On March 30, 2021, five-time CrossFit Games veteran Josh Bridges took to his Instagram page to share the news that he will fight four-time CrossFit Games veteran Jacob Heppner in a boxing match. The bout will take place in September 2021 in Las Vegas, NV, on the undercard of “The Heaviest Boxing Match in History,” which will see 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Eddie Hall take on 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björsson.
According to the press release, the bout between Bridges and Heppner is scheduled for six, three-minute rounds using 12-ounce gloves. This will be the first time two CrossFit Games athletes will compete head-to-head in any combat sport in a publicly broadcast manner. The specific weight they will fight at has not yet been announced.
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Tale of the Tape
Here is how the two CrossFit Games veterans line up:
- Age — 38
- Height — Five feet, five inches
- Weight — 175 pounds
- Boxing Style — Orthodox
Former Navy Seal Bridges has five CrossFit Games appearances (2013-14, 2016-18). His highest-placing finish came in 2014 when he barely missed the podium in fourth place. He finished in the top eight of the CrossFit Open on four separate occasions (2013, 2016-18).
Heppner has the age and height advantage heading into the fight.
- Age — 31
- Height — Five feet, seven inches
- Weight — 190 pounds
- Boxing Style — Orthodox
Heppner recently retired from competitive CrossFit after four appearances at the CrossFit Games (2014-15, 2018-19). He finished in the top 10 at the Games three times (2015, 2018-19). His best performance was a sixth-place finish in 2019. Although he no longer competes in the competitive functional fitness space, he hasn’t lost his desire to compete. In Heppner’s Instagram post, which also announced the fight, he quoted Rocky II character Apollo Creed:
“Ain’t gonna be no rematch…”
The press release did not disclose each fighter’s reach.
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CrossFit To Boxing
Both Bridges and Heppner have exceptional conditioning and stamina, as highlighted by their accolades in premier CrossFit competition. However, neither of them have ever boxed or professionally trained for any combat sport. Learning how to strike properly will be on the agenda for both training camps.
Bridges plans to train with a yet-to-be-named coach in San Diego, CA. Heppner’s training location and coaching team have not yet been announced. According to the press release, both men believe that “the winner will come down to raw conditioning,” which might imply that, at this early stage, neither combatant is thinking of an early-round victory by way of knockout — a stark contrast to the mindsets of Hall and Björnsson.
Feature image from Josh Bridges’ Instagram page: @bridgesj3