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Feds indict middleweight boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze on racketeering charges one month before title shot

June 8, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Feds indict middleweight boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze on racketeering charges one month before title shot

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Federal agents arrested middleweight boxing contender Avtandil Khurtsidze on Wednesday for his alleged connection to Russian organized crime indicates.

Khurtsidze, who is known as “Little Tyson” because of his short stature and immense punching power has a record of 33-2-2, 22 knockouts. He had been scheduled to fight for the title against WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders July 8 in London.

However, instead of training camp, the boxer finds himself behind bars.

His arrest has forced Khurtsidze to abandon his dream title shot after U.S. federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a RICO indictment against the fighter on numerous charges in connection with his alleged ties to the Russian Mafia in the U.S. and in his native homeland of Georgia.

In a statement, acting U. S Attorney for Brooklyn’s Eastern District Joon H. Kim announced the arrest of Khurtsidze along with 32 others on federal racketeering charges.

Khurtsidze was scheduled to challenge WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders on July 8th

According to a Justice Department press release, the indictment against the 38-year-old Khurtsidze details his alleged role in an organized criminal enterprise based in his native Georgia and in Brooklyn, New York, where the fighter resides and trains.

Avtandil Khurtsidze faces a litany of charges including one count of RICO conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and one count of conspiracy to transport and sell contraband cigarettes, which carries a five-year maximum sentence.

“The dizzying array of criminal schemes committed by this organized crime syndicate allegedly include a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices,” Kim said. 

Khurtsidze’ promoter Lou DiBella, confirmed on Thursday to RingTV.com the cancellation of the upcoming championship bout.

“It’s obviously very disappointing; You don’t live people’s lives for them. I don’t know any details, but this is a development we never expected or anticipated,” DiBella said.

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