Congrats on your 212 Olympia win! Now that we’ve gone through the first year of the 212 division, do you like it better than the old 202 division?
Flex Lewis: Thanks for the congrats. Since I won the 212 Olympia Showdown, I have to say: Yes, I love it! LOL. But, really, from my perspective, it’s been a good move. I know a lot of the lighter guys wonder where they’re going to go now. Some of the guys who get pro cards in one of the divisions lighter than middleweight are going to have a tougher time in the 212 going against guys who out-weight them by 50 pounds or more. But remember, a lot of guys who went pro as middle- weights did well in the 212 this year, including Dave Henry, Jose Raymond, Guy Cisternino, and Tricky Jackson. The thing is we were losing good competitors because 202 was just too light. Raising it to 212 will keep the original guys in the class, and it opens up the door to guys turning pro as heavyweights who might want to come down to the 212 until they’re ready for the open class.
I’m excited to see where the class goes from now. Robin Chang has really promoted the class at the Olympia, which is great for us. A few years ago it looked like 202 was going to be a sideshow, but now it’s on the main stage at the Olympia. I’m always surprised by how many fans come up to me and say they really don’t follow the open shows. They follow the 202 class or now the 212 class almost ex- clusively. A lot more people can relate to the 212 than the open class. So I’m excited to see where it goes, and I’m excited to do my best to promote the class and the sport as the 212 Olympia Showdown champ.
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