Boxing's laureate riles Malignaggi
"When Cotto broke your jaw it took time to recoup, when Hitman breaks your jaw you'll be sucking on soup." Not exactly Wordsworth, but to be fair, what did Wordsworth know about mitt work?
You'd have thought Ricky Hatton, a man who is one dodgy performance away from hanging up his gloves, needs a rapping trainer like a moose needs a hat stand*, but Floyd Mayweather Sr isn't just a rapping trainer. He's "the poet laureate of boxing".
And poet laureates of boxing have a habit of getting up opponents' noses, as anybody familiar with the career of Muhammad Ali, who held the office between 1960 and 1981, will recognise.
"Should I do some more?" said Floyd after a ditty that must have lasted two or three minutes. But Paulie Malignaggi had seen enough.
"Man, you should have wrote children's poems, what you doing in boxing?" said the New Yorker, whose nose had clearly been got up.
Hatton, meanwhile, chuckled rather smugly to himself. "I don't have to do any trashtalking, Floyd does it for me. I think he got under Paulie's skin a little bit."
Skin-getting-under is clearly in the Mayweather genes - Floyd Jr got so far under Hatton's before they met last December as to be almost tumorous.
Indeed, Hatton's cage was so rattled that he ended up making dopey cutthroat gestures at the weigh-in, but at Wednesday's final press conference at the MGM Grand, he was very much a man in control of his emotions.
After Malignaggi had finished his little rant - "I hope Ricky left his wrestling pants at home" - Ricky coolly trumped him by saying he hoped they could still be friends after the fight.
He got an appreciative ripple of applause, while Paulie stuck out his bottom lip and nodded rather embarrassedly, having been made to look every bit the Vegas virgin he is.
Malignaggi's promoter Lou DiBella is no Vegas virgin, and it was he who brought up subject of refereeing, an aspect of the fight that could be key in deciding the outcome.
As Malignaggi alluded to, Hatton has a reputation as something of an octopus, and DiBella will hope his concerns land on the doormat of Kenny Bayless, who'll be the third man in the ring on Saturday.
DiBella's jab aside, it was Hatton's presser by a wide margin, although it was his trainer landing all the significant blows. And that's exactly how Hatton would have liked it.
If I had an M&M for every time a boxer had told me their training camp had been their best ever, I'd be able to open a four-storey M&M department store (there's one in Vegas - would anyone like me to bring home an M&M dog sweater?).
But those journalists who saw Hatton's final open workout on Wednesday (I arrived a couple of hours too late and can't pretend I was there: damn you Ross and Brand...) are unanimous in their opinion that Hatton has, as he put it, rediscovered his "twinkle".
Media workouts are unreliable barometers of form - after all, Ali used to spar with fluffy gorillas and The Beatles at his, and he didn't do too badly - but those I have spoken to assure me there was a new-found freshness in Hatton's moves.
Radio Five Live commentator Mike Costello assured me he looked "impressive". Mayweather Sr preferred to put it another way:
"He's back, it's amazing, ain't no jack, the Hitman comes alive... he's the man with the man who's gonna make the plan, to put Paulie on his pants." Funny, it doesn't seem as good when you write it down...
* Apologies to Mike Costello, this line was his, although he nicked it off Mickey Duff, so I don't feel so bad.
PS. I cannot believe Ben Dirs is in Las Vegas wasting the license fee payers' money... I just thought I'd save a few of you the effort...