Professional boxer held without bail on Russian gang charges

June 09, 2017 - 5:20 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A professional boxer a month away from a world middleweight championship bout has been ordered held without bail in New York to await trial in a Russian organized crime case.

Judge Katherine Forrest says allegations that Avtandil Khurtsidze was caught on video punching a confidential source in a gang investigation were enough to convince her he's a danger to the public.

A defense lawyer called the charges "unsubstantiated allegations."

Khurtsidze was arrested Wednesday as federal prosecutors unveiled charges against more than 30 people in a criminal enterprise blamed for extortion, gambling, narcotics trafficking and other crimes.

Khurtsidze uses the alias "The Kickboxer." He was scheduled to fight Billy Joe Saunders on July 8 at Copper Box Arena in London. The match has been postponed.

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