On March 19, 2022, former World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champions Eddie Hall and Hafthor Björnsson ironed out their “dirty laundry” in the boxing ring. Björnsson defeated Hall by unanimous decision in what might have been the capper to a long-standing back-and-forth.
As Hall moves forward, he took to his Instagram on March 29, 2022, to reflect on the defeat. His address included a few important notes about the fight and what’s next. Among them, was a humble expression of appreciation for his rival.
Eating ‘Humble Pie’
Hall first offered deference to Björnsson. He shared his admiration for the Icelandic athlete’s achievements, even before they took to the ring together.
“It’s time for me to eat a little bit of humble pie and address a few things,” Hall says in the video. “Firstly, I want to say a massive well done to Thor. I want to say well done for the fight. I want to take this opportunity to say what a great Strongman you are, or were.”
Hall’s commentary makes it appear that he always respected Björnsson, regardless of any potential bad blood. When push came to shove, it seems Björnsson was only another elite strongman who happened to compete against Hall over some of the highlights of his career.
Nothing more. That dynamic could understandably establish healthy regard between two top strength-sports athletes and two human beings.
“I appreciate you [Björnsson], as a man and the things you’ve done and who you are because, at the end of the day, you’re a phenomenon,” Hall continues. “You’re a giant of the world amongst us.”
True to His Word
The lead-up to the fight saw Hall and Björnsson discuss the terms of defeat.
Initially, there was minor contention over the amount of money the loser would donate to the winner’s chosen charity. The two eventually agreed to both donate $200,000 to the winner’s preferred charity. There was also an apparent agreement on the loser getting the winner’s name tattooed on their body.
Adding fuel to the fire post-match, bodybuilder, powerlifter, and strongman Larry Wheels stipulated that Hall owes him $10,000 over a bet about who would win the fight. The two had previously verbally sparred intermittently over social media in 2021.
Wheels mentioned Hall’s debt again in a post-match interview with Björnsson on his YouTube channel.
“We’ve got to wait for people to pay up,” Hall says. “We’ve got like a month sort of clause in the contract for these things to be paid over. Everybody is going to get their money. Larry [Wheels] is going to get his money. I’m a man of my word.”
Notably, Hall leaves the tattoo out of his address. Due to possible miscommunication, he says that he and Björnsson never agreed to formal terms on body ink. As such, he won’t be getting one for now.
Hall stopped short of ruling out the tattoo altogether. He left it as a chip on the table to potentially entice Björnsson into a rematch in the future.
“So, it’s going to be used as a tool for the rematch, which is fine,” Hall says. “I would do the same. I wouldn’t do the rematch unless Thor got the tattoo. It’s going to happen.”
What Lies Ahead
Hall’s rivalry with Björnsson began during the 2017 WSM, where Hall claimed the championship over his competitor. That win did not come without controversy. An official appeared to miss the call for one of Björnsson’s Viking Press reps — Hall’s margin of victory.
Later, in 2018, when Björnsson eclipsed Hall’s previous world record 500-kilogram deadlift (1,102.3 pounds) by precisely one kilogram, the competitive spirit continued to fester. Similarly, because Björnsson’s record occurred outside of a sanctioned competition, Hall made it clear he thought it shouldn’t count.
With both men since retired from professional strongman competitions, they couldn’t settle their differences by lifting Atlas Stones. Instead, they took to boxing, and Björnsson ultimately got the last laugh.
Of course, if Hall gets his tattoo, that might change. He could use it as a precursor to continuing his now friendly rivalry with Björnsson.
Featured image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram