Game of Thrones might be over, but The Mountain is still winning fights. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson showed off his chiseled physique ahead of his latest feat of strength: a boxing match against Canadian Devon Larratt at Sport Society in Dubai. Björnsson, who weighs In at approximately 322 pounds, was supposed to go head to head with his longtime rival Eddie Hall, who ended up having to postpone the match due to an injury. Larratt, who Is ranked first in North America for arm wrestling, was his replacement, and Björnsson beat him soundly in the first round of their exhibition match.
Larratt admitted that his boxing was "terrible," but Björnsson had only kind things to say about this opponent. "Devon is such a warrior, he has the biggest heart. I know that guy is something else, taking the fight on five weeks notice is brave but coming here is mind-blowing," Björnsson said. "I know Eddie is at home chilling on the sofa with his popcorn and cola. Enjoy your life buddy, I'm going to knock you out soon. I love competing and I have such respect for the sport. I have been an athlete all my life but this sport is without doubt the hardest sport I've tried but I absolutely love it."
Despite being defeated so quickly, Larratt had was effusive about the experience. "I wish I could have done better. I have tons of respect for this boxing game, clearly I suck but wow, what a trip, man," he exclaimed. "To be in the ring with Thor, it's totally on my bucket list. To be able to step into this arena in this format. In the real world Thor could have killed me today but we had the gloves on and we can do it again another day and get stronger.
Björnsson is still an absolute behemoth, but he actually dropped over 100 pounds while undertaking his new pursuit of boxing. He already won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe's Strongest Man, and the World's Strongest Man competitions, so he decided to get cut and explore some other avenues to test his considerable strength. Björnsson spoke to Muscle and Health magazine ahead of the match, explaining his new career path.
"Right now, I'm mainly focusing on boxing technique and endurance work," he explained. "I'm doing no lifting whatsoever because I don't need more muscle, I don't need more strength. I need to learn how to box better. I need to learn how to move better in the ring. I need to learn how to just get better as a boxer. That's why I'm spending so many hours in the ring, not in the weights room. I'm surprised I've maintained such an athletic muscular physique because I'm not lifting at all. I just do push-ups and sit-ups. I've lost a lot of weight, but I still have muscles on me, which is great."
While he hasn't acted since Game of Thrones, Björnsson hasn't ruled out acting again. "Hopefully, whenever I decide to move on from boxing, I can begin a new career as an actor," he continued. "Combining performance and serious sport is not easy as both careers are physically and mentally time-consuming. Sometimes you're filming for twelve hours and then you have to train. For that reason, I've turned down a lot of movie opportunities, but that will change. I did Game of Thrones because I felt like I just had to. I couldn't say no to that opportunity. If something huge like that came up again, it would be very difficult for me to say no."