Former World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall has spoken for the first time about his decision to accept a boxing match with long-time rival Hafthor "Thor" Bjornsson.
Bjornsson, best known for playing Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane in the hit-TV series Game of Thrones, broke the deadlift world record on Saturday, with a lift of 501kg. The record had previously been held by Hall - who lifted 500kg back in 2016.
Following his record-breaking feat, Bjornsson challenged Hall to meet him in the boxing ring. The pair have had a personal feud ever since the former accused the latter of cheating to win his 2017 World's Strongest Man title - and they now look set to settle their differences in the ring.
However, there has been much debate over the legitimacy of the record. Due to the current rules on social distancing, Bjornsson's lift took place in his home gym. Conversely, Hall's prior record had been set in a competitive setting.
Recognising the unique situation that the world is currently in, sanctioning officials approved Bjornsson's attempt, despite it being outside of competition, so the lift does stand as a world record. This, though, has led to some dismissing Bjornsson's attempt as a "gym lift" - suggesting that Hall's record should still stand.
Hall has now addressed the controversy of this past weekend during an appearance on the True Geordie podcast.
"Firstly, I want to say well done to Thor for pulling 501kg - regardless of where it was done and how it was done. I know what that takes," said Hall. "So from me to you Thor, I just want to say 'well done', regardless of any of the negativity around the situation."
Hall, however, did state that he disputes the world record - due to the circumstances under which it was attempted.
"Thor announcing that he was going to do it in his home gym was automatically a big question mark for me. I always look at other sports... Do you see Usain Bolt doing runs on his track and getting his mate to referee it and say that it's a world record?
"There was a person who ran a marathon in under two hours, but nobody said world record because it wasn't done in a proper marathon...If you want to break a world record, then you've got to do it in a competition."
In their upcoming fight, though, Hall revealed his belief that Bjornsson will break during the contest.
"I think I've got a much better mental approach than him. I'm going to outwit him mentally - and I'm going to outwit him physically as well...If I'm confident, then you (Bjornsson) are f*****. If I'm confident in my head then you should f****** run."
Although he has been retired from active competition for some time, Hall has no doubt he will be up to the endurance challenge posed by the sport of boxing.
"As long as I've got a good amount of time to train for this, I'll make sure I'm fit... I've done my little bits of boxing training. I will not gas... I'll be prepared to go the three minute rounds," vowed Hall, while confirming that the bout would take place without amateur-style headguards.
Fights do not come much bigger in stature than the World's Strongest Man vs "The Mountain' - and Hall had one final message for his rival before closing the interview, which you can see above at around 49.49.
"This is a message for Thor. I just want to say mate - actually you're not my mate - you're a p***k!
"You started this...World's Strongest Man 2017, you called me a cheat. Forget the deadlift, forget our feud... You called me a cheat and I'm gonna correct that by knocking you the f**k out!"
- Comparing Eddie Hall and The Mountain post-500kg lift
- Eddie Hall doesn't think The Mountain's deadlift is a WR
- When Conor McGregor sparred with 'The Mountain'