Former WBO Interim champion Avtandil Khurtsidze released from prison
The Georgian Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22KO), known as the "Mini Mike Tyson", was released from prison on April 17, 2023, after serving a five-year sentence for racketeering.
Six years after his last fight, now 43, Khurtsidze announced on social media, "Hello everyone, my fans, I have a little news. I am coming out to Louisiana on Monday the 17th, of course, I am free, I can stay in America legally and continue my professional boxing.
"Of course, I am looking forward to the time to visit my son and hug him, the immigration officer told me on the 20th of April that I am going to Brooklyn to New York for free.
"I have a relationship with my coach Gary Stark, gym and sparring partners are waiting for me, thank God and thank you all."
In April 2017, Khurtsidze headlined a packed Leicester Arena against undefeated "Baggies Bomber" Tommy Langford on a Frank Warren show live on BT Sport. The Brooklyn based boxer upset Langford in front of his home fans with a fifth round stoppage which secured the WBO Interim middleweight crown in the process, booking him a world title shot with Billy Joe Saunders.
However, just a couple of months later, he was arrested for being part of an organised crime group in New York, immediately dashing his dreams of the world title challenge.
On 8 June 2017, prosecutors from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York indicted Khurtsidze on charges of violating the RICO Act and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a Russian organised crime syndicate operating in the New York City area. According to the indictment, Khurtsidze is alleged to have paid $17,800 for three cases of purportedly stolen cigarettes.
During his incarceration, on 30 August 2018, it was reported that Khurtsidze had been stabbed in the face during a "stabbing rampage" in a Brooklyn detention center, after members of his crime syndicate, Razhden Shulaya, were involved in a fight with a Latin American gang.
In September 2018, Khurtsidze was convicted of racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, of which he served close to six years.
Roll of Honour
EBA middleweight title
WBA Inter-Continental middleweight title
WBA Interim middleweight title
IBO World middleweight title
WBC Silver middleweight title
WBO International middleweight title
WBO Interim middleweight title
Article sponsored by HÖRFA