Johnnie Jackson and Ben White put their strength claims on the line on Olympia Weekend

July 14, 2009

by Dave Lee


Don’t look for Johnnie Jackson and Ben White to “friend” each other on Facebook anytime soon. Ever since White won the 2007 USA super heavyweight and overall titles to turn pro, he’s been going after anybody and everybody, and Jackson – the 2007 Atlantic City Pro winner who is widely considered one of the strongest bodybuilders in the world – is at the top of his list. The topic? Who’s the strongest.

At Olympia Weekend 2009, it will be time to put up or shut up as the two face off at Duel in the Desert: World’s Strongest Bodybuilder Lift Off. The winner will walk away with the $10,000 first-place prize and bragging rights to the title of World’s Strongest Bodybuilder.

“Guys always say how strong they are but very few can back it up,” Jackson said. “I’m in that second category. I’ll beat him – badly.”

White, never at a loss for words, said, “People think Johnnie’s the strongest because Johnnie says so. Prove it!”

The two-lift duel will be comprised of the deadlift and bench press, with each man getting three attempts per lift. The highest combined total wins. According to Jackson, his best deadlift is 815 pounds and his best bench press is 600-pounds. White claims a best bench press of 711 pounds, in a bench shirt and 645 pounds, raw.

The Duel in the Desert debuts at the 2009 Olympia Expo, Saturday, September 26. The contest will be expanded next year to include any IFBB Pro League bodybuilder that has competed in at least one show in the same calendar year.

Stay tuned to for further details. In the meantime, here’s more from Jackson and White’s heated exchange.

From Jackson:
BOOTH BOY “We worked the Muscletech booth one year, but he didn’t have the manhood to come up and say something. By the way, I was in the Olympia but he was just a booth boy.”

NO WORRIES “I’ve competed against a lot better lifters than this guy. All I’ve got to say is, bring your best. Then you can see – along with everyone else – that I’m stronger.”

IT’S PERSONAL “I take this totally serious. It’s not a game. I take pride in my lifts and my rep is on the line.”

From White:
NO CHALLENGE “Everything counts in bodybuilding and being the strongest is just another way to get recognized. Until he’s been challenged, he isn’t.”

THE REAL 711 “I’m the best bencher in the IFBB. I’ve done 711 pounds. My deadlift ain’t bad, either.”

SECOND BEST “I’ve always pushed for this because the fans want to see it. I guess he didn’t want to do it before because he’d have to change his title to Second Strongest Bodybuilder in the World.”