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Glendale Fighting Club boxers ready to rumble

GLENDALE — The following are odds and ends from the local sports scene.



The year that has passed was quite a successful one for the Glendale Fighting Club in the boxing ring.


Head trainer Edmond Tarverdyan and cornerman/manager George Bastrmajyan‘s stable of up-and-coming boxers — Art Hovhannesyan, Gapo Tolmajyan and Artur Bernetsyan — combined to go an unblemished 12-0 in 2010. Bernetsyan went 6-0 during his rookie year, while Tolmajyan was 4-0.

Hovhannesyan, after fighting just twice in the past year, is all healed up after an assortment of injuries — the latest a broken hand — and is scheduled to fight on Feb. 25 in Tulsa, OK as part of an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” card against a to-be-announced opponent.

Tolmajyan (10-1, 3 KOs) is riding an eight-fight winning streak after his only professional loss in 2008 and is scheduled to fight a to-be-determined opponent on Feb. 4 at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez. It will be Tolmajyan’s third consecutive fight at the venue.

Bernetsyan (6-0, 2 KOs) already has two tentative fights lined up with a Jan. 28 tilt in San Diego and a Feb. 26 bout in Santa Monica. Like his stablemates’, Bernetsyan’s opponents are not yet known.


The GFC has also been a training haven as of late for Glendale’s biggest boxing star, undefeated NABO and NABF light middleweight champion Vanes Martirosyan.

Martirosyan (28-0, 17 KOs), who continues to spar at Wild Card Gym while head trainer Freddie Roach is reportedly in Mexico with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., was scheduled to fight on Feb. 5.

On Wednesday, the News-Press confirmed with Martirosyan’s manager Steven Feder that Top Rank Promotions is currently exploring new possible dates and opponents after JC Candello (31-10, 20 KOs) pulled out of a matchup that was originally slated for the small town of Maywood at the Maywood Convention Center, although the Agua Caliente Casino and somewhere in the Palm Springs area were also rumored.



In the latest ESPN Rise rankings released this week, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s soccer team finds itself ranked No. 5 in the nation and holding strong to its No. 1 spot in California.

Therefore, it’s perhaps puzzling that the Tologs, currently unbeaten at 11-0-1 heading into a first-place Mission League showdown with Chaminade today, are only ranked No. 7 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division I poll, though they did move up from No. 10. Chaminade and Mission League-foe Harvard-Westlake are tied for the 10th spot, though both are also ranked in the top 15 in the state by ESPN Rise. Los Alamitos is ranked No. 1 in CIF Division I, one of six Orange County schools ranked above the Tologs.

Flintridge Prep’s the only other girls’ soccer squad to make it into the CIF rankings, debuting at No. 9 in Division III, though it’s likely to be a short-lived stay as the rankings were released on Tuesday — the same day Prep fell to 11-3-2 with a loss to Chadwick.


In girls’ water polo, Crescenta Valley (16-2) held strong to its No. 4 ranking in CIF Division V on the same day that it best Pacific League-league rival Glendale, which is tied for the No. 10 spot.

Flintridge Sacred Heart (12-7) finds itself ranked eighth in Division 5-AA, while Glendale (10-8) debuted at No. 16 in Division 2-AA, likely after its upset over Muir, but will likely fall after Tuesday’s loss to Crescenta Valley.

Boys’ basketball features the greatest amount of locals in the rankings.

Flintridge Prep (13-4) held strong to its No. 1 spot in Division 5-AA, while Crescenta Valley (13-6) sits at No. 9 in Division I-A, St. Francis (8-10) is ranked 15th in Division 4-AA and Renaissance Academy (12-6) is at No. 6 in Division 5-A heading into its Harbor League debut.



At UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans on March 19 in Newark, NJ, Manny Gamburyan will look to rebound after falling in his latest fight and, in turn, will make his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Gamburyan, who does much of his training at the Glendale Fighting Club and often corners fellow GFC fighters, will take on Raphael Assuncao in a three-round featherweight (145 pounds) fight that’s likely to air on the pay-per-view preliminary portion of the event.


Gamburyan (11-5) is still largely regarded as the No. 2 featherweight fighter in mixed martial arts after losing to Jose Aldo on Sept. 30, 2010 in a World Extreme Cagefighting title bout.

The UFC has since absorbed the WEC, its sibling company, and many of its fighters, including Assuncao (16-3), who’s coming off a win over LC Davis on Nov. 11, 2010, and Gamburyan.

Gamburyan, who has often trained with Glendale MMA fighters such as Sako Chivitchian, Karen Darabedyan, Sevak Magakian and Roman Mitichyan in the past, gained notoriety during a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2007. The 29-year-old was a season finalist and went 2-3 in the UFC as a lightweight before dropping 10 pounds to the featherweight division.

The card will be headlined by a UFC light heavyweight title match between champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans.