It has been a phenomenally busy week for Hafthor Bjornsson.
On Saturday, the man made the heaviest deadlift of all time: 501 kilograms (1,104 pounds). Read that again. It’s one of the most impressive feats of athleticism any human being has ever accomplished. Heck, let’s watch it again.
Then, on Monday, the announcement was made official that he would now switch to boxing; he’s going to spend the next year and half training to box his longtime rival and smack talker Eddie Hall, the man he publicly said cheated him out of a win at the 2017 World’s Strongest Man. The fight is scheduled for September 2021 in Las Vegas.
When he made the post, he said,
The next year and a half of my career will be solely dedicated towards this fight.
Solely dedicated towards the fight. If you’re wondering if that means he isn’t competing at this year’s World’s Strongest Man, which is taking place from November 11 to 15 (and if you somehow hadn’t read the title of this article), you’re right. He isn’t.
In fact, he made the initial announcement that he wouldn’t be competing this year a couple of days earlier in a Q&A, but he didn’t mention the boxing match:
“ ‘Will you participate in World’s Strongest Man this year?’ No. ‘When will you do World’s Strongest Man again?’ I’m not sure, guys. I’m not sure. The last time I asked them if I got an invite I didn’t get an answer, so like, why should I wait? They can’t tell the athlete that’s been on the podium eight years in a row that I have an invite yet? Like, come on guys.”
Sources at World’s Strongest Man say his statement caused some confusion, and they clarified their position in a Facebook post on Monday (emphasis ours):
The 2020 SBD WSM is beginning November 11th in Bradenton, FL. Due to the postponement, no athlete invitations have been sent out. It is currently WSM’s official policy that all active previous champions receive an automatic invitation for as long as they are able to compete. Qualified and other potential competitors have received correspondence with the new dates and probable events.
It seems WSM was speaking directly to Hafthor, here: you are invited, no one has officially received an invite.
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Barely an hour after that Facebook post, Bjornsson made his announcement he’d be spending the rest of the year training for the boxing match. Solely dedicated to training for the boxing match.
How much of his decision was the boxing match and how much of it was simple miscommunication about whether or not he was invited, we may never know.
But given that Bjornsson and Hall have said they’re making seven figures on the boxing match and that WSM winners make about $75,000, Bjornsson has at least 925,000 reasons to stick with his plan to box. We’re looking forward to September 2021.
Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram