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Hafthor 'Thor' Bjornsson has revealed that he has been studying heavyweight great Lennox Lewis as part of his preparations to face Eddie Hall.
Bjornsson, 33, and Hall, 34, will finally settle their long-running feud in Dubai on March 19, in a fight dubbed 'The Heaviest Boxing Match In History'.
The two former World’s Strongest Man winners were originally due to fight in September before Hall suffered a detached bicep, forcing the bout to be postponed until this month.
Bjornsson, who is also known for playing 'The Mountain' in Game Of Thrones, heads into the fight on the back of a first-round TKO win over professional arm-wrestler Devon Larratt, who stepped in to replace Hall after his injury.
Icelandic giant Bjornsson insists he has made major technical improvements since his last bout, drawing inspiration from the likes of Lewis and current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“There’s a lot of guys that I look up to. Lennox Lewis, Tyson Fury… many, many others that are active today,” Bjornsson told SPORTbible.
“Triple G [Gennady Golovkin], Canelo [Alvarez]. So many guys who are active, and older guys who I loved to watch.
“I believe I have a very specific style, and that everyone has their own style, but I’ve tried to look at guys like Lennox Lewis. In my head, I’ve thought he has a good jab, tall guy, moves well, great ring IQ.
"I’ve tried to watch him and do similar things to what he’s done in his fights, even though you’re never going to look like guys like him obviously.
"But those are the guys that inspire me. I watch them, I see the combinations they do and I try do the same in sparring and training when I’m able to do so."
Bjornsson has been preparing for the fight at a gruelling training camp in Scotland under the guidance of coach Billy Nelson.
Hall has also been training hard in his home town of Newcastle-under-Lyme and has wowed fans with his incredible punch power in a series of videos on YouTube.
However, Bjornsson says he sees plenty of weaknesses in Hall's fighting style which he plans to exploit.
When asked if he believes his opponent is focusing too much on power, Reign Total Body Fuel athlete Bjornsson added: “I think he is.
“He wants to finish this fight in the first round. He’s throwing wild hooks. He’s keeping his hands down. His foot stance seems off, he comes off square.
“That’s just not going to work for him. It’s going to be a hard night for him. If I predict the fight myself, I can see it going badly for him early on.
“[I can see him] making big mistakes with wanting to finish the fight. Throwing those big haymakers is going to extremely tire him out.”
Bjornsson and Hall’s rivalry stems from their days competing against each other in strongman contests around the world.
After Hall won the World’s Strongest Man title in 2017, Bjornsson claimed the Brit had ‘cheated’ during the Viking press event – sparking animosity between the pair.
Bjornsson would win the competition the following year after Hall announced his retirement, and the Icelander would later beat his rival's deadlift world-record of 500kg after managing a 501kg lift at his home gym.
Hall would question the legitimacy of the new record, describing it as “b******t”, fuelling the animosity between the two men.
Bjornsson says he is looking forward to finally settling the score with Hall after years of bad blood.
“I moved on from it, but he never did,” added Bjornsson.
“He kept posting about, crying about it. Here we are today, in 2022, about to fight. I’m excited, I’m ready, I can’t wait.”
Hafþór Björnsson is a Reign ambassador and will fight Eddie Hall on Saturday 19th March, tune in for free via SEGI.TV. #ReadyToReign
Featured Image Credit: PA Images & Instagram: Thor Bjornsson
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