Sheru Classic a Shell of Its Former Self

sheru-classicWhen the Sheru Classic first came onto the IFBB scene in 2011, it was deemed prestigious enough to be held exactly one week after the Olympia (and actually move the Olympia up) so that the top names in the industry could enter and still be at their peak condition. A lot of money was needed to pull this off, with travel to Mumbai, India and lodging expenses there for athletes who guaranteed to make the inaugural show to be a roaring success. Promoter Sheru Aangrish was being lauded for putting this all together.

Even though there were only two pro categories (men’s open bodybuilding and figure), they read like a who’s-who in the industry: Phil Heath, Jay Cutler, Kai Greene, Victor Martinez, Dennis Wolf, Toney Freeman, Nicole Wilkins, Erin Stern, Candice Keene, Ava Cowan, Larissa Reis and more. This was touted as ‘The Rematch’ between the newly-crowned champion Heath and his predecessor Cutler. The result was the same as it was the week prior in Las Vegas and the Sheru Classic seemed to be on its way.

A year later, the contest was held at a larger venue and although it was still a week after the Olympia, it took place the first weekend in October. Men’s 212 bodybuilding and bikini were added to the schedule and that meant even more big names making the long trip. Heath once again prevailed, as did David Henry, Nicole Nagrani and Erin Stern. The expectations grew for this show to become the springboard to bring the superstars of the IFBB to an international audience. But as soon as it appeared that all was well, it began to dismantle for Aangrish.

The 2013 show was held, but it only included 212 and bikini. Many of the big names did not attend (including guest posers) due to a litany of reasons and allegations against the promoter. When legends such as Dorian Yates comes out publicly to allege that he was owed a large sum of money by the promoters for his participation with his supplement line, it doesn’t bode well for the reputation of the entire operation.

It appeared that the Sheru Classic would fall into the bin of the many shows that came and went but it somehow once again reappeared on the IFBB schedule this year, albeit with much less fanfare. In the lone class, Roelly Winklaar is the top name of the 10 in the lineup. It appears that the expo is more of the attraction, with Kai Greene, Big Ramy and strongman Brian Shaw confirmed.

It remains to be seen if there will be any fallout from the previous issues that Aangrish has faced and if he can pull off a mistake-free event like the first two. He must have done some backtracking the last two years to even have the opportunity to run a show under the IFBB banner. And to get Greene and Ramy to attend (even as non-competitors) must have cost him plenty.

It would seem that this is Aangrish’s last chance. He can either be lauded or blackballed after the event on November 26.

You can find more out about the 2016 Sheru Classic and get updates at MuscleMecca:

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