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Samir Bannout ‘Impressed With The Changes’ Nick Walker Made at New York Pro, Talks His Chances at Mr. Olympia – Fitness Volt



Having reached the top of the sport in 1983 at the Mr. Olympia, Samir Bannout is uniquely qualified to break down action from the Men’s Open. Taking to YouTube, Bannout discussed Nick Walker’s performance against Martin Fitzwater at the 2024 New York Pro. 

The 2024 New York Pro was by far one of the most thrilling contests of the bodybuilding season. Despite Nick Walker heading into the event as a massive frontrunner, he faced great challenges en route to securing gold. Fans and judges alike were blown away by Martin Fitzwater’s physique and stage presence. 

Ultimately, the prejudging and finals saw Walker pull away with the victory, but only by a hair. With names like IFBB Vice President Tyler Manion indicating that Walker wasn’t his best ever, discussions surrounding his physique and future in the class are underway.

Samir Bannout Talks Nick Walker Being ‘Pushed’ by Martin Fitzwater at 2024 New York Pro and Future at Mr. Olympia

Even though Bannout thought Walker’s waist appeared wide in Pittsburgh, he says ‘The Mutant’ fixed that issue at the 2024 New York Pro. 

“I felt comfortable about Nick correcting that. He did not look good enough in my opinion at the guest posing. And yes, his middle looked wider. Whatever was the cause, but I felt since he had a very capable coach with Matt Jansen. I felt comfortable that this issue could be altered and so, I was impressed with the changes that he made in a matter of days.”

Reflecting on the competition, Bannout thought the showdown between Walker and Fitzwater could have gone either way. 

“Yeah, it was a great great contest and it was close. Honestly, I’m really impressed by Martin Fitzwater because I think Martin looked really good and he pushed him completely I mean, honestly, at some point with all due respect, I felt almost it could have gone either way,” said Samir Bannout. 

“Walker he still needs to do a little bit more. I don’t like the fact that he left his face the shade color wasn’t as — he needs to work on that. He needs to be more professional.”

Looking ahead, Bannout expects Walker ‘to have everything done perfectly’ if he hopes to stand a chance against the top contenders at the Mr. Olympia. 

“It’s Olympia now, you have to have everything done perfectly. I’m impressed, I’m happy for him. He’s a warrior.

He’s a hard worker. In the past, like I said I wasn’t a big fan of Nick Walker, talking about four or five years ago but ever since he connected with Matt Jansen it’s safe to say Nick Walker is doing awesome and I wish him the best at the Mr. Olympia.

Bannout was left unsure if Walker was at his all-time best but added that his waist looked even tighter days after the contest. 

“The thing is the body always fluctuates a little bit. You don’t look exactly the same at every show. Sometimes you do little changes here and there but for me Nick looks awesome. I’m surprised that days after that winning that show, he filled up completely and looked more massive and actually his midsection looked even smaller.”

If Bannout had to choose between Walker adding detail or size, he would choose detail. 

“I like quality always over quantity and I’m really listen, look, big and pretty is fine with me. It’s better than small and pretty. So if you’re big at all costs and you’re blocky, I’m not for you. I’m not going to vote for you.”

Bannout pointed to Walker’s weight at the New York Pro, suggesting that he is probably lighter than in years past. 

“If you put him on the scale back then and on the scale now, I bet you he weighed less now. I bet you the reason why he gained me as a fan now, I’m impressed that he really turned it around. Now, he’s Pro-quality. They are doing something smart.”

Although the competition was close, Walker secured his 2024 Mr. Olympia qualification and will have the chance to test himself against the best later this year. Shortly after he defeated Fitzwater, ‘The Mutant’ underscored that if he says he’s going to do something, he gets it done. 

As for ‘The Martian,’ he intends to improve with the time he has left before the Olympia. He made it crystal clear that he hopes to push into the first call-out and put on a show against the big boys of the Open in October. 

Bannout was impressed with both finalists and expects a fiery rematch when the two square off in Las Vegas, Nevada in celebration of the 2024 Mr. Olympia’s 60th anniversary. 

RELATED: Shawn Ray Casts Doubt on Nick Walker’s 2024 Mr. Olympia Chances, ‘He’s Going to Need a Dose of Reality’

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