- Avtandil Khurtsidze vs Billy Joe Saunders Was Announced In 2017 For The World Middleweight Title
- Georgian Middleweight Was Jailed For Six Years Due To Organised Crime, Cancelling The Bout
- 44-year-old Khurtsidze Wants To Make The Saunders Fight Again In 2023/2024
Billy Joe Saunders was due to defend his WBO Middleweight title against Avtandil Khurtsidze back in 2017 after the Georgian upset Tommy Langford earlier that year.
But the fight was called off after Khurtsidze was arrested for RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act) charges in relation to a Russian organised crime gang.
‘Mini Mike Tyson’ was one of over 30 people arrested concerning murder-for-hire conspiracy, gun offences, narcotics, extortion, robbery, fraud and racketeering.
He was sentenced to prison for six years and has only just been released a few months ago at the age of 43. Khurtsidze is still in training though and aims to return to the ring.
Avtandil Khurtsidze Calls For Billy Joe Saunders Clash
At the top of the former Interim world champions’ priorities is rescheduling his clash with Saunders, who hasn’t boxed since his stoppage loss at the hands of P4P star Canelo Alvarez over two years ago.
‘I’m training, I’m ready to fight now”, Khurtsidze told Boxing King Media, “I’ve been waiting for you for a fight…My next opponent is you.”
The two-weight world champion is also back in training though and is targeting a ring return for late 2023.
When the fight was originally made, there was significant interest in the bout due to the ‘madman’ persona played by Khurtsidze gelling perfectly with Saunders’ own kidology.
Clips around the launch press conference garnered almost a million views representing significant interest in the contest which could be rekindled if the bout was made again.
With the 44-year-old Georgian out of the ring for six years, it might be the perfect ‘come back’ fight for Saunders.