The mixed martials arts fighter and the retired welterweight champion have a record of verbal jousting dating back to 2014, when Mayweather had said of Rousey: “I don’t even know who he is.”
Rousey has hit back since by referencing Mayweather’s history of domestic violence and on winning a best fighter award in July, saying: “I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” adding: “I’d like to see you pretend to not know who I am now.”
Other gems include Mayweather telling Rousey to call him “when she makes $300m in 36 minutes” - a reference to his May win over Manny Pacquiao – to which she responded by telling the boxer to get in touch with her “when he learns how to read and write”.
So it was some surprise when Mayweather expressed sympathy for Rousey following the loss of her unbeaten record to a knockout by Holly Holm in Melbourne over the weekend. “I haven’t really spoke to anyone about the Ronda Rousey situation, just to set the record straight,” Mayweather told Fighthype.com. “I don’t have anything against MMA fighters. It’s just like boxing; you win some, you lose some. A true champion can take a loss and bounce back.”
Mayweather denied having anything to do with a post by the hip-hop star 50 Cent that mocked the MMA fighter’s defeat by Holm. A picture on Instagram showed Rousey’s face superimposed over a dying Apollo Creed lying in the arms of Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV with the words: “Floyd told me to post this. He want me to do the dirty work.”
“I don’t think it’s cool how everyone is trolling her on social media,” Mayweather said. “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.
“I’m pretty sure she’s a very, very strong person, but we still have to take into consideration that she has feelings,” he added. “Everything happens for a reason. This was already written. Listen, if God says: ‘In Floyd’s career, I don’t want him to lose,’ you know what? I wasn’t going to lose. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t took a loss before.
“I’m not talking about boxing; I’m just talking about life. When you lose a loved one, that’s taking a loss. I think that everything is just a learning experience. In due time, she’ll be able to bounce back and make some noise again in mixed martial arts.”
Rousey has said little apart from her own post on Instagram. “I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support. I appreciate the concerns about my health, but I’m fine. As I had mentioned before, I’m going to take a little bit of time, but I’ll be back.”
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