Avtandil Khurtsidze was on the verge of the biggest fight of his career, a shot at the Middleweight crown with Billy Joe Saunders firmly in the crosshairs until his out of the ring activities caught up with him and he was sentenced for his involvement in the Brooklyn crime syndicate known as the Shulaya Enterprise which operates under the direction and protection of Razhden Shulaya.
In June 2018, Khurtsidze was found guilty of racketeering, wire fraud and other charges connected with the Shulaya Enterprise.
Whilst awaiting sentencing at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, Khurtsidze and Shulaya were both attacked by men who are believed to be members of a Colombian gang.
The website Crime Russia reports that Shulaya and Khurtsidze both suffered multiple stab wounds, including wounds to the boxer’s face. The cause of the incident is unknown, but it began with a verbal dispute between Shulaya and a leader of a Colombian prison gang that escalated to a physical fight.
Khurtsidze, who, during the trial process, was accused of being the ‘muscle’ behind the Shulaya Enterprise, involved himself in the fight in an attempt to protect Shulaya. The pair have been in jail for over a year.