US Court Sentences Georgian Boxer Khurtsidze to 10 Years in Prison

Former Georgian boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze was sentenced by the New York Court to 10 years in prison for charges of being a member of a Russian criminal gang.

He was one of 33 criminals arrested in a June 7 crackdown by the US Justice Department on the Brooklyn crime syndicate known as the Shulaya Enterprise, an organized criminal group operating under the direction and protection of so called thief-in-law, Razhden Shulaya.

On June 8, 2017, Khurtsidze was indicted in a US District Court on charges of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the Shulaya Enterprise. Khurtsidze was accused of working as an "enforcer" for the Brooklyn mob boss.

Before his arrest, Khurtsidze was the reigning WBO International interim world champion. He was scheduled to compete against British boxer Billy Joe Saunders for the world championship in July 2017 in London, but the fight was canceled because of the arrest and he was stripped of his title.

After his arrest, the boxer took to Facebook to slam the Georgian government, adding they never applauded his success and did not help him and said if the US deports him he will continue his career in Russia.

Makvala Khurtsidze, mother of the former Georgian boxing champion, says her son is not guilty.

"I am convinced that my son is innocent, he was optimistic and said that he would be sentenced to one year in prison, in the worst-case scenario. Our expectations were not met," she added.

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

Disgraced Boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze Rejects His Native Georgia

Former Georgian Boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze Stabbed in New York Jail

10 September 2018 12:12