Former pro boxer Paulie Malignaggi has challenged Conor McGregor to a bare-knuckle fight, branding the Irish star a ‘coward’.
The war of words between the pair has continued to escalate ever since their bitter feud in the lead up to McGregor’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The Irishman had drafted Malignaggi in for sparring ahead of his professional boxing debut against Mayweather in 2017, but angered him after releasing training footage showing him flooring the former WBA welterweight star.
The pair have been verbally sparring since, with Malignaggi now issuing a direct challenge to McGregor hours after signing with Bare Knuckle FC.
Taking to Twitter , 38-year-old Malignaggi said: “Conor the coward @TheNotoriousMMA with 2 minute rounds I’m sure even YOU can’t quit at this! Time to settle it.l @bareknucklefc”.
Malignaggi last competed in a boxing match in 2017, falling by eighth-round knockout to Sam Eggington in a WBC International welterweight title bout at London’s O2 Arena.
Until that moment, he had been on a three-fight winning streak.
Following the loss, Malignaggi announced his retirement from boxing aged 36, bringing to an end a 16-year professional career with 38 wins and just 8 losses.
Exactly two years to the day of his retirement, Malignaggi announced he had signed an exclusive contract with Bare Knuckle FC, with his debut expected in June 2019.
McGregor is currently serving a six-month suspension from the UFC for his role in a brawl following his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While McGregor’s suspension lifts in April, it is widely believed he will return to the octagon in the autumn.
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