The will-they-or-won’t-they drama between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg over a potential “cage fight” appeared on Sunday to end with a whimper, as Mr. Zuckerberg said that Mr. Musk’s delays and excuses had rendered the discussion moot.
In a post to his nascent social-networking platform, Threads, Mr. Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, wrote, “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on.” He included the hint of a taunt, “If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me.”
Mr. Zuckerberg’s message seemingly ended the suspense around a stranger-than-fiction summer of tension between the technology titans. Less than two months ago, Mr. Musk mused that he was “up for a cage match.” That was just before Instagram, owned by Meta, introduced Threads as a competitor to Mr. Musk’s Twitter (now renamed “X”).
Whether or not he was serious at the time, intermediaries between the men began sketching out the contours of a match. Both executives continued to fan the flames; Mr. Zuckerberg posted photographs of himself shirtless in training, and Mr. Musk said in posts on X that the event could happen in Italy.
As is common with Mr. Musk — who has a history of public pronouncements that don’t come to fruition — momentum toward a match came in spurts. In posts, Mr. Musk said the date of the fight was “in flux” because he needed an M.R.I. scan of his neck and back.
On Friday, Mr. Musk posted that the fight would be managed by the two men’s foundations, and that he had spoken to the Italian government about a location. He did not list a date, saying only that he needed “minor surgery” to address his shoulder and ribs that he said would involve a recovery of several months.
Before Mr. Zuckerberg’s remarks on Sunday, Mr. Musk posted to X a screengrab that he said was a conversation between the two men, showing Mr. Zuckerberg pressing Mr. Musk to commit.
Mr. Zuckerberg, in his Sunday post on Threads, nodded to the delays, writing, “Elon won’t confirm a date, then says he needs surgery and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead.”
He added, “I’m going to focus on competing with people who take the sport seriously.”