Former WBO Champ Avtandil Khurtsidze Sentenced for Being Soviet Mob Enforcer

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2018

Georgia's Avtandil Khurtsidze, left, fights against Hassan N'Dam of France, during their WBA middleweight boxing world championship bout at Palais des Sports in Paris, Saturday Oct. 30, 2010. The 26-year-old N'Dam, a Cameroon-born fighter recently granted French citizenship, received winning scores of 117-111, 115-114 and 115-114 from the judges to improve to 25-0, and became the interim WBA champion. Kazakhstan's Gennady Golovkin is the recognized titleholder.  (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Francois Mori/Associated Press

Former interim WBO middleweight boxing champion Avtandil Khurtsidze received a 10-year prison sentence in New York on Friday for working as an "enforcer" in a Soviet organized-crime operation.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports reported the sentencing details. 

Khurtsidze, who won the interim title from Tommy Langford with a April 2017 victory, was forced to postpone a bout with Billy Joe Saunders after getting indicted in June 2017.

A.J. Perez of USA Today reported the federal charges included a violation of anti-racketeering law and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carried a maximum of 40 years in prison.

The 39-year-old Republic of Georgia native was found guilty in June.

Khurtsidze's boxing career remained on hold while the case played out. He'd been on a 10-fight winning streak since an October 2010 loss to Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam.

Saunders ended up defeating Willie Monroe Jr. to take over the WBO middleweight belt last September. He successfully defended it against David Lemieux in December and is set for his next defense Oct. 20 in a matchup with Demetrius Andrade.

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