With this year’s Mr. Olympia approaching, athletes are out in full force attempting to qualify for the prestigious show. In a recent Muscular Development interview, Milos Sarcev broke down Hunter Labrada‘s chances against Andrew Jacked, assuming they meet next month as planned at the 2023 Texas Pro.
“Listen, I love Labrada’s physique, I think he’s so complete. He just doesn’t have the wow factor of Andrew Jacked,” Milos Sarcev shared.
Having placed as high as fourth at Mr. Olympia, Hunter Labrada emerged as a Men’s Open threat with symmetry, conditioning, and mass. Instead of staying active last season, Labrada took extra time to work on his physique. However, when he reached the Olympia stage, Labrada struggled against a star-studded lineup.
In the end, he secured seventh place. Labrada was open about his mistakes and mentioned problems arose both during the peak and prep. Months later, he announced his participation in a pair of shows (2023 Tampa Pro and Texas Pro). Looking to correct the issues that held him back from success, Labrada promised to come back better than ever. He revealed changes to his diet and began practicing vacuum poses for abdomen control.
Andrew Jacked’s road to the top of the Open class was sudden as he recorded one of the most successful rookie seasons of all time. He earned his Pro card, and won the 2022 Texas Pro in his IFBB Pro debut, defeating names like Martin Fitzwater and Steve Kuclo. Before the year ended, Andrew won the Arnold Classic UK and finished eighth at his first Mr. Olympia.
As of this year, Andrew Jacked proved himself at the 2023 Arnold Classic. He held his own against the winner Samson Dauda and runner-up Nick Walker during the finals. Even though Jacked looked at his best, he was unable to earn his qualification for Olympia.
“It Could Go Both Ways,” Milos Sarcev Says 2023 Texas Pro Toss Up for Hunter Labrada & Andrew Jacked
Looking at the contest objectively, Milos Sarcev believes Hunter Labrada and Andrew Jacked both have the potential to win in Texas.
“I love Andrew Jacked’s physique. So, you know, Andrew Jacked against Samson, I could see Andrew getting Samson on some points, by all means, it’s not like a cake walk and Samson is dominating. I know he was a little bit drier, more condition and stuff, but just overall package, Samson dominated him,” said Milos Sarcev.
“It could go both ways [between Hunter Labrada and Andrew Jacked],” said Sarcev. “For me, still, Andrew Jacked has this height and width about him – and just so much aesthetic massive beauty. So, if he comes like Houston last year, you know how it is, he was way better conditioned at the Arnold Classic, way better condition, but he turned their heads in Houston.”
Sarcev argued Andrew could benefit from more side leg thickness. Then, mentioned Labrada had no glaring weaknesses.
“If he comes similar size he was in Houston in similar condition like he was at the Olympia, I just don’t see anybody touching him, right? He’s still a little bit light in the legs especially from the side. But other than that, Andrew doesn’t have any weaknesses.”
“We’ve never seen Labrada dried to the bone super conditioned,” said Sarcev. “Hunter is compact. He has no weaknesses.”
Sarcev examined Labrada’s mandatory poses to elaborate on why he doesn’t have weaknesses.
“He needs deeper abs, deeper abs, and much more control to express all the beauty of his shape. When the midsection is not happening that much, okay, then it affects everything. Front double biceps crazy. Lat spread is quite good. Side chest, side triceps, side triceps is phenomenal. Side triceps is very very good. Back double, back lat spread, now, very much improved.
I don’t see the weaknesses. His conditioning before maybe there was not slice and dice, so if you say weakness, but this is just a conditioning issue not the muscles, low lat insertions, x-frame, v-taper, sweeping thighs, calves, I mean he has it all. Abs and thighs was not a super good pose and most muscular, you know, very good pose, not stunning.”
Given his history of success, Sarcev believes with ‘once in a lifetime conditioning,’ Hunter Labrada could win the Mr. Olympia title.
“He beat Nick Walker, right? Nick Walker is considered a potential Mr. Olympia winner and now you’re going to tell me that Labrada just doesn’t train hard enough? He’s so hungry the last couple of years. He’s training his ass off. He has everything that it takes, if he comes in once-in-a-lifetime conditioning, you tell me why he can’t win, because all these guys are so superior? No.”
“So, Hunter Labrada is a potential Mr. Olympia winner. If everything goes well, if he did put the quality size and comes in ripped to the bone dry, conditioned, like I said, he doesn’t have weaknesses. You say that he does, I didn’t notice them but okay. You just think lower lat insertions, it’s not so visible that I would pay attention.”
Labrada and Jacked have kept up on progress photos leading into the show. Both men appear motivated and anticipate a tough battle en route to gold. In addition, Carlos Thomas Jr. has entered the contest as a definite wildcard. This event will serve as his first IFBB Pro show, and judging by his recent guest posings, he has a shot at winning.
Athletes have until October 9 to secure passage to the sport’s most celebrated event of the year, 2023 Mr. Olympia, which is slated to take place November 2-5, in Orlando Florida.