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'Even Conor the coward can't quit at this!': Malignaggi challenges McGregor to bare knuckle bout

'Even Conor the coward can't quit at this!': Malignaggi challenges McGregor to bare knuckle bout
Ex-boxing world champ Paulie Malignaggi has goaded “coward” Conor McGregor to settle their feud in a bare knuckle bout, insisting even he wouldn't "quit" at it, and could face McGregor's Russian teammate Artem Lobov in his debut.

After signing with American outfit Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, Malignaggi goaded the Irish MMA star into finally putting an end to their war of words that dates back to when the two were sparring partners, insisting even he couldn’t “quit” the offer.

“Conor the coward with 2 minute rounds I'm sure even YOU can't quit at this! Time to settle it,” Malignaggi wrote on Twitter, simultaneously announcing his deal with the promotion, of which he is the first big name boxer.

Former two-weight world champion Malignaggi, 38, was brought in to mimic Floyd Mayweather Jr in the lead-up to McGregor’s boxing debut against Mayweather in Las Vegas in 2017.

The relationship between the two soured when the McGregor camp released footage of the sessions that showed Malignaggi allegedly being dropped, which the American disputed.

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The ‘Magic Man’ is expected to make his BKFC debut on June 20, possibly in Manchester, New Hampshire, against an as yet unnamed opponent, and also didn’t rule out taking on McGregor teammate Artem Lobov, saying the fight “could make a lot of sense”.

”BKFC is the new wave in combat sports,” Malignaggi said in press release. “They’re doing great things and I’m very excited to be a part of this organization. I’ve accomplished some big things in boxing career, and I look forward to what this next phase brings.

“After a long boxing career, it’s easy to miss the limelight and the rush that combat brings. I look forward to getting back in action and the new challenge of fighting for BKFC.”

Malignaggi previously vowed to send McGregor home “broke” and “hospitalized” should the two meet in  a winner takes all bout. However, having amassed only seven knockouts from his 44 pro fights over a 16-year career, it seems an unlikely outcome.

As for the bare knuckle fight, McGregor and best friend Lobov are yet to respond.

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