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ANDREW OYE'S IFBB PRO CONTEST REPORT: IFBB PRO JUAN MOREL WINS NEW YORK PRO BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIPS, EARNS SECOND IFBB PRO LEAGUE CAREER VICTORY
The Headline: ANDREW OYE'S IFBB PRO CONTEST REPORT: IFBB PRO JUAN MOREL WINS NEW YORK PRO BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIPS, EARNS SECOND IFBB PRO LEAGUE CAREER VICTORY

The Item: IFBB Pro League Contest Results, Andrew Oye's Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, rising from the runner-up spot in 2014, IFBB Pro Juan Morel won 1st place in the Open Division at the 2015 IFBB New York Pro Bodybuilding Championships in New Jersey, at a contest that was held on a Sunday this year as opposed to the customary Saturday for most professional and amateur contests. Pre-contest favorite IFBB Pro Victor Martinez took the 2nd place runner-up position. Jumping two spots from the 2014 NY Pro, IFBB Pro Max Charles claimed 3rd place. From Canada, IFBB Pro Henri-Pierre Ano ascended to 4th place (from 13th place last year). IFBB Pro Grigori Atoyan finished in 5th place.

Some of the remaining field of physiques: IFBB Pro Clarence Devis (6th), gigantic Russian IFBB Pro Alexander Fedorov (7th), IFBB Pro Derek Upshaw (9th), dropping four spots from last year IFBB Pro Daniel Toth (10th), and IFBB Pro Juan Carlos Graham (11th).

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro Muscle Report," the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Point System applies to IFBB Pro League athletes' eligibility to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (September 17-20) in Las Vegas, Nevada, to challenge reigning Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath at the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding." The New York Pro is a Tier 2 contest, i.e., one of few to award more points per placing than Tier 3 or Tier 4 contests: (1st automatic qualification, 2nd - 6 Points, 3rd - 5 Points, 4th - 4 Points, 5th - 3 Points). The New York Pro was formerly known as the highly anticipated and competitive Night of Champions (NOC) and previously won by International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness stars, such as Mr. Olympia winners IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, and IFBB Pro Dorian Yates; as well as other standouts like IFBB Pro Vince Taylor, IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler, IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone, IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, and IFBB Pro Gary Strydom (former champion of WWE CEO Vince McMahon's WBF World Bodybuilding Federation).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: After also skipping the previous weekend's guest-posing gig at the NPC/IFBB Pittsburg Championships (with guests Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, 5-time Arnold Classic Champion IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, and IFBB Pro Branch Warren), 2-time consecutive New York Pro champion IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay (a.k.a. "Big Ramy") did not return to contend for a third title at this year's contest. The word is the 2012 IFBB Amateur Olympia winner from Egypt is training for the Arnold Classic Brasil (May 29-31), which will mark the 300-pouder's first contest of the 2015 IFBB Pro League contest season and his first appearance at any of the Arnold Sports Festival's international franchises of the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships (USA, Europe, Brasil or Australia).

Many aspects of this year's New York Pro seemed "scaled back" -- from Elssbiay's absence to a change in venue (from New York's Tribeca Performing Arts Theater to a hotel in Teaneck, New Jersey) to the contestant pool (which shrank from about 30 competitors in the old days to 15 competitors last year to only 11 competitors this year). Despite the event's waning hype, Juan Morel garnered his second win of his professional career, while taking a victory Victor Martinez also "needed." Martinez had taken 2nd to rookie Elssbiay in 2013, a stinging loss for a guy viewed as a quintessential New York/East Coast bodybuilder and who won the contest back in 2003 (defeating names like IFBB Pro Pavol Jablonicky, IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson, IFBB Pro Bob Cicherillo, IFBB Pro Milos Sarcev, IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel, IFBB Pro Tommi Thorvildsen, IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell and IFBB Pro Aaron Maddron). Perhaps Martinez can take solace in knowing he has two Arnold Classic titles (2007 ASC USA, 2011 ASC Europe) -- something neither Morel nor Big Ramy have… yet.

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