It’s a bizarre, but brilliant, time to be a fan of combat sports. Whether it’s boxing fans blaming Drake for Anthony Joshua’s original defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr, the construction of Dana White and the UFC’s masterfully-engineered ‘Fight Island’ or, of course, the showdown between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul, there’s never been a better time to watch pro athletes and celebrities trade blows for our entertainment.

The Heaviest Boxing Match in History

Two of boxing’s most recent sign-ups, however, are a little left-field. Namely, Hafþór ‘Thor’ Björnsson and Eddie Hall — two of the world’s strongest men.

On 2nd May 2020, Iceland’s Björnsson usurped Britain’s Eddie Hall as the king of the deadlift, by beating his then-three year world record of 500kg with a 501kg lift in his home gym in Reykjavík. The lift, unfortunately, was met with mixed reviews and Eddie Hall, 2017 World’s Strongest Man, disputed the veracity of the event, both before and after the world record was beaten.

After completing the 501kg lift, Björnsson — who, at the time, weighed 204kg at 6’9” — spoke directly into the camera, calling out Hall for a challenge that, bizarrely, sounded like a call to arms for a fight in the boxing ring. It was the latest exchange in a series of back-and-forth jabs between the two, most of which were dealt through YouTube and social media to millions of followers.

“Eddie, I know I just knocked out your record,” Björnsson said on the YouTube stream. “Now I’m ready to knock you out in the ring. Time to put your fists where your big mouth is and sign the Core Sports contract.” The contract, as Björnsson says in the video, is a “six-figure” document from Core Sports that will see the two strongman rivals (and old friends) come to blows to decide the winner of “The Heaviest Boxing Match in History.”

Right now, both men are already training for the fight, which will take place in September 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Previously, the fight had been teased on Eddie Hall’s YouTube channel, “He thinks he’d beat me in a fight,” Hall said in the video, laughing. “He mocked my size, he said I’m a little man, 380 pounds [172kg]. Buddy, that was a big mistake, man… I was the same size when I beat you at World’s Strongest Man, and I’ll be the same size when I beat you in the ring, so there’s no difference there.” For the unaware, back in 2017, Björnsson complained of being “robbed” by Eddie Hall at the World’s Strongest Man, claiming that “the integrity of my beloved sport is in question,” as Hall walked away with the trophy with a single point advantage.

“I don’t dislike Thor, I don’t hate Thor, I’ve got no agenda to fight Thor, but I feel as though there is a demand there, I feel like the fans want to see it,” Eddie went on to say in the Q&A. “I quite agree with Thor, if he wants to finish off what he wants to do in Strongman, and then take a bit of time out and train for it, he says he wants a year to train for it, that’s fine, I’m ready to go now, not a problem. So I’m happy to work on his terms. There’s no hard feelings, we’ll be very gentlemanly about it, if he wants to take his time and train and set something up for 2021 maybe, then let’s do it.”

“I feel like we’ve got to get our heads together and make this financially beneficial for both of us, and I think the strongman world and the world themselves want to see two World’s Strongest Men go head to head in the ring. I think it’ll be phenomenal. Who’s the alpha, you know? The Beast vs. Thor, who’s going to come out on top? Thor, it’s on buddy. Get your gloves ready.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_uzmm1F4-I/

The World’s Heaviest Fight: Hafþór Björnsson’s Workout

Outside of strongman, both men are keen YouTube personalities, which means they’ve been documenting their training journey from day dot. Earlier this week, Björnsson shared his first ever boxing workout and ring training with his followers.

His workouts are geared to get him in shape for the boxing ring, which includes lighter weight than his usual sessions and 10-second rest periods between sets of moves like barbell rows, sled pushes and face pulls.

“The whole thing has changed, the training,” said Björnsson. “The diet will have less carbs, so I will be losing weight.” As the video shows above, the workout is nothing short of a beasting, as Thor describes feeling “absolutely destroyed” and shares how he has “no endurance”, but he’s ready to grind. And hard. “I’m no boxer, but I believe I’m athletically gifted, and I believe that I’m able to learn fast.”

The World’s Heaviest Fight: Eddie Hall’s Workout

Eddie Hall, an archetypal Brit, shared a similar outlook on his channel. “It’s another day towards the journey to knocking Thor’s head off. Today is going to be a nice, explosive strength and conditioning session based around movements for boxing. We’re also going to do a bit of mobility, and get straight to a flat bench.”

Hall is the first to admit that this new style of training, compared to that of strongman, is completely new to him, despite having dropped a significant amount of weight after his retirement. “Being a strongman for the past 11 years, and the last three years all I’ve done is train heavy, heavy weights, you do become a bit robotic, I’ll be honest,” he says. “I’m as clueless as anybody about boxing. I’m not an expert or claim to be an expert. So there’s a lot to learn, a lot to progress on.”

Part of this progression involves boxing drills, barbell work — including chest presses and flyes — alongside abdominal work, reaction-based reflex circuits and, of course, heavy bag work.

The World’s Heaviest Fight: Who Will Win?

At the time of writing, we’re currently 16 months out from ‘The World’s Heaviest Fight’ between Hafþór Björnsson and Eddie’ Hall, so predictions from sports experts are few and fat between. However, that hasn’t stopped amateur critics, keyboard warriors and fans of the sport debating who will win. Both Björnsson and Hall have certain advantages when it comes to the fight — for example, Björnsson is considerably taller with a better reach, but Hall has a higher cardio threshold from his background in swimming — giving ample ammo for the discussion. Observe:

Thor wins if he learns how to use his reach.

If @eddiehallWSM is hydrated going into the fight vs Björnsson he will win. Hands down.

@eddiehallWSM just seen the contract signing. Not seen that level of determination since your days of strongman training. I have zero doubts you will win the fight

@eddiehallWSM Hou are going to destroy Thor, have you seen his sparring video? The man turned his head every time he got hit… fitness will win this fight. He got gassed out at the end and the opponent was ready for it. Then the round suddenly ends. Bullshit

Some fans, however, aren’t particularly fussed….

@eddiehallWSM Hou are going to destroy Thor, have you seen his sparring video? The man turned his head every time he got hit… fitness will win this fight. He got gassed out at the end and the opponent was ready for it. Then the round suddenly ends. Bullshit

I’m not saying this is going to be shit….but this is going to be shit.

The World’s Heaviest Fight: How to Watch Hafþór Björnsson vs Eddie Hall

Regardless of where you stand, Hafþór Björnsson and Eddie Hall going toe-to-toe will be a fight to remember. Presented by Core Sports, the fight — as with most bouts — will be streamed on a pay-per-view basis across several television services. Bring it on.

From: Men’s Health UK

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