‘The Mountain’ staggered in final exhibition fight before Eddie Hall showdown as both men touch canvas but no knockdowns are given
Hafthor Bjornsson was given a stern test by Simon Vallily in his final exhibition bout before his fight with Eddie Hall later this year.
Thor, as he usually goes by, is preparing to face Eddie Hall in ‘the heaviest boxing match in history’ on September 18 in Las Vegas.
The Icelandic former World’s Strongest Man winner, well-known for playing The Mountain in Game of Thrones, got four good rounds in against a solid pro boxer.
Thor had already experienced one exhibition fight and Vallily, 35, entered as his second opponent after his bout with MMA fighter Alex Simon was cancelled.
The bout began with a cautious opening round with both men respecting one another at range.
Towards the end of the session, Vallily did as he said he would and tested Thor’s chin with a couple of left hooks.
The big man took it well, but was staggered at the start of round two.
Another left hook from Vallily sent Thor tumbling backwards before he quickly regained composure.
A minute later, Vallily was caught by a left hook himself and tumbled to the canvas.
However, the referee ruled no knockdown – judging the fall was due to the tangling of their legs rather than the punch.
In round three, Thor hit the deck.
It was unclear from the initial camera angle whether this came from a shot or another trip, but he was soon back to his feet and fought on.
Replays showed that the punch didn’t appear to land clean and Vallily stepped on his foot, causing him to trip.
Thor battled back and swung wildly, appearing to hurt Vallily towards the end of the third round.
He bundled him to the ground, but this was again not ruled a knockdown.
The final round was a quieter session with both men seemingly tired from the opening three.
They embraced at the final bell.
Vallily said post fight: “He’s awkward, he’s a big man, getting physical.
“I seen his last fight and credit to him, he’s come on a lot.
“He’s got a lot of potential. I’m not just saying that.”
Thor reflected: “Simon was a good opponent to me, this was good to test my chin as well as my ability to fight in the ring against a professional.
“He gave me some good shots, good hooks that landed well.
“I was very happy with my performance.
“I promise you I’m doing everything I can to knock out Eddie Hall in September.”