“Pittsburgh Kid” Fights at Rivers Casino; 10,000 Maniacs Converge on Palace Theater (CPs Fri., 7/11/2014)

1) Although Paul Spadafora is still known as “The Pittsburgh Kid,” the former IBF World Lightweight title holder, at 37, is anything but a kid. In his younger days, the journeyman boxer climbed the ranks of the amateur circuit, winning 75 of 80 fights. After going pro in 1995, he started a winning streak that lasted until 2003, ending on a world stage with a draw. Along the way, he’s collected more the a dozen KO wins and held the Lightweight title from 1999 to 2003, when he relinquished the belt and jumped up to Light Welterweight. Spadafora is no stranger to difficulties outside of the ring, but time after time he’s shown that he has what it takes to face down any opponent. Today he’s on the road back to the top and is considered a contender for the IBF Light Welterweight belt. He fights Hector Velazquez tonight at Rivers Casino at Rivers Rumble IV. 7 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.

2) When 10,000 Maniacs played their first show in 1981, lead singer Natalie Merchant was only 17 years old. (She’d replaced the original lead singer in the formative days of the group, when they called themselves Burn Victims.) Through the late 80’s and early 90’s, the band charted several hits, including their only number one, “These Are Days.” Although Merchant left in 1993 to pursue a solo career, the band continued to tour and has remained largely the same. Their current lineup features lead vocalist Mary Ramsey, guitarist Jeff Erickson, original bass player Steve Gustafson, original keyboardist Dennis Drew, and longtime drummer Jerry Augustyniak. The Maniacs are at The Palace Theater for an 8 p.m. show. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.

3) The Gallery Crawl is a quarterly event put together by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust that gives the public the opportunity to experience more than 30 hot spots throughout Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Starting at 5:30 p.m., everyone is invited to visit any and all of the participating venues. Most will be displaying art installations—like Cox Contemporary, the newest gallery in the area, which is featuring a mixed-media exhibition by Justus Cox. Others will present live music, belly dancing performances, free yoga classes, or regionally produced short films. There’s a little something for everyone. The Crawl runs until 10 p.m., and the entire event is free . A full listing of venues and events can be found on the Crawl’s official website.

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Daniel J. Dombrowski

Daniel J. Dombrowski is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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