The thought of two celebrity tech CEOs wealthier than almost anyone on earth rearranging each other’s faces in a no-holds-barred cage match may captivate imaginations, but the prospect for even a single punch actually flying remains deeply in doubt.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and CEO of social media empire Meta, said Elon Musk still hasn’t confirmed his proposed Aug. 26 fight date despite the latter throwing down the gauntlet first.
The will-they-won’t-they cage match between Musk, the richest person alive, and fellow centibillionaire Zuckerberg has soaked up headlines and garnered free publicity for the two titans of tech for weeks.
In what initially appeared to be a harmless joke for the sake of engagement-farming, Musk said in late June he was willing to throw down with Zuckerberg, whom he later accused of stealing intellectual property from Twitter to build Threads.
Yet Zuck, fresh from training in jujitsu, responded with a taunt to “send me location,” a catchphrase he borrowed from mixed martial arts star Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Musk, whose own estranged father publicly fat-shamed him after the entrepreneur was spotted last July in unflattering shape while vacationing, seems intent nonetheless on moving forward with the fight and stipulated a portion of the revenue would go to helping veterans.
Zuck v Musk fight will be live-streamed on ????.
All proceeds will go to charity for veterans.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 6, 2023
There was just one catch: The CEO told his 152 million followers on Twitter (officially now called X) that he could not yet agree to Zuckerberg’s request for an exact date. That’s because he may need surgery for an unspecified condition affecting his neck and upper back.
“Will know this week,” Musk posted on his platform.
Musk first complained in January of “quite severe back pain” while on the witness stand to defend his statements from 2018 over taking Tesla private.
Meanwhile Zuckerberg seems to have hired everyone from grappling champion Mikey Musumeci to UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski to help the bare-chested Meta boss train.
“I’m ready today,” Zuck added.
Whether the boards of Meta and Tesla tasked with defending the interests of their shareholders actually ever allow their two CEOs to beat each other bloody—assuming they are physically capable—is another question entirely.
If not, all this CEO strutting may end up being as staged as the kayfabe of pro-wrestling.