“I’ve fought all over the place, but I haven’t had a chance to fight in my hometown,” said Edmond Tarverdyan, a martial arts champion and boxer who operates a Glendale-based training studio. “These kids need to look up to us.”
Pro boxing, wrestling and other sparring matches have been banned in Glendale since 1947, when residents who viewed the entertainment as “unwholesome” pressured the City Council to deny a permit request to hold a boxing match.
Recent requests for fight permits at the city-owned Civic Auditorium and persistent lobbying from local champion boxer and promoter Kahren Harutyunyan brought the prohibition back for reconsideration Tuesday.
Some City Council members, in agreeing to the trial run, said it was time to acknowledge Glendale’s history of producing champion fighters and to give them an opportunity to have a proper homecoming.
“I just think that culturally, this is the right thing to do,” Councilman Frank Quintero said.
Under the plan approved Tuesday, city attorneys will return next month with a temporary code amendment allowing for the trial fight at the Civic Auditorium. If the majority of the council’s concerns over cost recovery, public safety and smooth operations are assuaged at that match, it could extend the boxing exemption.
The temporary exemption would apply only to boxing for the time being, city officials said.
That would make the trial pro boxing match, which will likely be produced by Harutyunyan’s Art of Boxing Productions, a major factor in determining the ultimate fate of the prohibition for some council members who cautiously agreed to the plan Tuesday.