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Steven Ward vs Hafthor 'The Mountain' Bjornsson: Fight time, how to watch, size difference and all you need to know ahead of the big bout in Dubai

 

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Belfast cruiserweight Steven Ward is up against Games of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson - 'The Mountain' - this weekend.

Belfast cruiserweight Steven Ward is up against Games of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson - 'The Mountain' - this weekend.

Belfast cruiserweight Steven Ward is up against Games of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson - 'The Mountain' - this weekend.

Steven Ward is this weekend taking on the challenge few in Games of Thrones' Seven Kingdoms ever had the courage to accept.

The Belfast boxer will go head-to-head (or maybe head-to-chest, given the height difference) with the man Thrones fans will know better as Gregor Clegane, or 'The Mountain' as he was fearsomely nicknamed throughout the show.

In real life, he's called Hafthor Bjornsson and the Icelandic former professional strongman is making his boxing debut.

So here's everything you need to know before the big bout...

Who is Hafthor Bjornsson?

He's a 32-year-old behemoth of a man, who shot to fame through his intimidating role as 'The Mountain' in series 4-8 of the world-renowned Game of Thrones. Outside the show, he's a former professional strongman who was crowned the world's strongest man in 2018. He was actually the first person ever to add the Arnold Strongman Classic and Europe's Strongest Man titles in the same year as the global crown, so he's far from ordinary even amongst such brawny company. Oh, and he pulled the all-time heaviest deadlift of 501 kilograms last year. Easy.

Who is Steven Ward?

The 30-year-old is at least much more used to the boxing ring than his opponent. The Belfast cruiserweight, nicknamed 'The Quiet Man', has 13 wins and just a single defeat in his professional career but safe to say he has never come up against a man the size of his next opponent.

What is their bout all about?

When you're Hafthor Bjornsson, you do what you want. And what he wants is to step into the ring. So here we are. There is an end-game for this, which is on September 18 this year. That's when he's scheduled to box the 2017 World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall. So this bout against Ward is the first of a reported run of fights Bjornsson has lined up to get his eye in.

What is the size difference between the pair?

Massive; that's what it is. In fairness, Bjornsson has dropped considerable weight since his deadlift record last May, when he weighed in at 450 pounds (over 32 stone). So Ward can be...er...thankful?

Weight: Bjornsson 344lbs (24 stone 8 pounds) / Ward 217lbs (15 stone 7 pounds) / Difference of 127lbs (9 stone 1 pound)

Height: Bjornsson 6'9 / Ward 6'2 / Difference of 7 inches

Where is the fight?

It was originally due to take place in Iceland but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been moved to Dubai, where it will take place in a sold-out Conrad Dubai.

How many rounds?

There will be three rounds each lasting three minutes.

What time is it at?

It's a bit of a strange set-up in that fight is actually taking place on Friday, but the broadcast won't be aired until Saturday evening, about 7pm GMT. Whether any details of the fight will have leaked out in the interim is anyone's guess.

Where can I watch the fight?

It will be broadcast on Core Sports, for which you can get a month's subscription for £1.99. But don't forget to cancel if you don't want to keep it on after the fight.

What has Ward said about the fight?

Steven Ward: "When I was asked about the exhibition with Thor, I said, 'Who?' I hadn't a clue who he was and neither had my wife Cathy, and then when I showed her a picture of him she was shocked. I think she has me dead and buried - she'll have the life insurance policy papers out when I'm in with him!"

Belfast Telegraph


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