A Glendale resident since moving from Armenia in 1997, the 2000 Glendale High graduate began boxing when he was only 10, taking up a sport that would captivate his life and lead him to this day.
Fifty years before Harutyunyan came to Glendale, boxing was banned in the city.
Thus, for the unassuming, 5-foot-4 bantamweight boxer, just one of the many roadblocks that stood in his path during a promising career in the ring was the inability of ever fighting in front of a hometown crown.
But, roughly a year ago, the burgeoning 27-year-old promoter set out to change that for future local pugilists, as he set out in search of Glendale Glory — the card that he presents tonight.
Tonight’s landmark boxing event will see Glendale give the Sweet Science a chance, it will see area fighters given a shot to compete in front of a familiar following and it will see the latest – and most important – chapter in Harutyunyan’s boxing odyssey come to form.
“I don’t really want to say I doubted it, but I don’t want to say I was 100% confident,” says Harutyunyan of getting the Glendale City Council to temporarily lift the city’s ban on boxing in March. “All I knew is I was gonna go all the way, whatever it took.”
Not long after graduating from Glendale High, Harutyunyan turned pro at the age of 18.
His career was hardly met with fanfare, thus, he had no hand-picked opponents served up to him and his 1-1-1 record over his first three fights is likely evidence of that.
“Most of my career, I managed myself,” Harutyunyan says. “I got my own fights, talked to promoters, looked for opportunities.”
But opportunities are hard enough to find for anyone fighting in the 112-pound weight class or anywhere else in that vicinity.