After a near three-year hiatus, the “Glendale Glory” pro boxing series makes a return to the Jewel City on Saturday night with a nine-bout “Glendale Glory 4” card.
Undefeated prospect Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will take on fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Garcia in the headline bout at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and first bell scheduled for 7.
Ramirez enters with a 25-0 record with 20 knockouts and is making his United States debut versus the seasoned Garcia (46-8, 39 TKOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight.
The co-feature bout will see Las Vegas super bantamweight up-and-comer Jessie Magdaleno (15-0, 11 KOs) taking on Jose Luis Araiza (31-8-1, 22 KOs) in an eight-round affair.
“It’s going to be a great evening of fights,” Art of Boxing promoter Kahren Harutyunyan, a Glendale High graduate, said. “It’s great to be back in Glendale.”
Prior to this week, perhaps the biggest local draw was Glendale resident Vache “Vic” Martirosyan, younger brother of middleweight contender Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan. Vache Martirosyan was scheduled in the undercard for his second-ever professional bout after a win in his debut July 12.
However, Vache Martirosyan’s trainer, Roma Kalantaryan, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Martirosyan will not fight Saturday evening.
“We’re not sure what happened, but we’re just waiting for another date,” Kalantaryan said. “He got a unanimous decision in his first fight and he’s just waiting to fight again.”
Even with that setback, Saturday marks boxing’s triumphant return to Glendale, due primarily to longtime city resident Harutyunyan, organizer of the three previous “Glendale Glory” showcases along with Steve Bash’s Bash Boxing.
“Glendale is my priority, this is where I live,” Harutyunyan said. “This is where I won my biggest battle and I’m happy to have boxing back in Glendale.”
Harutyunyan, a former boxer, arguably engaged in his biggest fight not in the ring, but when he campaigned to end Glendale’s decades-long boxing ban, which was overturned in 2009.
Shortly after the 62-year-old moratorium was lifted, Harutyunyan organized the first three “Glendale Glory” showcases within 16 months, with the last spectacle taking place Oct. 22, 2010 at the Glendale Auditorium.
That night, perhaps no one knew that when Khabir “The Crazy Russion” Suleymanov delivered a ninth-round TKO victory over Javier “El Grito” Gallo, all action would halt for nearly three years.
“I started law school at the time and with my partner [Bash] more heavily involved, we did some fights in Hollywood and Woodland Hills,” said Harutyunyan, who co-promoted the successful “War at Woodlands Hills” fight series based out at the Warner Center Marriott. “Plus, the conditions in Glendale weren’t as good as in other places.”
Fast forward three years and Harutyunyan is a semester away from graduating Southwestern Law School. Yet, his impending graduation is only one factor in boxing’s trek back to Glendale.
“With law school almost done, I’m getting back into the game and getting more involved,” Harutyunyan said. “But also, the city of Glendale has been great.
“They saw an opportunity for national coverage and the city embraced it and was really helpful, which we needed because we only had a short time to get this ready. Their cooperation is great and that’s part of the reason we’re back.”
Tickets can be purchased online at www.glendaleglory.com or by calling (626) 388-8888.
The main event, along with a bantamweight tilt between Erik Ruiz (9-0) and Isaac Zarate (5-1), are scheduled to be televised on UniVas at 11 p.m. Saturday night.