Paulie Malignaggi calls out Conor McGregor after UFC star granted boxing licence

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.

Mayweather said back in September he and McGregor “weren’t able to make the fight happen”, while the unbeaten five-weight world champion continues to insist he is “happily retired”.

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.”

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