Several years back, when I first started blogging, I got a nice note from an artist named Jace McTier. He showed me his boxing-related paintings, and while I liked them, I told him I was too "art-dumb" to say whether that meant anything.
Clearly his work is actually good to more than just me, as Jace has gone and gotten all popular and stuff (although maybe he was back then, too, and I was too dopey to realize it). Above is a painting from his Angelo Dundee collection. Here is one of his paintings at the re-opening of Dundee's gym, photographed in the Boston Herald. Here is an article from this week about his work. And here is where you can check out all of his stuff, if you're an art fan or boxing fan or boxing art fan.
Also, you have to like someone who says the word "Herculeses."
That serves as an intro totally unrelated to this week's schedule. Sadly, we missed the chance to spotlight middleweight Andy Lee before his bout on Thursday, but FWIW, he swept Alex Bunema on the NESportsTV.com webcast. And I covered one of the weekend's best fights and Andrew Harrison covered the other. But there are more bouts besides that we haven't covered yet this week.
- Chad Dawson vs. Adrian Diaconu, Saturday, HBO, Montreal. There seems to be this change in tone for some boxing writers and fans about whether boxers who take a loss should be back on HBO, and light heavyweight Chad Dawson is one of the people taking heat because of it. Granted, he's also taking heat because some people don't like his style, and while he could have performed better against Jean Pascal in that aforementioned loss, it was an exciting fight where Dawson got more aggressive as the fight went on, to the point that he was on the verge of potentially scoring a knockout before a head clash ended matters prematurely. This will be his first bout with new trainer Manny Steward, who has said some unbelievable things about Dawson picking up some of Tommy Hearns' fire, but maybe Dawson will indeed be more aggressive against Diaconu. I'm not sure how good an idea that is. Dawson can punch a little, but he's not a big puncher -- he's better off as a boxer, especially since he's been dropped or wobbled in the paast. Diaconu is more a stern puncher than a hard one, so trading with him would still be unwise. However, maybe Dawson can find a way to be a boxer who is still aggressive and keeps himself out of harm's way against the pressure-fighting Diaconu. And Diaconu might be crude, but he's no joke; he's the #6 light heavyweight in the world, according to Ring's ratings. This is on the undercard of Pascal-Bernard Hopkins II, with the winners likely to meet down the road. Dawson wants Hopkins to win, but I still want the unfinished business with Dawson and Pascal to get all finished.
- Joel Julio vs. Anges Adjaho, Friday, ESPN2, Newark N.J. Our Mike Coppinger will be on hand in Newark covering this Friday Night Fights card for us. The main event was going to be a very intriguing bout between semi-prospects trying to regain their status, but Antwone Smith had to pull out of the fight. Adjaho is obviously a steep drop-off, but he offers this: He's tough, his style can give people trouble and Julio can use him as something of a measuring stick against Adjaho's other opponents, names like Shawn Porter and Brad Solomon. Julio has obviously shown his limitations in a few losses, but if he can get his punching power back by returning to welterweight and keep broadening his boxing skills, we might want to remember he's still only 26 years old. On the undercard, welterweight Sadam Ali makes an appearance against a weak opponent, but he's still worth seeing because he's in the mix for the best 2008 U.S. Olympian. Also, for those watching at home, TLC network's "The Cake Boss" will appear on the program as a guest. THE CAKE BOSS. #likeacakeboss
- Nathan Cleverly vs. Aleksy Kuziemski, Saturday, Epix/EpixHD.com, London. The headlining bout for this card was once interesting, before Juergen Braehmer pulled his usual disappearing routine and replacement Tony Bellew was unable to make the light heavyweight limit. Kuziemski isn't much of a replacement -- he once got stopped by Braehmer, actually -- and but what do you expect for a third choice? Still, it might be worth signing up for a free two-week trial on EpixHD.com if you don't get the network. Cleverly's a good and reasonably exciting young talent, but mainly it's worth getting because the undercard's super middleweight bout between George Groves and James DeGale could be the fight of the weekend. (And don't anybody get carried away with them going "winner take all" in a bet on their fight's outcome -- it's not permitted by U.K. regulators, according to Groves' trainer.)
- Christopher Martin vs. Charles Huerta, Friday, TeleFutura, Costa Mesa Calif. On the good Solo Boxeo Tecate/bad Solo Boxeo Tecate scale, this main event is a bit more on the good side. Martin was a revelation outboxing bantamweight prospect Chris Avalos, so he deserves to get the spotlight some more. Charles Huerta is limited, but always brings maximum effort and makes for action fights. They'll meet at junior featherweight in a legitimate bout, albeit one where Martin should be a strong favorite.
- Alfonso Gomez vs. Calvin Green, Saturday, Fox Sports Net/Fox Deportes, Cabazon Calif. Gomez probably gets more opportunities on Top Rank shows than he should because of his Mexican heritage and because he was once on The Contender television show, but he's rebuilt his career a little with wins over Jesus Soto Karass and such, and he tends to be in good-to-decent fights, so it's not some injustice or anything. It makes a little sense. What doesn't make any sense is pairing him against Green, who actually got stopped by Gomez' fellow Contender grad, wimpy-punching Sergio Mora. I'm not sure what the Top Rank plan is with Gomez, but if he's going to once more get a decent-sized fight at welterweight, he'll have to do more than beat guys like Green.
- Denis Lebedev vs. Roy Jones Jr., Saturday, Moscow. I really do often consider not mentioning fights like this anymore -- Jones has become a sad figure, like Evander Holyfield. He's been rapping at news conferences, which is making him even sadder. But though this isn't a news site, Jones still has enough of a name that people seem to still care about what he does, even if it's just to get all morose about it. The one-time great is fighting at cruiserweight against a pretty big puncher, and that means Jones could be asleep in the 1st round.
- The Rest. There's a Telemundo show Friday. That's usually all that's worth saying about them, but I try to mention anything that's broadcast in the U.S... Minor TQBR favorite Tomas Rojas makes a defense of a junior bantamweight title Saturday against Juan Jose Montes, whose record and youth make him a bit of a mystery.