Cover me happy – Hard Times – Richard Jones

Cover me happy – Hard Times – Richard Jones – Brief Article

Jim Schmaltz

It was quite a splash, even by hype-happy bodybuilding standards. USA overall champ RICHARD JONES made his debut on the cover of FLEX in December. The boldfaced editorial tagline was “Future Mr. O?” Sure, that’s easy for us to say, but how did the bold pronouncement affect the man himself?

“It’s been awesome,” said Jones three weeks after the issue went on sale. “I’ve been getting a lot of supportive e-mails and I’ve signed that cover everywhere I’ve traveled.”

And the pressure from the high expectations? Jones encourages it, asserting: “I love that type of pressure. I will rise to any occasion.”

To that effect, he says fans should brace themselves for his pro debut at the Night Of Champions in May. “You will see something from another world at the NOC,” he vows. “I haven’t yet reached my genetic potential. Once I start filling out, I’ll be that much better.”

While FLEX editors have heard some minor grumbling from envious fellow pros, Jones hasn’t suffered much resentment over the power plug. “I’ve heard that some guys don’t agree with it, but nobody has said anything negative to me,” he says. “Who knows what they’re saying behind my back.”

Jones is quickly learning how ugly it can get. He’s getting a sniff of the sometimes nasty rumors that accompany success in the sport, having been the victim of damaging gossip on the Internet lately. He’s ready for it.

“It doesn’t really bother me,” he says. “I don’t understand why my personal life has anything to do with my professional life. It’s nobody’s business. When you’re in the limelight, it happens. I know it’s all nonsense. I’ve read stuff about certain guys in the sport sleeping with transvestites and dancing for money.”

Hey, what FLEX writers do on their own time is their own business.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group