Thor defeats Eddie Hall by unanimous decision in boxing match

The ‘Mountain’ Hafthor Julius Bjornsson beat Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall in a boxing grudge match by unanimous decision. 

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Parag Khanna
Potential
March 20, 2022 1:02 pm

A few weeks back I had totally lost interest in this contest, almost forgotten it was happening at all. When Thor broke the deadlift world record, pulling 501 kilograms on 2 May 2020, he challenged Eddie to a boxing match. Since then the fight has been continuously postponed until it finally took place on 19 March 2022. My interest was suddenly reignited a week before the fight. The build up has been CRAZY. Unless they are both amazing actors, there was some real bad blood between them.

The history goes like this. In the 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest the three front runners were Eddie Hall, Hafthor Bjornsson and Brian Shaw. Shaw was a 4-time winner of the contest and was going for his 5th title but developed an injury that put him in 3rd place. So the title would go to either Eddie or Thor. Eddie’s mentality was like no other. Despite all his genetic advantages, he was prepared to die to win the title. He was grossly overweight; he needed to carry that extra mass to hang with the giants of strongman. Thor is listed at 6’9 and Shaw at 6’8. Neither Eddie nor Thor had won WSM before and both were striving for their first win in the heat of Gaborone, Botswana.

The controversy occurred in Event 4: The Viking Press. This is 350 pounds pressed overhead for as many repetitions as possible within 60 seconds. The rules state no double-dipping, which means bending your knees to give yourself an advantage for what should be a strict press. Thor had wanted to clarify his technique beforehand, knowing there was potential to have disqualified reps. This is exactly what happened. During the event, the referee shouted at Thor that he was double-dipping. Despite the warnings, he was allowed these reps but the final rep was disallowed, giving him a total of 14. Eddie Hall therefore won the event with a total of 15 reps. In the final leader board Thor finished only 1 point behind Eddie Hall, meaning had his reps been allowed, we could have had a different winner altogether.

Since then Thor made some unpleasant accusations against Eddie, claiming Eddie’s friendship with Colin Bryce (WSM Head Referee) gave Eddie an advantage. Some rumors said Eddie knew what events would be happening months before WSM and even crazier was that athlete sabotage was involved. Eddie felt Thor tarnished his win, something that Eddie has been working his entire life for. The beef only intensified over the years.

When Thor went for the deadlift world record, he pulled 501 kilograms. Only 1 kilogram heavier than Eddie’s 500 kilogram world record. Eddie (and many others in the strongman community) refused to acknowledge the lift. It wasn’t in competition, it was in Thor’s own home gym, and his DAD weighed the plates beforehand! Thor shot back that when Eddie broke the deadlift world record, Eddie used his own platform and his own bar.

The week before the boxing match, the accusations against each other have taken a vindictive tone. It is not the regular sportsmanship rivalry we are used to hearing, but things that many of us think are being taken too far. With Thor now declared the winner of the boxing match, will the rivalry be squashed and can they become friends again like they once were? Let’s hope so.

Eddie Hall vs Thor Bjornsson.jpeg
Ernest Vicente
Impact
March 19, 2022 11:05 pm

There was a knockout. It just didn’t happen to either of the boxers. Tonight the platform that was meant to stream the fight live, Segi TV, got knocked out 😂😂 I tried to watch it on laptop, mobile and their app. None worked. How did they not anticipate this!? I gave up and searched for a live stream on YouTube. Segi TV must have lost out on a ton of viewership. The live stream I found had over 200k viewers at one point and there would have been many other streams available. I can’t imagine people who have been waiting weeks for this fight will be too pleased. Only when the fight was over did the Segi TV stream work for me. Perfect! 🙄

SegiTv Thor vs Eddie.png
Travis Banks
Potential
March 21, 2022 4:39 pm

I respect anyone who steps into a ring. Boxing is a strenuous sport, by no means for the faint-hearted. Even so I feel somewhat disappointed with Eddie Hall’s performance. In the build up to the fight Thor had some tune-up fights and showed how his boxing training was progressing. It was clear to all that he was taking the sport seriously and was digging deep to learn the basics from the beginning. I doubt this is an easy thing to do when you’ve been at an elite world level in another sport. Eddie Hall, however, had been scarce with his boxing footage. The few bits and pieces that he did show weren’t too impressive. Say what you want about YouTube commenters, but those who had some boxing expertise were telling him not to underestimate Thor, to keep his guard up and to lose a bit more weight to help with endurance. Eddie brushed off these comments. He explained that he was only showing what he wanted to show – the big wind-up punches, the punchbag arcade machine etc. The real training and craft learning was happening behind the scenes, away from the cameras.

Come fight night, it looks like Eddie was bluffing. He hadn’t been taking boxing seriously and he ended up paying the price. Eddie probably thought that boxing was a simple form of combat. Wind up and land a punch and it’ll all be over before you know it. Maybe it was arrogance and maybe he ignored the advice of his coach and sparring partner. Some of his fans were concerned when Eddie blithely said there was no technique to boxing. If you really think that you can rely on your power and size to win, then you have a lot to learn. Throughout the fight Eddie’s strategy was comically limited. All he did was crouch and look for an opening to land a big right. There was barely anything else. Poor defense, limited use of his other hand, substandard footwork. It’s like he ignored any advice he got over the past 2 years and thought he could take out Thor by landing a lucky shot.

Thor, on the other hand, took 2 years to learn the fundamentals. He’s not pro level or even close but you could see he had put the work in. He had humbled himself enough to know boxing is more than connecting with one solid punch. Personally what I found most impressive about Thor was how he maintained his composure after being knocked down. He trusted his technique when things got bad. He could easily have reverted to survival mode, attacking and defending on instinct when you throw away all your training. He kept his hands up and persisted with his jab and counter strategy.

Eddie Hall’s performance was disrespectful to the sport of boxing. I have seen this quite a bit. Some people think just because they are large, they can fight. I sometimes laugh at the assumption that people think a person is tough just because they are big. There is a world of difference between a professionally trained fighter and someone who thinks they’re dangerous by virtue of their size. Did Eddie Hall really get the better of pro boxers in his training? It seems highly unlikely. Or did he surround himself with yes men, ironically exactly the same thing he has accused Thor of?

Russell Bumak
Potential
March 19, 2022 10:42 pm

Just watched this! Here are my round-by-round thoughts as I watched it live:

Round 1
I couldn’t get the Segi stream to work so I missed the first round. From the watch along I was viewing on YouTube, Eddie came in all guns blazing throwing windmills and putting Thor on the back foot.

Round 2
Yay, the stream is working!! A massive punch from Eddie right at the beginning of the round. Thor is saved by the ropes otherwise he’d be on the floor. My thoughts here are that neither has great technique and the slugger might just win it. Eddie looks like he’s got a good engine right now. He doesn’t look gassed. Eddie is still trying for that haymaker. Boom!! Thor got a good hit on Eddie and Eddie responds with a huge punch. Thor goes down. At this stage Eddie is looking much better out of the two. Thor is still trying to stick with technique and not revert to animalistic survival mode. Eddie is bleeding from both eyes at this point though. Will it affect his vision?

Round 3
I have Eddie Hall up by 2 rounds at this point. Thor is relying on his jab and it is evident that Eddie is looking to land one huge punch. Thor absolutely has to be careful. Eddie packs a punch and the crowd is behind him, chanting his name. Thor is starting to land now. WOW. Eddie turned right in front of Thor and ate a right hand – he took it well but that’s a rookie error. Is Thor making a comeback? Is technique overcoming brute force? Eddie is now looking a bit tired. Thor is landing better. BOOM! Eddie is down at the end of the round. Credit to Eddie.. he got up straight away but this round goes to Thor. Quick realization. These are BIG people, haha.

Round 4
Could the 2 bad cuts be affecting Eddie? Thor is jabbing like crazy. He’s definitely showing better technique. We know a shot from Eddie can hurt Thor, but Thor is looking better now. Eddie’s hands are down but both look gassed. The round is slower than the last 3. Will Eddie’s haymakers still have the same power? Round 4 goes to Thor in my opinion because of his jabs.

Round 5
It couldn’t be clearer what Eddie is trying to do. It looks like there isn’t much left in his arsenal. He just wants one big punch to flatten Thor. Thor, however, is sticking to his game plan. Technique first. Unless Eddie lands with the windmill it looks like Thor will take this. I wonder.. if it continues like this, could it be a draw? It would certainly be the right ‘business’ decision. Not much happened this round. Both are gassed.

Round 6
Final round. Both touch gloves – good gesture. Nothing like slugging away at your opponent to make you both respect each other. And Eddie is down after a jab and cross! Eddie is struggling with his eyes. Visibility must be affected. Thor has stuck with his technique. It didn’t help much at the start but I guess it’s a marathon, not a sprint. These guys are legitimately tough to get up and keep going after taking such hits. Like I said, these are BIG guys. 1 minute left in the round and it doesn’t look like Eddie has much left.

Result
Winner by unanimous decision: Thor! They hug and take a photo together. It wasn’t a conclusive knockout as many of us expected. A rematch might be on the cards. In fact in Thor’s post-fight interview he says he’d definitely do a rematch if Eddie wants it.