Glendale To Host First Boxing Card After 60-Year Ban

BY David A. Avila ON June 07, 2009
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In the shadow of Los Angeles, the small but growing city of Glendale hosts a boxing card after a 60-year ban of the sport.

A historic boxing card that features numerous local and East European prizefighters takes place at the Glendale Civic Auditorium on Friday, June 12. Art of Boxing Promotions and Bash Promotions are sponsoring the event. It will not be televised.

Kahren Harutyunyan, the owner of Art of Boxing Promotions, is a former boxer who recently graduated from UCLA and hustled for the last two years trying to lobby Glendale City Council to allow boxing in the town.

Much to his surprised he discovered that an ordinance forbidding professional boxing had been in place since 1947.

“It was actually some nuns that forced the city to ban boxing,” said Harutyunyan, who boxed professionally from 2000-2006 and as an amateur in Armenia. “The ban had been there since 1947.”

According to Glendale archives back in 1947 the mayor of the city desired to put a boxing gym in the city but was blocked by nuns who gathered 200 signatures to oppose the building. They said it was an unwholesome idea.

When Harutyunyan and others spoke to the city council and mentioned that Los Angeles, which borders Glendale, is considered one of the boxing hotbeds, it opened eyes. Furthermore, he added, several athletes from Glendale were very successful in both pros and amateurs.

“We had two Glendale boxers who were Olympians: Pepe Reilly (1992) and Vanes Martirosyan (2004),” Harutyunyan said. “We also had several who have fought for titles.”

In the last 10 years Glendale has been a favorite place of residence for Armenians who excel in not only boxing, but mixed martial arts too.

The fight card on Friday features several excellent boxing matches.

If you are not familiar with Armenian and Russian boxers then it’s a great opportunity to observe these little known but talented fighters in Southern California. In the last 10 years they’ve been making their presence known in amateur and pro events.

The main event features heavyweight Andrey Fedosov (19-1, 15 KOs) matched against Missouri’s Galen “Bad Boy” Brown in a 10-round bout. It’s Fedosov’s second fight outside of his country Russia and he hopes to make an impact and capture the vacant WBC Youth title.

Also on the card is Art Hovhannesyan (7-0-1), attempting to remain undefeated against Walberto Gaxiola (7-7) in a six round lightweight contest.

The promoters expect a good crowd for this historic event including the mayor of Glendale and several city council members.

Pretty soon, fans can expect a world champion or two to emerge from Glendale. Today there are two Armenians holding world title belts, Arthur Abraham the WBA middleweight titleholder and Vic Darchinyan the IBF junior bantamweight titleholder and former flyweight world champion. Glendale’s Martirosyan is currently ranked 12th by the IBF.

Russian fighters are also finding their way to the top of the professional ladder. Roman Karmazin, who trains in Hollywood, is a former junior middleweight world titleholder who was scheduled to fight on the card but was forced to withdraw.

Boxing is back in Glendale.

“I’m proud and happy that boxing is here again,” Harutyunyan said.

Tickets can be purchased at www.Glendaleglory.com or you can call (818) 521-2373.

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