The battle of the billionaires appears to be twisting in the wind as signs emerge from both camps that the combat may be on hold. Most of the world is aware by now that Elon Musk, the owner of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, was to battle Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg in a cage.
The rivalry between the two tech giants advanced to the promise of a mixed martial arts showdown. Sort of. Both began training and dates and locations were bandied about, including a showdown in the Roman Colosseum.
But recent signs indicate the intentions of both may be falling by the wayside.
The first word of backing down came from the Meta CEO. Zuckerberg appeared to throw in the towel, saying he will “focus on competing with people who take the sport seriously.”
Musk’s social media posting in response? “He can’t eat at chic fil a because that would be cannibalism.”
Zuckerberg floated an Aug. 26 fight date, but Musk revealed the possibility that he may need surgery. Meanwhile, the Tesla and SpaceX owner late last week spoke with Italy’s culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, about staging the match in Rome.
Zuckerberg backs out of cage fight with Elon Muskhttps://t.co/O68Ql3bpn3
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 14, 2023
The pair reportedly agreed on an “epic location.”
Musk announced that the fight would live stream on his X platform as well as Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram. Proceeds, which could reach an estimated $1 billion, would go to veterans’ charities.
He even promoted that everything within the camera frame would be of ancient Rome, “so nothing modern at all.”
But now rumors are swirling that plans for the fight have stalled. Musk did not report further on possible surgery and appeared to be moving forward with preparations.
But Zuckerberg made it clear that he believed the collision course had been diverted.
Musk’s “chicken” allusion aside, both will of course blame the other if the match does not take place. And certainly, each billionaire has much more on their respective plates than a schoolyard brawl, no matter how elegantly it is staged.
After all, wasn’t it the Romans themselves who diverted the people’s attention from just how bad things truly were through “bread and circuses?”