To throw down the glove

to challenge to combat.

See also: Glove

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
Typically, his decision to throw down the gloves came woefully late, but now he's free from the pressure of living up to his past glories, Seaman can concentrate on his new career - laughing like Frank Bruno after a lobotomy in response to anything and everything said in front of a camera.