Although they missed facing each other on an IFBB stage by a scant two years, FRANCO COLUMBU and LEE HANEY represent two distinct eras in pro bodybuilding.
As one of the sport’s great “short men,” 5'5" Columbu routinely defeated the sport’s Goliaths en route to two Mr. Olympia titles (1976 and 1981). His overwhelming back and chest, not to mention crisp conditioning and powerful countenance, made his stature (or lack thereof ) irrelevant in the eyes of fans and judges alike.
Haney, who was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2006 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, was actually one of bodybuilding’s Goliaths during his pro years (1983-91). But rather than rely on sheer mass, the Totalee Awesome One paid close attention to shape and detail to become not just the biggest, but often the most refined man in lineups. He was rewarded with eight Sandows (1984-91) for his efforts.
So, what might a Haney/ Columbu showdown have looked like?