Hudson Reporter, NJ
July 6 2014

Local boxing belt designer honored twice

Ninety-two year old craftsman Ardash Sahaghian has enjoyed the
limelight this past month. As the originator of the modern boxing
belt, Sahaghian's work elevated not only the culture of boxing, but
also the cities where these iconic symbols were created -- Weehawken
and Union City.

On May 23, Union City Mayor Brian Stack issued a proclamation honoring
Ardash and his wife, Nazeli Sahaghian. The proclamation was presented
at the Armenian Flag Raising ceremony at International Park, days shy
of Armenian Independence Day. Overseen by Union City Commissioners
Lucio Fernandez and Tilo Rivas, as well as prominent local members of
the Armenian clergy, the flag raising was a special ceremony for the

"Our Armenian heritage is an integral part of our identity, and my
grandparents are very proud of their cultural roots," commented Edward
S. Majian, their grandson and President of SARTONK. The proclamation
reads, in part, "Ardash Sahaghian's successes serve as an inspiration
to the Armenian people ... Ardash was recruited to modernize the
classic championship boxing belts. He used his artistry to create
three-dimensional sculptural pieces that ultimately became industry

Three weeks after that historic day, on June 14, Sahaghian was honored
at the Union City Annual Artists Awards. Organized by the
administration, this red carpet gala celebrated the artists who have
enriched Union City -- whether through photography, music, dance,
painting, writing, or design.