Can you even have a sport without a great rivalry? Tyson vs. Holyfield. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Duke vs. North Carolina. When it comes to the World’s Strongest Man, no rivalry is as savage as the beef between Eddie Hall and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (You know him as The Mountain from “Game of Thrones”). Now, after years of throwing verbal punches online, they’ll be throwing punches for real in The Heaviest Boxing Match in History. “At the end of the day, we’re both 350-plus pounds of body weight and we fucking hate each other,” Hall says. “So there’s only one way this is going to end—knockout.”
Hall and Björnsson’s dispute began in 2017 when Hall won the title of World’s Strongest Man. Hall’s victory came after years of diligent work in the strongman circuit, culminating in his biggest career success so far. “I became obsessed,” Hall shares. “For 365 days, I never missed a training session, never missed a meal, and always got my 10 hours of sleep. There were no days off. Even if you’re feeling ill you still have to turn up and put the work in. If there was one thing I could have said at World’s Strongest Man 2017, it was that I didn’t have a single excuse.”
But it wasn’t just the year of non-stop training that led Hall to the title, he worked his entire life to reach that point. As the youngest of three brothers, everything was a competition—from racing to school to scarfing down pizza. Believe it or not, the first sport Hall succeeded in was swimming, making it to nationals four years in a row. Then at 19, he decided to give competitive bodybuilding a shot. “I realized I was never going to be Mr. Olympia like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Hall says. “So I transferred my talent to lifting heavy things and I set myself a target to become the strongest man in the world. Pretty much 10 years later to the day, I did just that.”
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