Branch Warren Wins 2012 Australian Pro Bodybuilding Competition




A mere two weeks ago, professional bodybuilder Branch Warren defied conventional wisdom, making an incredibly rapid return from injury to secure a victory at the 2012 Arnold Classic competition. Though the result was controversial, with a vast sentiment that runner-up Dennis Wolf was the true winner, Warren silenced a majority of critics who believed last season’s conditioning was the pinnacle of what he could, ultimately, achieve. To his credit, Warren dismissed the idea at the Arnold and, subsequently, sought to improve upon this notion at the Australian Pro on March 17. He did, but not without another round of controversy.

Facing a diminished, but aggressive field, Warren entered the competition in comparable shape to that of his appearance at the Arnold. Though he did look as if he was holding a bit more water than one would have liked, he did bring the tight, vascular physique he has come to be known for. Most outstanding was the totality of mass he was able to carry, outdoing every competitor on the card. The only glaring discrepancy noted was that of his disproportionate lat spread. Judging by photos from the event, whether by trick of lighting or legitimate cause, one lat muscle looked extremely atrophied and nearly half the size of its reciprocal.

The decision to award Warren the title was unanimous, as the judging panel, led by fitness icon Bev Francis, found little comparison from the rest of the field. Within minutes, however, fans around the world took to the internet to debate what many consider another questionable decision on behalf of the panel of judges.

The runner-up, Michael Kefalianos, brought a well-trained and vascular physique, though his structure is not as pleasing to the eye as most competitors. Fans of the sport were quick to point out their beliefs that his finish was He did, however, by virtue of his second-place finish, enable his invitation to this year’s Mr. Olympia competition to be extended.

Placing third was Omar Deckard who, in his first-ever top three, professional finish, looked much better than he had at last month’s FLEX Pro competition.

With the win, Warren took home the prize of $10,000. He is also gaining much-needed momentum heading toward this year’s IFBB Mr. Olympia competition. He will need every ounce of it he can manage, should he be able to compete with current and former Mr. Olympia champs Phil Heath and Jay Cutler.
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