IFBB Pro League athletes’ representative Bob Cicherillo often lends his voice to educating bodybuilding fans on the judging of events and more. In a recent interview with Desktop Bodybuilding, Cicherillo talked about William Bonac’s exit plan from the sport and shared his thoughts on the rise of Samson Dauda.
Bodybuilding veteran William Bonac has been a regular feature of the Men’s Open class for over a decade. He first made waves with his insane muscle mass, detail, and proportions in 2012. He worked his way up the ranks on the regional circuit before receiving an invite to the 2014 Mr. Olympia, where he finished 15h. In 2017, Bonac improved his standing to third place at the Olympia contest and went on to become the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival champion.
Bonac recorded one of his best seasons in 2019. He kicked off the year with a runner-up finish at the ASF and took home the top prize at the Arnold Classic Australia. When it was time for the Olympia, Bonac narrowly missed out on gold to champion Brandon Curry in a close-fought battle. Ultimately, Bonac won his second Arnold Classic title in 2020.
At the 2021 Olympia, he placed sixth. Then, last year, Curry defeated Bonac at the 2022 ASF. Bonac scored gold at the Boston Pro before making his way to the stages at the Mr. Olympia last December. Although he was confident about his chances, he dropped down to ninth.
Bonac opened up about his health concerns two months ago. He said he was suffering from inflamed kidneys and discontinued the use of oral steroids in preparation for the 2023 Arnold Classic. His health update concerned the community. Later, Bonac stepped in to downplay the seriousness of his kidney issues.
Following the contest, Bonac announced his plans to take the year off and return for the next edition of the Arnold Classic. There has been speculation about whether Bonac would hang up his posing trunks but he’s confident he could give another run at the most prestigious titles in the sport.
Bob Cicherillo wants to see William Bonac retire on the Olympia stage
In a recent YouTube video, Bob Cicherillo praised William Bonac for leading a successful career in bodybuilding and expressed a desire to see him retire on the Olympia stage.
“He’s had some setbacks over the last couple years. He’s been very upfront with that, some physical things. He’s been going for a while. William is the only guy competing from 10 years ago. There’s only two guys left and it’s Big Ramy and William Bonac. If you go back just 10 years, they are all gone. A few we lost unfortunately and the other ones have all retired or moved onto other things. It’s interesting when you look at it. He’s the last guy holding the torch really and Big Ramy, both of whom have been subjects lately of retirement talks.
“William’s been very candid with his comments about where he’s at and he’s in the end game. He doesn’t have a lot of gas left in the tank. I think he’s smart to basically go out on… He’s had a great career let’s face it. He’s done everything except to win the Olympia and that’s pretty damn good for where I’m coming from. It’s a great and long career. But he knows it’s that time and he wants to basically go out on stage. That’s the type of thing where I’ve never been a big fan of the invite. But that is an exception. Hypothetically if William calls it a day, I’m going to put in for a special invite and finish my career on the Olympia stage. I would’ve no problem with that. I think he’s earned it, been around for 10 years, been a top contender for most of that, multiple Arnold Classic champ. I’d like to see a guy go out with style, dignity, with his hand held high and a 10,000 person standing ovation. He’s been a pillar in the bodybuilding community now for a decade,” Cicherillo explained.
Samson Dauda gained a ton of attention in 2022. He exhibited an impressive package at the Olympia and finished sixth in his debut. He capitalized on the momentum by joining the roster for the 2023 Arnold Classic, where he emerged as the champion.
There was controversy surrounding the judging of the event as some argued Nick Walker should have placed higher. Bob Cicherillo pushed back on the critics in a fiery message attributing Walker’s loss to reduced freak factor and size.
Cicherillo’s strong defense of the judging sparked rumors about the IFBB Pro League allegedly plotting against the likes of Big Ramy. He bashed the critics for suggesting the possibility of foul play and made it clear he did not speak for anyone but himself last month.
He extended his support for Dauda after seeing the improvements made to his physique as of late. He believes Dauda could handily dispatch the competition at the 2023 Mr. Olympia if he came in his best form. Then, Cicherillo laid out a comprehensive guideline for judging a show with a focus on comparing freaky mass monsters versus aesthetics.
Cicherillo explains Samson Dauda’s rise to the top
Bob Cicherillo gave his take on the evolution of the Men’s Open division which resulted in Samson Dauda rising to the top.
“Again, it’s not a trend or anything like that. We just have some better physiques right now that are coming into play. Everybody seems to think we have these secret meetings or whatever that go on like oh they are going in a different direction. I can assure you people there’s no meeting that goes on with Jim Manion, Big Steve, myself, and whoever. There’s no direction that’s decided on. You purely go by who’s in front of you. Right now we happen to have a few guys that have popped up, which I think is great, like Samson, like Andrew Jacked, Regan Grimes. We’ve got some big boys out there who are put together really good. They’re a little more aesthetic and even though they are big guys, they got small waist, the x-frame, all that. It’s just the way it rolls.
“For a couple of years there, we didn’t have pretty much any of those guys so it’s just one of those things. But the judges are always looking for the same exact thing.”
“Last year’s Olympia, Dauda looked great and got sixth place because he’s soft. Everything’s there, beautiful muscle, great physique, symmetry and proportion, poses probably better than anybody on that stage, but he was just soft enough that it took him down a few spots. If you notice in that first callout, he’s towards the middle. Everybody kind of forgot this. He was being considered when he first came out. When they got next to each other you could see he was probably off by a percentage.”
“Nick came out and he was great, in condition, hard as a rock, veiny, grainy, muscular, and he was justly rewarded with third place. Go forward to the Arnold, Samson comes in 15% sharper and all those other attributes were still there. He actually has a better physique than Nick does but in the absence of putting it all together, Samson’s 90% was not better than Nick’s 100% in that case. But at the Arnold, he did sharp it up and it was enough that he had better proportion, symmetry, and conditioning, and that’s why he won.”
While Dauda is on the move up, Bob Cicherillo believes former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay is nearing the end of his career. He called on the Egyptian mass monster to take some time off and transform his physique to improve his chances of winning another title. The pair were able to squash the supposed beef in person a few days ago, where Ramy seemed unclear about his bodybuilding future.