News | Jun 08 2017

World title challenger Avtandil Khurtsidze arrested in crime syndicate crackdown

Billy Joe Saunders' July 8 world title fight with Avtandil Khurtsidze falls through for astonishing reasons
Avtandil Khurtsidze
Billy Joe Saunders and Avtandil Khurtsidze after the press conference  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

BROOKLYN based Georgian middleweight, Avtandil Khurtsidze was due to fight Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO world title on July 8 at the Copperbox in London. But Khurtsidze has been arrested due to alleged links with organised crime.

In a statement the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York said members and associates of a Russian crime syndicate had been arrested for racketeering, extortion, robbery, murder-for-hire conspiracy, fraud, narcotics, and firearms offences.

Among the 33 men charged is Avtandil Khurtsidze, aka “The Kickboxer”.