Björnsson is an Icelandic giant known for deadlifting 501 kilograms (1,104 pounds) — more than any human ever — and for portraying the role of Gregor Clegane (aka The Mountain) in HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones. Paul generated one of the most-viewed, single-person YouTube channels in history with nearly five billion views on the back of controversies like displaying a corpse in Japan’s “Suicide Forest” and giving CPR to a fish. Despite their rises to fame being disparate, they both converted their notoriety into budding professional boxing careers.
Check out the video below from the IMPAULSIVE YouTube channel where Paul calls out Björnsson to box him:
Technically, Björnsson only has one professional fight on his resume — a technical knockout victory over Devon Larratt — in addition to a pair of exhibition bouts against Steven Ward and Simon Vallily. Similarly, Paul only has one professional bout on his resume — a split decision loss to Olajide William Olatunji — and a notable eight-round exhibition against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Björnsson fights in the heavyweight division — he weighed in at 344 pounds against Larratt. In contrast, Paul fights at Cruiserweight (up to 200 pounds).
Björnsson thought Paul’s performance against Mayweather Jr. was “insane” — meaning excellent — because Mayweather Jr. is regarded as one of the greatest boxers ever, and Paul lasted all eight rounds.
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However, Björnsson points out that Paul was taller (by five inches) and heavier (by approximately 50 pounds) — lopsided advantages in a boxing ring. As such, Björnsson suggests that Paul challenge him next. Paul attempts to recount where he previously heard that suggestion when IMPAULSIVE cohost Mike Majlak asks, “who wins that fight?” Paul turns to Björnsson to propose they box right there in the recording studio:
Literally, we should stand up and box.
Björsson didn’t miss a beat — he quickly eyed Paul up and down and then says with assured confidence:
After a fit of laughter from the three men, Paul and Björnsson more seriously discuss a sparring session. Björnsson “would be honored” to spar Paul, who quickly pivots away from the idea to talk about Björnsson’s experiences with other well-known fighters (i.e., Conor McGregor).
Majlak segues to 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall — who Björnsson was supposed to fight before Devon Larratt replaced him after Hall suffered a ruptured biceps during a sparring session; delaying the bout with Björnsson until 2022. Majlak playfully asks if Björnsson knows who Hall is. Björnsson used the opportunity to talk some trash:
The fat guy from the UK, right? Yeah, I remember that guy.
Paul and Majlak speculate if Hall’s biceps injury was legit or not and ask Björnsson if he believes Hall was actually hurt. The 2018 WSM sidesteps the question to assert that the longer the fight is delayed, the better Björnsson will be at boxing with the ultimate goal of beating Hall.
Long Term Goals vs. Instant Gratification
Arguably the most striking part of Paul and Björnsson’s conversation is when Paul praises Björnsson for his capacity to assert a long-term goal and commit his entire life to achieve it. During his transition from strongman to boxing, Björnsson leaned out his physique, overhauled his diet, trained with elite CrossFitters like Annie Thorisdottir, and added five-kilometer runs into his routine. That would have been unimaginable during his strongman days when he would walk for 10 minutes between meals.
Björnson is somewhat incredulous to hear Paul’s self-assessment of being unable to commit to long-term goals, but Paul admits his cravings for instant gratification:
I’ve never had that patience to look at my goal far down the line…I want everything now…I want to be the best right now. I’m a product of my generation.
Björnsson, almost unknowingly, assumes the role of mentor and offers the sage advice, “greatness takes patience.” It’s a mantra that, thus far, Björnsson has lived up to in both strongman and boxing. Aside from the controversy of the 2017 WSM surrounding a questionable missed rep in the Viking Press event that allowed Hall to claim the title over Björnsson, “The Mountain” is often calm in his demeanor as he documents his training on his YouTube channel.
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The bout against Hall is tentatively scheduled for March 2022. That’s many more months of patience and training that Björnsson will have to implement. Given his track record, he is certainly capable. The question is when he is finally in the ring with Hall, will he clamor for the instant gratification of a fast knockout or remain patient to the later rounds?
Feature image: @loganpaul and @thorbjornsson on Instagram