One of the most surprising spin-offs of the McGregor/Mayweather build-up to this writer has been the need to learn how many 'g's appear in Paulie Malignaggi's name. (Correct answer: three).
The Showtime analyst has managed to crowbar himself into ubiquity ahead of the fight, thanks to his decision to help McGregor out sparring-wise and his subsequent multi-pronged media attack on McGregor since.
Malignaggi is a two-weight world champion, but he surely landed fewer jabs in those title fights than he has verbal lashings upon McGregor over the last few weeks. The most recent outburst came last night on Sky Sports, where he claimed the boxing world was laughing at McGregor.
His most vigorous attack came in an hour-long interview with Ariel Helwani, in which Malignaggi explained why he left sparring camp abruptly. Malignaggi felt aggrieved at the leaking of supposedly-confidential photos, one of which featured Malignaggi being dumped on his arse. These, Malignaggi, feels were leaked strategically and were not representative of their contest as a whole. With Helwani, Malignaggi called McGregor a "dickhead", an "asshole", a "scumbag", and a "piece of shit". He also forward-sold to his divulging further details of the camp, although maintained that he would not talk tactics out of respect.
Speaking on Second Captains today, the ever-brilliant Andy Lee cut through the bullshit on Malignaggi's ceaseless goading of McGregor.
Malignaggi got what he deserved. I know Paulie and I like him, but C'mon. He talked the talk going in there, and I think he was totally naive when he did go in there. He was in no boxing shape, his last fight he had lost to a European level fighter. He walked in, you could see he looked a bit sheepish shaking McGregor's hand, who was fully focused.
Since then, and the leaving of the camp...I follow him on Twitter, and it's constant tweets, and replies to nearly everybody. I can see what he's trying to do. The cynic in me says he is trying to line himself up as the next opponent. McGregor loses, and hey, Malignaggi and McGregor, unfinished business. Something like that.
But he's done brilliantly out of it, in terms of publicity. More people know him in Ireland than before, even when he was world champion. But what goes on in the gym, that usually stays in the gym. But he made it an issue, and they pulled his bluff.
Yeah, the photo of McGregor with his hands behind his back was a little disrespectful, but he should have played it off and moved on.
He comes out looking bad, but I can see what he's angling for.
It's well worth listening to the full slot on Second Captains.