the show, was simply too much for the rest of the field.
Veteran Grigori Atoyan showed up with one of his best overall showing to date, and should secure a solid second to Nunn. The fight for third and fourth is a tight race between a much improved Trey Brewer, newcomer Steve Kuclo, and monstrous Malcom Marshall.
The battle of the evening was the hotly contested heavyweight duel between Michael Liberatore and Mark Alvisi. Liberatore, the precontest favorite based on his runner-up finish to Brandon Curry at the USAs, was not as sharp as we've come to expect. As a result, he now has a fight on his hands with a razor-sharp Alvisi, who is much improved from his fourth-place finish in Las Vegas and appears to be beating Liberatore at his own game. The surprise of the class was Anthoneil Champagnie, who is hot on the heels of the two front runners with his flowing lines and beautiful symmetry.
Peter Putnam, in his fourth bid for that elusive pro card, dominated a disappointing light heavyweight class on the strength of his overall thickness and crazy wheels. Al Auguste, Putnam's primary concern, did not have enough hardness to be a real threat while Chulsey Graham followed in a firmly in third.
Ronald Torres and Gaetano Cisternino Jr. appear to be the cream of the crop in the middleweight class. Torres' impressive shoulder-to-waist ratio and overall thickness should give him the slight edge and the inside track to a pro card.
This year's pro qualifier held a record number of men's competitors. We'll have to wait 'till tomorrow evening's finals to see who grabs up the final pro cards of the 2008 season.