Musk responds to Italian culture minister.
Tesla and X boss Elon Musk said on Thursday that the proposed cage fight in Italy with fellow tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg would not take place as the Facebook founder had turned down the offer.
Writing in Italian on X (formerly Twitter), Musk thanked Italy’s culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano “for his kindness and willingness to organise an entertainment, cultural and charity event in Italy.”
“We wanted to promote the history of Ancient Rome with the support of experts and at the same time raise money for American veterans and children’s hospitals in Italy”, Musk wrote.
The SpaceX boss went on to claim that Zuckerberg has turned down the offer “because he is not interested in this approach” and only wants to fight if the event is organised by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Musk, who had proposed that the duel be organised by the billionaires’ respective foundations, signed off by saying: “I, however, am always ready to fight.”
Voglio ringraziare il ministro Sangiuliano per la gentilezza e la disponibilità nel voler organizzare un evento di intrattenimento, culturale e di beneficenza in Italia. Volevamo promuovere la storia dell’Antica Roma con il supporto di esperti e allo stesso tempo raccogliere…— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 17, 2023
The latest twist to the bizarre story comes a few days after Zuckerberg, 39, posted on Threads that Musk, 52, was “not serious” about the fight, suggesting that the time had come “to move on from this idea”.
The prospect of the much-hyped “Musk vs Zuck” cage fight being held in the Colosseum was first mooted in June, making headlines around the world.
Musk said last week that he would fight Zuckerberg at an “epic location” in Italy with an ancient Roman backdrop, however Rome was subsequently ruled out definitively by Sangiuliano.
In a surprise statement, the minister said he had spoken to Musk about staging a “major historical reenactment event” that would result in a donation of “many millions of euro” to two children’s hospitals in Italy.
This sparked a flurry of offers from mayors around Italy eager to host the showdown, including Pompeii and Taormina along with a suggested “battle of wits” in Florence.
The idea of Italy hosting the fight also resulted in hail of criticism, amid the widely-held belief that the proposed event is nothing more than a publicity stunt.