Avtandil Khurtsidze loses world champion status due to links with gang led by Russian thief in law
The court did not release the boxer on bail after he had been held in custody in the US for two months, since there is a videotape where Khurtsidze is seen beating an FBI informant.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) decided to revoke the champion status of Georgian-born Olympic champion Avtandil Khurtsidze, who had been charged with racketeering being a part of a criminal syndicate headed by the thief in law Razhden Shulaya (Razden Pitersky) in the United States.
At present, Avtandil Khurtsidze is in custody, where he was placed for two months.
As reported on the official website of WBO, Khurtsidze, who won an April 22 interim WBO middleweight championship, will not be able to confirm his title in a fight with Billy Joe Saunders. For this reason, his temporary championship status has been canceled.
The statement also said that Khurtsidze had a 10-day period to appeal against the decision, otherwise he would lose the title of world champion forever.
We should remind that the WBO World Middleweight Championship was to be held on July 8 in London, but was canceled due to Khurtsidze’s arrest. After the boxer was detained in New York, his lawyers asked the court to release him on bail, but the court refused since it has evidence of the athlete's guilt.
Poster of Saunders vs. Khurtsidze battle
According to Judge Katherine Forrest who made the decision there is a video in the case file where Khurtsidze (aka Chakucha and Tornado) is seen beating an FBI informant. The athlete is also guilty of beating another person, whom he later handed over to the gang leader Radzhen Shulaya. The sportsman considers his arrest to be a "misunderstanding".
Meanwhile, 33 members of the criminal syndicate led by the thief in law Radzhen Shulaya are charged with a number of crimes: fraud and extortion as part of an organized group, drug and weapon trafficking, thefts, robberies and contract killings.