Game of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson was left bloodied as he made his boxing debut against Steven Ward ahead of his grudge match with Eddie Hall.
Former World’s Strongest Man Bjornsson, who stands at 6ft 9ins tall, went three rounds with Ward as he prepares to face fellow strongman Hal later this year.
He dropped Ward with a big right in the second round of their exhibition match in Dubai, but 6ft 2ins Ward came back strongly.
Bjornsson, who plays ‘The Mountain’ in hit HBO show Game of Thrones, had a bloody nose by the end of the drawn fight – after which he vowed to knock out Hall.
The two giants will go head-to-head in September in what has been described as ‘the heaviest boxing match of all time’.
“I have huge respect for this sport, this is just the beginning,” Bjornsson said after his fight with Ward, quoted by The Sun.
“I will be in the best shape of my life in September this year and I will knock Eddie Hall out.”
Ward also fired a warning to Hall, saying Bjornsson was much fitter than he expected him to be.
“What a night. The exhibition is over and big Thor hits like a horse,” said Ward.
“But it was great. It was quite exciting, it was a great set-up and it was class having a crowd finally back watching boxing. I never expected Thor to be that fit.”
Bjornsson, who was crowned World’s Strongest Man in 2018, accused Hall of ‘cheating’ to win the 2017 event.
In response, Hall claimed he wouldn’t “p**s on” Bjornsson if he was on fire.
After making his debut in the ring, Bjornsson took to Instagram to ask who he should fight next in preparation for meeting his old adversary.
He posted: “This was great! Thank you all for the positive feedback! I’ll be doing more exhibition matches in my preparation for my main fight in September. Who should I fight next?”