Renowned Armenian boxer Artur Grigorian is celebrating his 49th birthday today (10.20.1967).
Artur Grigorian was born in 1967, in Tashkent, to a family that is originally from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Trained by Fritz Sdunek, Grigorian began his professional career in 1994 and won eight consecutive bouts. On 23 July 1994, Grigorian defeated Turkish boxer Senturk Ozdemir by a fifth round technical knockout and won the vacant German International Lightweight title.
On 1 April 1995, Grigorian defeated Antonio Strabello and became the WBO Inter-Continental Champion. After six non-title bouts and one title defense, Artur, with a perfect 19-0 record, became eligible to fight for the WBO Lightweight Championship world title. The title had recently been vacated by Oscar De La Hoya after he moved up to the light welterweight division.
Grigorian faced Puerto Rican Antonio Rivera on 13 April 1996, for the vacant WBO Lightweight title. Both were the two top contenders in the Lightweight division. Artur won by knocking Rivera out in the twelfth round and became the new WBO Lightweight Champion.
After four title defenses, Grigorian defended his belt against undefeated challenger Marco Rudolph. Rudolph had bested Grigorian seven years earlier at the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championship finals. Grigorian avenged his amateur defeat by stopping Rudolph in the sixth round.
Grigorian would continue to defend his title a total of seventeen times, a new record in the lightweight division. Artur was just one more defense away from becoming the longest reigning lightweight champion, but ultimately lost his belt to Acelino Freitas by unanimous decision on 3 January 2004. Grigorian had surgery on his right shoulder prior to the bout. Freitas lost the belt in his first title defense against Diego Corrales. Grigorian retired later that year after winning one more bout.
On 24 February 2009, at the age of 41, Artur came out of retirement for one more bout in which he won a six round unanimous decision against Bulgarian Kirkor Kirkorov. Kirkorov is also of Armenian descent and also a 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships medalist.
Winner of the Goodwill Games (1990)
Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1991)
Honored Sportsman of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Silver medalist of the World Amateur Boxing Championship (1991)
Champion of Germany
Intercontinental WBO champion, WBO lightweight champion (1996-2004)
The Hay Sport team wishes Artur Grigorian a happy birthday and all the best in his coaching career!