Floyd Mayweather Jr. took a potshot at Ronda Rousey on Sunday in the wake of her devastating loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193, according to his close friend 50 Cent, although the legendary boxer later issued a denial.
The post had Rousey edited onto a famous image of fictional character Apollo Creed being tended to by Rocky Balboa and has since been deleted.
On Monday, Mayweather denied he encouraged the image to be posted, per Ben Thompson of Fight Hype: "That's not true at all. I haven't really spoke to anyone about the Ronda Rousey situation, just to set the record straight."
As we can see here, courtesy of UFC on Fox, Rousey was on the end of some brutal shots from Holm on Saturday:
Rousey and Mayweather have been involved in a bitter war of words since 2014, triggered by the latter responding, “I don’t even know who he is,” when asked about the UFC star, per Liam FitzGibbon of Fox Sports.
As a result, plenty had been waiting for Mayweather’s verdict on the fight since Holm knocked out Rousey in Melbourne, Australia.
Others have had their say on the defeat. Laila Ali, a retired, unbeaten boxer and the daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, was also critical of Rousey, per TMZ Sports: "In order to be the best in the world, you definitely don't ever get beat up like that in your prime, period."
As reported by Martin Domin of the MailOnline, the 28-year-old spent the night in the hospital after losing her UFC bantamweight championship to Holm. According to the piece, UFC President Dana White claimed a rematch between Rousey and Holm would “make sense” further down the line, although the former champion is set to take a break from the sport.
Mayweather actually spoke in defence of Rousey after she was criticised on social media, per Thompson: "I don't think it's cool how everyone is trolling her on social media. Certain things you have to learn. People will love you on Friday and then Sunday morning, it's nothing but negative comments and people making jokes and people making fun about you, which I don't think is cool."
The retired boxer, who was unbeaten during his 49-fight career, has previously put the boot in on rivals, most notably unashamedly mocking Manny Pacquiao with an Instagram video of his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, per Aaron Flanagan of the Daily Mirror.
There was some fanciful talk of Mayweather potentially going up against Rousey in a ruleless fight earlier in the year, per a Reddit AMA. (Warning: NSFW language used.)
However, in the wake of Rousey’s loss to Holm, CSN’s Henry Wofford thinks talk of any bout should be shelved for good:
Not that it was ever likely to happen anyway.
Now, all eyes will be on how Rousey responds to this loss and the new challenges she will face going forward. Mentally, will she be as confident heading into her next bout? Will other fighters feel as intimidated going up against her? These are now real issues after Holm proved Rousey is fallible.
She’ll also have to cope with the gibes that’ll come her way in the months to come—again, something the former undefeated champion isn't used to.