World’s Strongest Man hit Teofimo Lopez weeks before breathing problems

Teofimo Lopez World's Strongest Man Thor Bjornsson

Speculation has begun regarding a punch exchange with World’s Strongest Man Thor Bjornsson that may have impacted an injury to Teofimo Lopez.

‘The Takeover’ shared solar plexus blows with Bjornsson, a former Game of Thrones star, during training for his clash with George Kambosos Jr.

A video of the incident got shared to Instagram by Lopez just five weeks before the fight.

After sharing twelve rounds with Kambosos and losing for the first time in his career, Lopez revealed a mystery illness.

Dr. Linda Dahl, a Manhattan otolaryngologist, predicted that Lopez “fast-stretched his esophagus until the point where he got a tear or something like that.”

The former lightweight world champion got struck in that exact area. If you look at the video, it’s where the esophagus falls between the throat and the stomach.

If true, and Bjornsson’s blow had something to do with it, big question marks have to get asked about the decision to put on the challenge.

With a massive fight just weeks away, taking part in such high jinks in the gym could potentially take some blame for why Lopez couldn’t get his breath.


Speaking to ESPN, Dahl believes the Lopez ailment was dangerous enough to be fatal.

“He could have died, for sure,” she told ESPN. “How he breathed, I can’t even explain to you.”

The following line rings alarm bells given the fact Bjornsson weighs over 300 pounds himself.

“It’s like somebody tied a 300-pound set of weights around his chest. It’s like his neck and chest were in a vise. That’s how he fought.

“The air was surrounding his chest wall and his heart and his neck – places where the air is not supposed to be.

“If he was hit in the neck or the chest or a certain way, in a certain place – he could have developed a pneumothorax [collapsed lung].

“He would have instantly been down. Unable to breathe and needing a chest tube.”

George Kambosos Jr Teofimo Lopez Pound for Pound
Ed Mulholland


Peter Constantino of the New York Head and Neck Institute added to ESPN: “He’s lucky he’s not dead. I mean, really lucky.

Maybe a warning to anybody thinking of trading midriff blows with a 300-pounds plus beast just over a month out from a big fight.

Let’s hope he can get back to one hundred percent. He’s still only 24.

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.