Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi has offered to welcome Conor McGregor to boxing and threatened to “knock the beard off” the UFC lightweight king.
The Irishman was granted a licence to box in California earlier this week, with the California State Athletic Commission saying they would be happy to match him with a “high-level” opponent.
McGregor has flirted with taking on former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather for months with the pair continually trading barbs through the media.
However, McGregor officially obtaining a licence has fuelled fresh speculation regarding a crossover fight and Malignaggi has taken to social media to call out McGregor, promising to teach the “Notorious One” a lesson for thinking he has the skills to mix it with boxing’s elite.
Malignaggi, who has previously held the IBF light welterweight and WBA welterweight titles, said: “I have been hearing a lot about this Conor McGregor situation and I got to thinking – you know what I am kind of interested.
“At first I was telling Conor to stay in his lane and I was thinking ‘you know what, you are going to embarrass yourself’ but if you are really going to disrespect the sport of boxing like that then I would like to be the one to teach you that lesson.
“I would never disrespect your sport and tell everybody ‘you know what, I could beat the best fighter in the cage’. You shouldn’t come to our sport and tell everybody you could beat the best fighter in our sport in a ring.
“I know you apologised about absolutely nothing last fight but after I am done with you – I am going to knock the beard off you homie – you are going to be apologising for everything you have been trying to do to get into boxing.”