Since the 202 division has become its own entity, there has been a classic one-two punch reminiscent of the days of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier battles. David Henry and Kevin English are playing the parts of the pugilistic pair from a generation ago and have gone toe-to-toe in their prior meetings.
The first one came at the 2008 New York Pro 202 when English edged out Henry. Four months later, Henry took out English at the inaugural 202 Olympia Showdown. At this year’s New York Pro, English won going away with Henry finishing third behind veteran bodybuilder Mark Dugdale. Now the big question is if Henry can bounce back and repeat in Las Vegas, but English will definitely have something to say about that.
“For me, David motivates me to be a better bodybuilder,” said English. “So I know going in that he’s going to be hungry. He wants to avenge that last loss to me. I know he’s pushing hard, so that means that you’ve got to get your game up.”
Last year, the 202 competitors had the opportunity to compete in both divisions. It is a different story this time around but the trade off is that the posedown and placings will take place at the Orleans Arena instead of the Expo stage. “It wasn’t a big decision as far as this year goes,” English said in regards to going after the Sandow or staying in the 202. “Once I achieve that (winning the 202 Olympia), then next year I’ll compete in the open class.”
The Great Neck, New York native feels that he is in much better condition this time around. “Last year I didn’t prepare properly,” said English, who began his diet in the middle of July at 244 pounds. “I wasn’t at 100 percent. So that’s why I want to avenge that loss.”
When asked if the rivalry with Henry was of the friendly variety, English was stone-faced and all business. “We’re respectful towards one another but to me, I don’t let any negativity into my life,” he said. “Negativity is like a seed. It just spreads. I try to keep a positive mindset.”
If there was anyone else in the 202 division that English has his eye on, you couldn’t tell. “At this point it doesn’t matter,” he quickly quipped. “I’m so immensely focused and pumped up for the show…anybody can go in. It’s my show.”
When it comes time to get to Sin City, put your money on English.