On March 28, 2021, the 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Champion Eddie Hall took to his YouTube channel to answer some questions from his fans. Hall discussed his biggest regret as a competitive strongman, his response to Joe Rogan‘s comments about his boxing technique, if he intends to continue as a professional boxer following “The Heaviest Boxing Match in History,” and if there is any chance of a renewed friendship with 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björnsson after their bout scheduled for September 2021.
Check out the full Q&A below courtesy of Björnsson’s YouTube channel:
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Hall On His Future Boxing Career
The first question Hall responds to asks if he intends to pursue a career as a professional fighter after his bout with Björnsson. Without mincing words, Hall answers, “Quite simply, yes.”
Hall is a full year into his boxing training and seems to enjoy the training. He feels as though he has adapted quickly in terms of stamina and endurance training and picked up a lot of techniques in a short period of time. It also doesn’t hurt that he loves to throw punches and get punched.
I absolutely love boxing. Fighting has been a big part of my life.
Hall divulges that his upbringing was a fairly combative one. He’s been in a lot of fights, broken many bones, had bottles smashed over his head, and got into scuffles involving “bricks, sticks, baseball bats, you name it.” Although his relationship with fighting is healthier now, Hall still finds it to be an enjoyable escape for him and intends to have a boxing career that lasts, at least, several years.
Hall’s Biggest Regret In Strongman
Questioned about his biggest regret in strongman and if he would do it over differently if he could, Hall responds:
“My biggest regret was [the] 2014 World Deadlift Championships.”
At that event, Hall hit a new deadlift world record of 461 kilograms (1,016.3 pounds) along with Benedikt Magnússon. However, after locking out the lift and being given the “down signal” by the referee, Hall let go of the bar. This isn’t legal in competition. For a lift to count, the strongman must control the bar back to the floor. By dropping the bar, even after getting the signal that the lift was good, it “disallowed the lift” and cost Hall $10,000 in prize money.
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At the time, Hall was still working full time in addition to being a professional strongman. Missing out on that prize money meant he actually lost money competing in the event and was ready to give up his entire strongman career. His wife was able to talk him out of it by reinforcing that even though the lift didn’t officially count, he proved he was one of the strongest deadlifters on the planet.
Hall doubled down on his strongman career following that event. He quit his other jobs to focus entirely on strongman. Although the biggest regret of his career was dropping that barbell, he wouldn’t do it over because “it put the fire in [his] belly.”
It’s the losses that make a man…that make a victor.
Hall acknowledges that losing isn’t easy, but he is thankful for the failures in his career. Each time he came in third or scored a runner-up finish was part of his process to ultimately being crowned the WSM.
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Responding to Joe Rogan
On March 11, 2021, the Joe Rogan Experience podcast host, Joe Rogan, interviewed five-time Fittest Man on Earth® Mat Fraser. During the interview, they discussed the upcoming bout between Hall and Björnsson and watched tape of each strongman’s boxing training. Rogan critiqued the techniques. Specifically, Rogan called Hall’s punching form “rudimentary” and “arm punches.”
Rogan identified that the sheer mass Hall and Björnsson carry on their frames can make it difficult to throw a punch fluidly. It isn’t as easy to turn their shoulders and drive from the hips when throwing a punch as opposed to someone who has much less bulk. Rogan noted that Hall’s body was very “stiff” and commended Björnsson’s training team for having Björnsson focus on technique.
As a huge fan of Rogan himself, Hall took the comments in stride:
“People can speculate, they can make assumptions, they can guess…but I’m knocking Thor out. There’s no doubt in my mind. People can say whatever they want, no offense to Joe Rogan’s comments…but he doesn’t know the full picture. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I hope it gives Thor more confidence because he needs it…he’s in deep trouble.”
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“Irreparable” Friendship With Hafthor Björnsson
When asked if he would ever be friends with Björnsson, Hall laughed. He mentions that he and Björnsson once were “good friends” despite being rivals at the biggest events in strongman for many years. They hung out together at each others’ homes, partied together, traveled the world together, but it all changed following the controversy surrounding the 2017 WSM contest.
The contest ultimately came down to the difference of a single rep on the Viking press event. Björnsson believed that he was robbed of a rep discounted for double-dipping — which is when an athlete bends their knees during a rep to generate power from the legs to press the weight overhead. Björnsson was warned for double-dipping several times during the event and was ultimately penalized a rep which allowed for Hall to claim the crown.
Hall refers to the controversy surrounding his WSM win as a “black cloud” and doesn’t believe Björnsson cares. The result of the discrepancy is that Hall did not consider Björnsson a friend and said, “even with an apology…I don’t want to…break bread with this man.”
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Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
Both Hall and Björnsson will descend on Las Vegas, NV, on Sep. 18, 2021, to battle it out in the ring. Both men are WSM champions, they are the only two people to ever successfully deadlift at least 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds), and it appears as though there’s still bad blood between them. Both men have said that they intend to knock the other out early in the fight, so expect them to come out swinging. Rest assured, when these two behemoths collide, there will almost assuredly be fireworks.
Featured image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram