The following is an Opinion piece by Anthony Fuhrman
Hello. My name is Anthony Fuhrman, Flama Blanca, Sergeant Fuhrman etc…. I know there are a lot of you that know who I am, and an equal or greater amount that do not. I am a professional 105kg Strongman, I have won multiple World Titles, 2 silvers at Americas Strongest Man, and generally the best dancer at any competition.
I have been outspoken in my support and love for the 105kg Strongman class. To anyone that would listen I shouted how we were the best athletes, the strongest pound for pound, and the key to modernizing and mainstreaming the sport. This past year I went a different route. I decided to try to go open.
I placed top ten at Arnold Amateur Worlds, I competed on the Arnold Pro Strongman circuit multiple times, I competed in open SCL competition. I tried to get into Giants Live North America (Ididn’t qualify via OSGso this as a pipe dream, even though there arealways 10 athletes…). What I learned is that the open class is what it is, the freaks, the huge men, the people that for whatever reason, promoters love to give money and opportunity to.
When a 105kg competitor competes in the open class
I love both classes, and they are very different in many ways. The best 105kg will never match the best Open in pure strength. Pressing, deadlifting, its not going to happen.But the minute there is loaded carries involved, many top level 105s can definitely compete with them.This has been an eye-openingyear because of realizations like this. What we bring to the table is amazing athleticism, incredible strength, better physiques, and usually less beards and better smelling bodies. But why are the elite 105s not being featured? Here aresome things I think would be amazing for the future of the class:
1.Save a spot or two at the Giants Live, Arnolds, etc.for one or two top level 105kg. This will not only give the opportunity to showcase ourselves, but crowds LOVE the underdog. And I promise there will be an event or two that we will make a splash. Look at Rob Kearney, Kevin Faires, and Sean Demarinis. They can go toe to toe with many HW out there. (Iskipped over Andrew Clayton because he was a HW pro first, then cut down to 105kg)
2.GIVE US OUR OWN WORLDS! I have never seen a 105kg show on its own as the premier attraction. Always attached to another weight classor competition. I believe promoters do not trust the class to carry a show, but I really feel like there are promoters out there that understand marketing (that another topic that fires me up) enough to make it viable. If you choose events that give the sexy appeal to the crowd (War on the Shore in San Diego did a marvelous job of it this year) the crowds will come no matter the size of the competitor.
3.Understand that 105kg pros are considered freaks to the normal person. Yes,I said it. To the normal person, our size and strength is awe inspiring. Promoters have to remember that they don’t need the fans they currently have, yes strongman fans are spoiled by seeing the mountains, and the beasts, and the dragons, but normal people are still ridiculously impressed by us as well. They do not really grasp the difference between a 350lb press and 400 lb.press. TO them anything over 300 is like a Greek Myth.
4.PROMOTE US TOO! Part of the problem of social media is these companies latch on to the giants, and promote them, further building their mystique. IF they gave the same love and attention to the 105s, they would be building the credibility and perceived importance of those athletes as well. Perception is reality, and when you get stuck in a circle of promotion without branching out to other athletes, you monopolize the sport. Now these are just ideas, I am not complaining, mainly because no one cares about complaints. These are my observations, my theories, and what I think it will take to make the 105kg class a success.