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King of the West rages into fight scene

Plenty of local flavor in event that features both boxing and MMA.

May 04, 2010|By Grant Gordon

GLENDALE — Having aided in the burgeoning careers of boxer Vanes Martirosyan and mixed martial artists Manny Gamburyan and Karen Darabedyan, among others, as a trainer, Roma Kalantaryan has always wanted to do more when it came to the fight game.

And Kalantaryan, the proprietor of the Main Event Sports Club in Glendale, has teamed up with friend John Nemkerekyan to form King of the West Promotions, which will put on its first-ever fight card on Thursday at the Circus Disco in Hollywood when it presents “Rage Against the Ropes,” a hybrid fighting event that will feature both boxing and MMA.

“I’m very excited,” said Kalantaryan, who will present a card that’s scheduled to feature six MMA fights and four boxing bouts with five fighters having local ties on the card. “I’m trying to bring this to a different level.”


The card will be main-evented by an MMA bout between Richard Schiller (6-0) and Noad Lahat (4-0), but will also play host to Glendale boxers Artur Bernetsyan and Vacho Avagyan, as well as Glendale-trained MMA fighters Andy Dermenjyan, Hayko Tsaturyan and Jared Papazian.

Like cards before it, Thursday’s will once more try to combine boxing fans and MMA fans under one roof.

“That’s the argument, what’s better, MMA or boxing, boxing or MMA?,” said event coordinator and matchmaker George Bastrmajyan. “Fans are gonna come out and judge for themselves.”

Bastrmajyan, a man of many hats in the fight world, also serves as a trainer and cutman for Bernetsyan at the Glendale Fighting Club, while Kalantaryan has had a hand in training all four of the local MMA fighters. But both, due to conflict of interest, will be out of their fighters’ corners.

Bernetsyan (2-0, 1 KO) is set to face Ramon Flores (3-6-1, 3 KOs), while Avagyan (2-0, 1 KO) will face Richard Contreras, who’s making his pro debut.

While Glendale MMA fighter Sevak Magakian was originally slated for the card, he was a late scratch, as Dermenjyan (3-1) was a late addition and is still waiting on an opponent.

Hayko Tsaturyan is making his pro debut and will take on Chris Wolff (0-3).

Papazian (7-5-1) is set to face Tyler Weathers (6-4).

With his first endeavor into the promoting game, Kalantaryan kept most of the talent local in the hopes of drawing a good-sized crowd. But he’s realistic about profits with this being the first event.

“I just want exciting fights, a good crowd, people having fun, that’s what I’m all about,” he said.

The event will be taped and possibly broadcast at a later date and Combat Sports Radio will be doing a web cast, as well, in the weeks following the event.

As an added bonus, both Darabedyan and Martirosyan are slated to lend their expertise to the color commentary for the show.

Doors are set to open at 6 p.m., with the first fight scheduled for a 7 p.m. bell time.

For information on tickets, visit

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