04/02/2007 LEVRONE’S RETURN?

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Kevin Levrone is returning to competitive bodybuilding. We heard the rumors back in December - rumors that Levrone had requested an invite to the Arnold Classic - but we didn’t believe them. Now, we’re hearing them again.

This time, from the man himself. Appearing on Pro Bodybuilding Weekly on Monday, Levrone announced his return to the sport. Sort of. We think.

“It’s definitely in my plans to return to bodybuilding and win a Sandow,” Levrone said on the show. “Just like it was in my plans to turn pro. My ultimate goal is to win a Mr. Olympia and that’s what I plan to do. But I got to get started on it very soon, because the clock’s ticking.”

How long would it take to get back into contest shape? “Eighteen weeks,” Levrone said.

When pressed by hosts Dan Solomon and Bob Chicherillo, on whether or not he could be ready for this year’s Olympia, Levrone answered, “Definitely. I never trained all year round for a Mr. Olympia or any of my competitions after I tore my chest. And I do think I could be ready for the Mr. Olymipa 18 to 20 weeks from now and walk on stage probably around 245 pounds, the same way I left the stage in [2003].”

One of the most decorated bodybuilders in the history of the sport, Levrone amassed 20 wins and 18 runner-up finishes in his 12-year professional career. Levrone last competed at the 2003 GNC Show of Strength, where he finished third behind winner Dexter Jackson and Jay Cutler.

As for what kind of shape he’s in, well … let’s say Levrone was weighing in at a less-than-Olympia ready 195 pounds when he last stopped by the Weider offices in early January, a far cry from the 250 pounds he carried during his competition days. On PBW, he estimated his weight today to be “around 185 to 190”. But Levrone has a history of miraculous physique transformations.

Four months before the 2002 Olympia, Levrone visited the Weider offices on the heels of a hernia operation weighing, by most accounts, all of 210 pounds. At that point in time, not even Nostradamus would have predicted Levrone being a factor at the contest with such little time to prepare.

But, fast forward to October 19 and there he was, standing toe-to-toe with Ronnie Coleman before eventually finishing as the runner-up at the biggest bodybuilding show on the planet. Whether or not Levrone can repeat that feat five years later remains to be seen.

And then there’s always the possibility that the unpredictable Levrone is a day late in turning his calendar, and maybe he’s having a little fun at our expense. Maybe he decided announcing his return to bodybuilding was a better way to drum up publicity for his upcoming movie, Redline, than say, totaling a one-million dollar Ferrari.

We’ll just have to wait and see. Stay tuned.

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