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Avtandil Khurtsidze is set to return on Sept. 23 in Miami, Oklahoma

Fighters Network
Photo courtesy of DiBella Entertainment

Photo courtesy of DiBella Entertainment

Middleweight contender Avtandil Khurtsidze is set to return on Sept 23 on the undercard of a ShoBox telecast in Miami, Oklahoma, against an opponent to be determined, Keith Connolly, Khurtsidze’s new advisor, told on Monday.

The ShoBox telecast will include fights involving junior welterweight prospect Ivan Baranchyk (11-0, 10 knockouts) and rising welterweight Ivan Golub (12-0, 10 KOs) in separate bouts, said Connolly, who also advises the undefeated boxers. Their opponents have not been announced yet. Golub is a five-time Ukrainian national champion. Baranchyk won the 2009 junior world championships. Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs) will likely be off-TV on Sept. 23.

Khurtsidze, a 5-4 wrecking ball, who fights in a crouch, wore down and stopped previously undefeated Antoine Douglas in the tenth round in March in his last fight, also on Showtime. Douglas was briefly hospitalized overnight after suffering a pair of knockdowns. The plan is for 37-year-old Khurtsidze, ranked No. 9 in THE RING’s middleweight ratings, to fight in September and then to appear again later in the year or in the first quarter of 2017, hopefully in a world title eliminator, Connolly said.

“After watching the Antione Douglas fight and how tenacious he was and how he picked him apart and slowly wore him down, I figured he’s going to be a tough fight for any middleweight,” said Connolly, who also advises middleweight secondary titleholder Danny Jacobs. “He’s not going to be an easy style to figure out. He’s got a great chin. I know a lot of guys don’t want to face him.”

Connolly is working with the above-mentioned fighters in conjunction with Al Haymon, promoter Lou DiBella, as well as Fight Promotions’ Alex Khanas, Max Alperovich and Rory Donadio.