Honor Your Champion

Exhibition Details

Artist: Sartonk

Date: October, 2014

Online: Sartonk

Adapted from the Armenian word zartonk (Զարթոնք, meaning "rebirth"), SARTONK was founded in 2009, to safeguard a boxing legacy that dates back over three decades.

In the late 1970s, Ardash Sahaghian, a jeweler by trade and artist by birth, was invited to apply himself to the reinventing of championship boxing belts. It was in a New Jersey studio, under the management of Phil Valentino Sr., that Sahaghian gave shape to the now iconic modern boxing belts.

Most visible of his works are the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world championship belts. Yet, Sahaghian's portfolio includes nearly all prominent regional models, specialty designs and early MMA, such as the original UFC belt. These, together with revisions to Ring Magazine belts, and historic reproductions like the John L. Sullivan and Rocky Marciano belts, account for his indelible mark on fight history.

Today, Sahaghian's contributions are advanced by his grandson, Edward S. Majian, founder and president of SARTONK. Aside from producing the classics in unprecedented quality, SARTONK is respected as a full-capacity design firm, with a steady flow of original and cutting-edge work.
SARTONK's creative output, coupled with a growing awareness of its legacy, led to a milestone in 2012: at 91 years old, Sahaghian was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as Boxing's Master Craftsman. SARTONK's debut into the public limelight would soon follow with its release of the "Champion of the Decade" belt. Noted for its precision, the Decade belt (Marquez v. Pacquiao IV) marked the first time that a belt itself garnered mass attention for its aesthetic value.

In 2013, SARTONK's legacy and craftsmanship gained the attention of ESPN The Magazine. The magazine featured a photo spread of Sahaghian and Majian in its June 10 issue, and published the web gallery "Constructing for Champions." This coverage helped elevate boxing belts, on their own cultural merit, into mainstream public awareness.

In addition to integrity and quality, SARTONK is devoted to social consciousness in the boxing community and society. Supported by industry leaders, the company launched the Ali-King Award in 2012. Named after Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr., the annual project promotes literacy, nonviolence and empowerment, while inspiring boxing youth to think critically.
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