By Craig Richardson, IFBB Pro, Team MHP Athlete
Since I’m a bigger guy coming down to 212, some people think that I’m an automatic frontrunner but there’s a few that can compete with me in this division – guys who have been making this weight a lot longer. Jose Raymond, Kevin English, David Henry and even the reigning 212 Mr. O Flex Lewis. But you have these guys who are actually thicker. I’m not as thick as some of those guys because of my height. I’m taller. Some of those guys are pretty freaked out.
I want to bring some really good symmetry and rock-hard conditioning. Jose Raymond is a really good friend of mine. They’re all my friends, really. Conditioning is never really an issue for him but his shape is not the most pleasing to the eye. Kevin English, same thing – his shape is not very aesthetic. Flex Lewis has great shape and is a very thick guy but I don’t think he has the same density and proportion as me. Not to nitpick on those guys but they’re the top guys and the ones that I’m gunning for.
I heard that David Henry just backed out of Chicago and I was a bit ticked off by it. When you compete, you want to compete against the best to prove that you’re the best. When I go to a show where it’s obvious that I’m going to win, and then I win, that’s not the best feeling. And I don’t want to go to the Olympia 212 untested. I’d rather take a controversial second to him in Chicago and have great press heading into the Olympia. You can set your goals by that. I wish I would have entered the New York show for that reason.
If David Henry’s not in Chicago and I win, it won’t mean as much. Nothing against Guy Cisternino, who’s my biggest competition going into that show, but he doesn’t have the density that I do, even though he’s kind of a thicker guy. At his age, he doesn’t have the muscle quality yet. I tell Guy that I’m not going to go out there and take second place to him – I couldn’t live in a world where I was second place to Guy Cisternino! Beating him, I feel, does little for my status or ego. Two years from now, it may be a different story but in 2013 this is the way it is.