Clash of the Titans One: Branch Warren vs Nasser El Sonbaty
By Shawn Perine
September 10, 2009
The 2009 Mr. Olympia on September 25-26 is shaping up to be the most competitive in history. Loaded with star power that hasn't been seen since the explosion of talent that populated the lineups of the nineties and into the new millennium, it sparks the timeless debate: Who was better, the champions of yesterday or the champions of today? To answer that, we've pitted the class of '09 against legendary names from the past, each in a one on one battle to determine once and for all, who will reign supreme.
First up in our Clash of the Titans series is Branch Warren vs. Nasser El Sonbaty.
FLEXONLINE OLYMPIA COUNTDOWN
Tuesday - JAY CUTLER'S GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS
Wednesday - 2009 MR. OLYMPIA: WHERE DOES IT RANK?
Thursday - OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: WARREN VS EL SONBATY
Thursday - OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: FREEMAN VS DILLET
TALE OF THE TAPE
|NAME: Branch Warren
WEIGHT: 255 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 2005, 8th; 2006, 12th
|NAME: Nasser El Sonbaty
WEIGHT: 280 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 1994, 7th; 1995, 3rd; 1996, DQ'd; 1997, 2nd; 1998, 3rd; 1999, 6th; 2000, 5th; 2001, 9th; 202, 15th
SCOUTING REPORT: WARREN
Warren may well pack more striated muscle on his 5'7" frame than anyone else in bodybuilding today. As he rolls his 250 pounds onstage he resembles a human tank, all power and energy. His legs are especially impressive; his arms and back a bit less impressive. Warren is the living epitome of ruggedness.
SCOUTING REPORT: EL SONBATY
Coming into his own during the "mass monster" era of the mid-90's (think Yates, Dillet, Fux, Francois), El Sonbaty stood apart as the most massive of them all. He sported full, hard muscles from head to toe, especially from the front. If not for a slightly subpar back Nasser could easily have won several Sandows.
From the waist up El Sonbaty holds a solid edge. Although their torsos aren't too far apart, El Sonbaty's arm advantage is sizable. Legs is a tossup - both men have, arguably, the best wheels of their respective generations.
This one is close, although Warren does hold a slight advantage when it comes to glutes and hamstrings. Again, El Sonbaty's arm advantage is clear, but Warren's pec mass offsets this.
Neither man is known for a strong back. In the rear double biceps shot El Sonbaty's back looks narrow and thin. Warren's is thicker, although lacking in crisp detail. El Sonbaty's back holds up better against Warren's in the rear lat spread.
THE WINNER: EL SONBATY
In the end it's the more balanced physique and better arms of El Sonbaty that wins out. Warren's unbelievable conditioning keeps it close, but only a few men in history could have beaten a primed El Sonbaty and, to date at least, Warren's physique doesn't put him in that category.