Avtandil Khurtsidze has spent more than a decade competing inside the ring, but now he’ll spend a decade behind bars.
The 39-year-old Khurtsidze has been sentenced to 10 years for his role as an enforcer for a Georgian criminal organization. This comes after Khurtsidze was indicted on charges of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, being convicted for one count of racketeering and one count of wire fraud conspiracy.
According to reports, Khurtsidze, who held the interim WBO middleweight title in 2017, and his associates were known as the Shulaya Enterprise and were blamed for crimes across the US including extortion, wire fraud, illegal gambling and operating a brothel in Brooklyn.
In addition to his 10-year prison sentence, Khurtsidze was also sentenced to two years of supervision after his release from prison. Khurtsidze was arrested in 2017 part of a federal government roundup of more than a dozen people accused of involvement in a New York-based Russian and Georgian crime syndicate which operated in several states in the United States including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada as well as outside the U.S.
Khurtsidze was close to fighting WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in the summer of 2017 but was arrested by authorities shortly before he was set to fight Saunders. Khurtsidze was then shortly stripped of his interim middleweight title. After making his pro debut back in 2002, Khurtsidze won 33 of his 37 career fights, even challenging for the interim WBA middleweight title back in 2010.