It’s hard not to get the sense that Paulie Malignaggi is using Conor McGregor to stay relevant.
Malignaggi hasn’t stopped talking about McGregor, both on Twitter and in interviews, since they sparred in the build up to the Irishman’s fight against Floyd Mayweather in August.
There was plenty of fallout to footage that appeared to show McGregor knocking Malignaggi down.
And while the former American boxer has disputed the footage, he’s used it to help his case as he pursues a fight against the UFC star.
“F*** yeah, why not?” Malginaggi told iFL TV when asked if he’d box McGregor. “That's the easiest money I can make. Are you kidding me? He's not very likeable.”
McGregor has seemingly moved on from boxing. He posted an image on Twitter last week of himself as a character from Grand Theft Auto, writing simply “Tony”.
It appeared to be a hint that McGregor will return to UFC to face Tony Ferguson, the current interim lightweight champion.
Malignaggi: There's one way McGregor fight won't happen
Yet don’t take that to mean McGregor will never face Malignaggi.
According to the former two-division world champion, talks are underway between the two camps.
And according to Malignaggi, the only way the fight doesn’t happen is if McGregor “has no balls”.
“I know [Malignaggi’s advisor] Al Haymon's talking to Dana White,” Malignaggi told FightHype.com “I know they're speaking, so if they want the fight they'll make it.
“Once I spoke to Al and Team Haymon, and they told me they wanted to make this fight, I knew that the only was this fight doesn't happen is if (Conor) had absolutely no balls.”
The 36-year-old, who retired from boxing in March, believes a McGregor-Malignaggi fight would be bigger than the Notorious’ meeting with Mayweather in Las Vegas.
“This fight will pay him more, this fight will get him more exposure, this fight is a bigger fight than anybody else he has,” he added.
“There's no more Mayweather fight. This fight is the biggest fight there is.
“So once they told me that, I knew the only way this doesn't happen is if this guy has absolutely no balls. Which wouldn't surprise me because he has no balls.
“But the way they're going to present it to him, it's going to be presented in a way where he really shouldn't turn it down.”
Does McGregor think Malignaggi is worth the time and effort? We’ll wait and see.