He’s a winner of the world’s strongest man turned heavyweight boxer, but one of the sports fans would never have associated Eddie Hall with swimming.
‘The Beast’, who won his lone world crown in 2017 to accompany his multiple British titles, once weighed 197 kilograms, but now weighs just 167 as he prepares for his revamped boxing match with Hafbor Bjornsson .
Hall, 33, was due to face the Icelandic – who won the title himself in 2018 – in September last year, but the fight was called off when the Englishman suffered a loose bicep in training.
Bjornsson, also 33, also lost weight for what has been dubbed “The heaviest boxing match in history”, with the clash scheduled to take place in March 2022.
But as Hall rose to fame for his massive muscle mass and extreme bodybuilding regimes, few fans would realize that he once dreamed of becoming a full-time swimmer and was even accepted into the Olympic program at the time. ‘GB team.
In an exclusive interview with the Express Four years ago, Hall revealed that at age 11 he was ranked No.1 in the UK in all freestyle distances from 50m to 1,500m.
His achievements as a junior caught the attention of Australia’s Bill Sweetenham, who coached the British squad from 2000 to 2007.
“I prospered by winning, breaking records and capturing attention. I was fascinated by human evolution and progress, ”said Hall.
“I admired my hero Mark Foster and the Olympic gold medalists, saying I would be there someday.”
However, Hall said relations quickly deteriorated with Sweetenham, who demanded he increase his training time from 14 hours per week to 20.
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“There was so much pressure at a young age,” he said.
“I sincerely believe that if he hadn’t come, I would be an Olympic gold medalist, I seriously think so. I was so determined.
Sweetenham was later cleared of the bullying allegations, but by that time Hall had quit the sport at the age of 14.
He then turned to weightlifting and then to a diet that incorporated 12,000 calories per day with the goal of winning the title of the strongest man in the world – which he duly did in Botswana to become the first British winner in 24 years.