Written by Team MD
06 May 2017


Johnnie Takes Johannesburg

Veteran Johnnie Jackson Sweeps Arnold Africa


It’s a good thing Johnnie Jackson didn’t actually retire last year as he had announced he would, because today he scored his fifth win in a pro career that began in the 2001 season and has spanned an incredible 78 contests so far.


The 11-man lineup wasn’t the deepest, but Johnnie did have some serious competition today in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In sixth place was Jeff Beckham, who turned pro by winning the 2012 Team Universe. Jeff is on the taller side with long limbs. His wheels are pretty much where they need to be, but he still needs more upper body thickness to move up the ranks. In terms of shape and symmetry, his physique flows very well. Beckham is also an excellent poser, who incorporates plenty of classic and lunging poses in his routine, which always includes a split as well. His condition could have been a good 15-20% sharper.

In fifth place was Kuwait’s Ibrahim Fahim, a new guy who shows excellent potential for the future. Structurally, he has some of the widest clavicles I’ve seen since Dennis Wolf and Jay Cutler. I saw no weak bodyparts (though he could use more quad sweep to match those mega-wide delts), and his condition was on point. All he needs is more muscle maturity and detail, which should come in time.

Fourth place went to Victor Martinez. This was only a disappointment because had Victor been on his A game, he would have taken this show today. The trademark shape and symmetry were there, but Martinez was off enough on his condition to knock him down a couple notches from where he could have and should have been. As is often the case, he looked much better from the front, but the hams and glutes were a bit soft.

The other Dominican from New York, Juan ‘Diesel’ Morel, took the third-place slot. For a while in the judging, I thought he was fighting Johnnie for the win. He is taller and wider, and carries about 35 pounds more mass. His standout shoulders and back really wowed in shots like the rear double biceps, front, and rear lat spreads. As in Brazil two weeks ago, his condition wasn’t quite where it needed to be. Also, his right leg, noticeably smaller than the left, was distracting. Still, Juan has an incredible V-taper due to his wide back and shoulders and this small waist – not something you see often on the bigger men today.

The runner-up was Michael Lockett, who showed the very best condition of the 11-man lineup, with crisp, clear muscle separations and striations from traps, to glutes, to his bulging calves. Lockett has some of the roundest muscle bellies in the sport today, which are showcased to perfection in shots like the side chest and front double biceps. Stellar condition has the ability to make you somehow look past otherwise obvious flaws. For instance, Lockett’s back is quite weak compared to Victor, Juan, and especially Johnnie. He also has a smaller right quad, and his posing needs a lot of work, appearing amateurish at times. Still, the guy has a certain freak factor that impresses.

And finally, Johnnie Jackson, who probably will retire for real after this 2017 season, was awarded first place. Not too shabby for a man who turned 46 in January and who has been competing since some of the guys he beat today were in grade school! Like Dexter Jackson, his body shows none of the typical ravages of age we usually seen in bodybuilders over 40. He still has those incredibly thick and round shoulders, lats, traps, chest, and arms. Though his legs have never matched his upper body, today in this particular competition that wasn’t a liability. It was a well-earned and well-deserved win. If indeed this is his last season, the question now is, will he take this win and Mr. Olympia qualification and lay low until September, or will he finish out his final season as a pro with a few more shows, and maybe score another win or two? Time will tell. In the meantime, congratulations to Johnnie O. Jackson!










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