SARTONK: Finally Getting Recognition Where Recognition Was Due
SARTONK was founded by Edward Majian to right a wrong; to safeguard a nearly four-decade-old boxing legacy. Edward’s grandfather, Ardash Sahaghian, was the unsung artist behind the iconic championship boxing belts, yet, very few knew his name. So, it was easy for others to begin capitalizing on his long hours of labor, going to market with knock-offs and imitations.
Edward and his wife, Hasmig Tatiossian, created SARTONK to finally give his grandfather the recognition he deserved. But, this wasn’t an easy battle.
“I am a performer and studied philosophy, so I understand the importance of the narrative. We told my grandfather’s story, but, in the early years, there was a knowledge gap. It took a long time to establish that honoring the original artist behind the belt was relevant. People said, ‘Are we going to honor the shoemaker next?’” Edward said. “The belt is what the champions are fighting for; it is an iconic part of the sport. The man behind that iconic symbol is my grandfather—I did not want that history to be forgotten.”
After three years, and countless hours of work, telling their story, creating more iconic boxing belts through the Sahaghian method and making advances on that method, things finally began to turn around.
In 2012, at the age of 91, Ardash Sahaghian was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as boxing’s Master Craftsman. The legacy and symbolism of the iconic belts would later be featured in an ESPN The Magazine photo spread, published in June of 2013.
Recognition. Redemption. At last.