Watch: Bonkers Japanese game-show pits shot putter Tom Walsh vs All Black Nepo Laulala in epic test of strength

How exactly this came to be is unclear, but a bizarre Japanese game show has pitted Kiwi Olympic shot putter Tom Walsh against All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala in a feat of strength called The Power Wall.

With a dramatic initial face-off supported by a huge pyrotechnic display of shooting flames, the two athletes talked a little trash before the battle began.

Walsh and Laulala were the finalists from a list of a list of high-profile athletes including US Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin and Russian gymnast Denis Ablyazin.

"Every boy in New Zealand wants to play for the All Blacks growing up, I did myself as well. He's going to be tough to beat but I think I can take it out," Walsh said ahead of battle.

Laulala was a little less complimentary before the contest.

"Ah, the medal's not going to help him win," Laulala laughed, referring to Walsh's bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.

The game itself is fairly basic after all the build up.

A barrier, The Power Wall, is placed between the contestants and the first to push it all the way to their opponent's end is the winner.

Laulala's experience in the scrum was telling, as he overcame his rival to claim the prize. 



UFC's Jeremy Stephens drops rival to canvas with devastating right, before pummelling him with vicious elbow

In a strike described by one MMA reporter as "the hardest single punch I've ever seen landed at the weight class", UFC fighter Dooho Choi, the "Korean Superboy", was yesterday flattened to the octagon canvas.

The blow delivered by US featherweight Jeremy Stephens came during the UFC's first card of 2018 - event 206. 

Stephens defeated Choi via TKO at 2.36 of the second round, after Choi had had the better of the first round.

But an emphatic Stephens right hook in the second round knocked Choi to the canvas, where he remained as he was subjected to some brutal ground and pound.

Shortly afterwards the referee stopped the fight, handing victory to Stephens. 

MMAFighting.com journalist Jed Meshew said he thought the blow was "the hardest single punch I've ever seen landed at the weight class".

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Champion runner embarking on 7 marathons, in 7 days over 7 continents, for second time

She's already run around the planet in world-record time. So what does Becca Pizzi do for an encore? Rinse and repeat.

The Massachusetts marathoner, who won the 2016 World Marathon Challenge — seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents — will attempt to become the only person to twice complete the odyssey, which begins in Antarctica on January 30 and ends in Miami on February 5.

Why? "I'm certifiably crazy," the Belmont woman jokes.

The Associated Press caught up with Pizzi, 37, a single mum with a singular mission:

AP: Why in God's name would you do this again?

Pizzi: The locations! I get to run marathons in Novo, Antarctica; Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lisbon, Portugal; Cartagena, Colombia; and Miami. I love to run and I love to travel. I'm literally seeing more of the world, which is really fun for me.

AP: How is this second attempt going to be different?

Pizzi: This time I'm serving as race ambassador, which means answering fellow competitors' questions. A lot of people are asking about Antarctica: what to wear, what to expect. Also, this time they've chartered a plane, so no more commercial airlines. Leaving my gear on the plane and not having to lug it through seven different airports will be much better. The seats recline all the way and let us lie down flat.

AP: What are the greatest challenges?

Pizzi: Antarctica is the most intimidating. The wind is fierce. The sun is blinding. There are crevices you can fall through. It's bitterly cold, though actually not much colder than Boston has been lately. There's also no internet — no way to call home. You're in a different world down there. We'll cross 16 time zones — that's tough — and we'll go straight from zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17C ) in Antarctica to 26C in Cape Town.

AP: And the biggest thrills?

Pizzi: The biggest thrill is that my 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, will be at the finish line in Miami to run me in. She's my biggest inspiration to get to the finish as fast as I can. I'll also have friends and family on every continent. My friends are so loyal and loving and supportive of my dreams. Whatever I need — a banana, an Advil, a hug — they'll be there for me.

AP: Celebratory drinks after you finish in Miami: mojitos or margaritas?

Pizzi: Milkshakes with a cherry on top with my daughter. We love ice cream.

AP: Are you planning to orbit the Earth a third time, or do you have another athletic quest in mind?

Pizzi: If the locations change, I'll run this race again. I'm currently trying to run a marathon in all 50 states — I've done 33 so far — and this year I ran the Volcano Marathon in Chile at an altitude of 4,600 metres. I'd like to run the Ironman triathlon world championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (3.9-kilometre ocean swim, 180-kilometre bike leg and full 42.2-kilometre marathon run). It's on my bucket list.


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