‘If I break his nose, I want $5k’: North America’s top arm wrestler in war of words with Game of Thrones giant Thor ahead of fight
Towering tough guy Devon Larratt admits his scrap with the behemoth is a "massive step into the unknown" ahead of the showdown in Dubai, when he will take on Bjornsson – who is four inches taller than him at an enormous 6ft 9in – in the Icelander's latest fight in preparation for a bout with former strongman rival Eddie Hall.
Bjornsson, who played Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane for five seasons of the smash hit TV series, is facing a less orthodox opponent after starting his boxing career against two professionals earlier this year, drawing with Steven Ward in January and Simon Vallily in May.
"I have no clue what is going through Devon's mind and I don't really care," the suited hulk confessed at the pre-fight press conference for his third exhibition contest.
"I have huge respect for him for taking this fight and won't underestimate him. For him to come here and accept the fight on five weeks' notice is already winning for him.
"It's hard to trash talk someone that accepts a fight with five weeks to go, so I like him – but I'll beat his ass. I'll probably break his nose, so I'm sorry, but that's just my job."
Former Canadian solder Larratt has his own designs on a nose attack.
"I have massive appreciation for the boxing game," said the 46-year-old, who has been training at the Tristar Gym in Montreal that was once home to former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.
"They are ridiculously high-level athletes. Thor has more experience but I know that all you need in a fight is one shot, so get ready for it.
"Thor's nose will blow up. If he breaks my nose, I'll give him 500 dollars, but if I break his nose, I want $5,00 from him."
"I want a battle scar, I feel that would be a terrible thing not to walk away with. For the first two minutes who knows what I'm capable of. I feel like I got dropped in the middle of the jungle and I'm fighting my way through it.
"Every time I've sparred they've made it harder and harder, but I'm no stranger to competition and I've fought in all sorts of different sports."
Larratt replaced Hall as Bjornsson's opponent after the former professional basketball player's bitter rival suffered a detached bicep in training.
"Every experience I have helps me," said the younger fighter by 14 years. "I can already feel in boxing that my background from other sports is helping me a lot with this new journey, and helping me get ready for fight night.
"I remember when I was younger I'd be super nervous and before competition I would pee every two minutes, it would happen all the time. The older I got, the better and less nervous I got, and that has helped me a lot."
Bjornsson and Hall's acrimony has been partly fueled by Bjornsson breaking the Brit's deadlift record with a mammoth 1,105lb lift last year, although the four-time Europe's Strongest Man winner is typically dismissive of his nemesis.
"Eddie Hall seeing all of my fights doesn't give him any advantage at all," he said.
"I don't care how much he sees of me, as actual competition gives you a much better experience than hiding behind closed doors.
"He can hide and work out in his garage – that's fine, but when we fight I'll knock him out.
"I want to focus on Devon as he's my rival and my enemy right now, and after I finish him I'll take care of the next one.
"I give it my best every single day. I've not seen my family for more than seven weeks – that's how seriously I'm taking this."
Hall appears to be well on the road to recovery. Since sharing a photo of himself following successful surgery at the end of July, the 33-year-old has shown himself back in light sparring and squatting more than 760lbs.Also on rt.com ‘I’d be honored to feel his power’: Game of Thrones ‘Mountain’ eyes Mike Tyson boxing showdown