Full slate of fights lined up for local athletes in ring, cage

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



The coming week will see the bell rung on an exciting span of local fights in both boxing and mixed martial arts.

Perhaps the biggest bout will come Saturday night when Glendale's favorite pugilist, Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan puts his undefeated record on the line against Saul Roman at Staples Center as part of a live card on HBO.

The night before, however, Kahren Harutyunyan's Art of Boxing promotions will put on another card in Woodland Hills that will feature up-and-coming "Jewel City" prospect Gapo Tolmajyan (10-1, 3 KOs).

Tolmajyan's Glendale Fighting Club stablemate Art Hovhannesyan is then scheduled to take to the ring a week later in arguably his biggest test to date, in which he will make his live television debut on Showtime.

Other fighters with local ties — Manny Gamburyan and Francisco Rivera — also have big bouts on the horizon with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Harutyunyan's Art of Boxing, in association with usual partner Bash Boxing, will put on another card at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, with the War at Woodland Hills IV likely headlined by an eight-round cruiserweight bout between Michael Simms (21-13-2, 13 KOs) and Anatoliy Dudchenko (11-2, 8 KOs), who's fought on all three previous Glendale Glory cards.

Undefeated GFC prospect Artur Bernetsyan (7-0, 2 KOs), who last fought in February, was supposed to make his return to the ring at the War at Woodland Hills IV after venturing back to his native Armenia and undergoing surgery on his nose. But after Bernetsyan's camp determined he was not quite ready yet, Tolmajyan was instead tabbed to take on Juan Suazo (7-4-2, 5 KOs) in a six-round lightweight affair.

For more information on the card, visit http://www.bashboxing.com.

While not advertised to make the HBO television broadcast, Martirosyan's 12-round light middleweight contest against Roman (34-8, 29 KOs) is certainly a pivotal bout for Martirosyan (29-0, 18 KOs) in his quest for a world title bout. The card is headlined by Martirosyan's stablemate at the Wild Card Gym, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (42-0-1, 30 KOs) taking on Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs). The other televised bout will be a featherweight fight between Miguel Angel Garcia (25-0, 21 KOs) and Miguel Beltran Jr. (24-1, 17 KOs).

Rivera (5-1), who has trained on occasion at the Glendale Fighting Club and is managed by GFC's George Bastrmjayan, will square off with Reuben Duran (7-3-1) in a three-round featherweight matchup on the preliminary portion of the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale," which airs on Spike TV and takes place in Las Vegas.

Hovhannesyan (13-0-1, 7 KOs) is set to face the undefeated Archie Ray Marquez (12-0, 8 KOs) on June 10 at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez.

Hovhannesyan is scheduled to make his live televised debut on the Showtime card in the 10-round lightweight tilt. The main event will feature a cruiserweight contest between Matt Godfrey and Glendale Glory veteran Lateef Kayode.

Finally, Gamburyan (11-5), who frequently trains at GFC and Main Event Gym in Glendale, will take on the formidable Tyson Griffin (14-5) at UFC on Versus 4 from Pittsburgh on June 26. It will be Gamburyan's first fight since a loss in a World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight title match against Jose Also.



The St. Francis High volleyball team missed qualifying for the CIF playoffs this season. However, the Golden Knights had two players bestowed recently with All-Mission League accolades.

Junior opposite hitter Wesley Coffey earned all-league second-team honors and junior outside hitter Michael Bacall picked up all-league honorable mention following a season in which St. Francis finished 11-8 and 4-8 in league.

"With Wesley, he can do a lot of things," St. Francis Coach Mark Frazee said. "He blocks, hits and serves well and he drew the respect and attention from the other team wherever he was on the court.

"Michael is steady and talented. He doesn't get himself in trouble on the court and he'll come out and make a play."

Coffey finished with a team-high 211 kills and added 23 aces. Bacall collected 162 kills and 21 aces.



A multiple-time All-Mission League and All-Area selection, St. Francis High senior Ian Sternau signed on to kick for the Simon Fraser University football team in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He signed his letter of intent on May 25, according to his father.

SFU will become the first Canadian team to join the Golden Northwest Athletic Conference in the NCAA this coming fall.

Sternau also had offers from Rutgers, American International College and Rocky Mountain College, but chose SFU in the hopes of playing right away.



The annual St. Francis Passing Tournament will take at least a one-year hiatus.

Due to the current replacement of Friedman Field, St. Francis High Coach Jim Bonds and his Golden Knights are not certain if they will have the field ready in late July, when the event is usually held.

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