Arm-wrestling legend Michael Todd 'very impressed' with Pro Panja; recalls competing against The Undertaker

Published on Jul 24, 2022 02:22 PM IST

Michael Todd talks about his previous nationwide tour, where he arm-wrestled with pro-wrestling legends The Undertaker and The Godfather.

Arm-wrestling legend Michael Todd recalls competing against The Undertaker
Arm-wrestling legend Michael Todd recalls competing against The Undertaker

Michael Todd, who has won 23 world titles, 36 nationals, paid a visit to India to inaugurate the Pro Panja League, a premier arm-wrestling competition, in Gwalior, Madya Pradesh. The event, which will conclude on Sunday, saw above 1100 participants from across the world. During the inauguration address Todd spoke about the soaring popularity of arm wrestling and noted the future of the sport to be blooming in India.

In an exclusive interaction with hindustantimes.com, Todd tells despite achieving so much he is yet to reach his peak. He also talks about his previous nationwide tour, where he arm-wrestled with pro-wrestling legends The Undertaker and The Godfather. Here are the excerpts…

You have won so many world championships in your career and national titles. What keeps you going and what is left for you to achieve in arm-wrestling?

“I'm in my 32nd year, 23 world titles, 36 national titles. I ask myself often, why do I still do this? And it's because I love it. I love this competition. I love this sport. I love the feeling getting across the table for somebody. And just when they say go, just trying to crack 'em, you know, it's something about it. It's that last bit of just combat that I want to feel and what keeps me going is I still don't think I've hit my peak. I still think I can get better.”

"So the fact that I love the competition, I love the way it makes me feel. And the fact that I still don't think I've reached my peak. Those are the two things that keep me going."

Also Read | ‘The Monster' is Coming: 23-time World Champion Michael Todd recalls stellar career ahead of India visit

There is a lot of interest growing in arm-wrestling over the world, especially in young children. Have you ever thought about shifting towards coaching or traveling as a mascot for developing the sport all over the world after career retirement?

“Okay, so here's the deal. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a retired arm-wrestler, we are arm-wrestler until we're dead. Now will I compete at the highest level? Of course not. But as far as no longer competing, like in actual retirement from the sport, I don't think that's ever gonna happen.”

“I do believe I will travel. We have big plans next year, traveling around the United States again. I love beating the champs. I love it. And exposing people to arm-wrestling. So yeah, I don't think retirement is anywhere in my future.”

You had shared a photo with AEW pro wrestler Brian Cage. Are there other pro wrestlers or MMA athletes that you have arm-wrestled or trained with?

“So the Brian Cage thing, we're both actually REDCON1 sponsored athletes. So we're part of the REDCON1 team, but last year on our nationwide tour, I got to do yoga with Diamond Dallas Page. Got to arm-wrestle him. I arm-wrestled Godfather and The Undertaker at the same time.”

"I've met tons of MMA guys throughout my career. And it's just been a blessing, getting to expose, finding out these people who you followed, as a child or even as a young adult and watching them do their thing and getting to expose them to arm-wrestling, what we do and having that mutual respect has been amazing."

How do you see Pro Panja changing the landscape of arm-wrestling in India?

“So as far as what Pro Panja is doing for the landscape of arm-wrestling in India, I'm very impressed. I had no idea it was as big as they have plans for it that you're gonna have 500 plus entries here. And they had over a thousand registered is spectacular. This event, the quality of this event, looking at some of the athlete. Some of the guys I've grabbed their hands. It looks like you have some really good talent here, but I think they have big goals and arm-wrestling just needs the right exposure. It just needs the right people to find out about it. Once you find arm-wrestling, you fall in love with arm-wrestling.”

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