Avtandil Khurtsidze Replaces Sam Soliman vs Antoine Douglas on March 5 Showtime Card

NEW YORK (Feb. 23, 2016) – Undefeated middleweight contender Antoine Douglas will face hard-hitting Avtandil Khurtsidze in the co-feature of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION® on Saturday, March 5, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.

Khurtsidze (30-2-2, 20 KOs) steps in to face GH3 Promotions’ Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout for the WBO International title after Sam Soliman pulled out of the fight last week with a knee injury.

Khurtsidze, of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Kutaisi, Georgia, has won eight straight – including six by knockout – since dropping a controversial decision to then-unbeaten Hassan N’Dam in a bout for the vacant interim WBA World Middleweight Title in Paris in 2010.

Khurtsidze was scheduled to face N’Dam in a rematch last November 21 in Paris, but the event was cancelled following the tragic November 13 terror attacks in France. The rematch with the former world champion was to be contested for the IBF No. 2 spot at 160 pounds.

A pressure fighter, Khurtsidze was also slated to fight last week on a DiBella Entertainment Broadway Boxing event and has been training since the fight with N’Dam was called off. The 36-year-old, who has also campaigned at super middleweight, is coming off a knockout victory over Melvin Betancourt last August.

“Avtandil is a world class guy, a former silver titlist and has been at the top of the division for years,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity for him and a huge step up for Douglas. Avtandil had been on his way to France to fight for the No. 2 ranking against N’Dam when the tragic terrorist attacks hit Paris, which was a terribly unfortunate situation for all. Now, he looks to impress in this fight against the highly regarded Douglas. The winner of this bout moves up significantly in the middleweight world rankings and will be in line for a major fight in the 160-pound division later this year.”

In the main event of the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader, Julian “J-Rock” Williams and once-beaten Italian Marcello Matano will square off in a 12-round IBF eliminator for the No. 1 ranking at 154 pounds. In the opening bout of the telecast, hard-hitting prospect Tony Harrison will face veteran former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero in a 10-round super welterweight contest.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, are priced at $100, $75 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes and are on sale now. Tickets are available HERE at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

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Top International Championship Contenders Ionut “Jo Jo” Dan and Avtandil Khurtsidze Signed to DiBella Roster

New York, NY (11/29/12) – Yesterday, Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment (DBE), announced the signing of current world championship contenders, welterweight Ionut “Jo Jo” Dan (29-2, 16KO’s) and middleweight Avtandil Khurtsidze (27-2-2, 16KO’s) to his roster.     
 
The former NABA light welterweight champion Dan, a native of Romania, but now living and training in Montreal, Canada, has only two losses as a professional both coming in world title bouts to former WBC welterweight champion Selkuk Aydin. In those bouts, Dan traveled into Aydin’s backyard and put forth a great effort in two equally action-packed fights, only to come up on the wrong end of two very close decisions.  Aydin went on to lose his title to 2012 “Fighter of the Year” candidate Robert Guerrero, who just recently defended his championship with a brutal 12-round unanimous decision over Andre Berto.  Dan, who hasn’t fought since November 2011, will make his debut on the upcoming DBE Broadway Boxing card on December 19, which will be a benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims, held at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. 
 
After his bout in December, DiBella will look to position Dan in a significant fight sometime in early 2013.
 
“Dan is a real guy, a good welterweight, but he hasn’t fought in a while [since the second loss to Aydin last November] and he needs activity, which I will give him,” DiBella said.
 
“I am thrilled and proud to join DBE,” said Dan. “My goal has always been to be a world champion and to fight the best boxers out there, especially in the United States, the biggest stage for professional boxing. I am convinced that DBE will offer me the opportunity to reach my goals and I will not disappoint! This is a very exciting moment of my career and I look forward with confidence.”
 
The IBF #5 and WBC #11 rated middleweight Khurtsidze has reeled off four consecutive victories since dropping a close decision to former interim WBA/WBO middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in N’Jikam’s backyard of France in October 2010.  In Khurtsidze’s most recent outing, he decisioned the extremely dangerous Ossie Duran to pick up the vacant WBC silver middleweight title.  
 
“Khurtsidze is a friggin’ good middleweight and competitive with the top of the division I think,” DiBella said. “I saw tape of the guy. He’s got a great record, he’s world-ranked and I think a fight between Khurtsidze and Macklin is a war. He beats Danny Jacobs. He won’t beat Sergio, but this guy will be in good fights and he can win a world championship in the right fight. I think Khurtsidze and [titleholder] Peter Quillin is a war.”
 
“I’m very happy to sign a promotional contract with DBE, Lou will give me exposure in the US. I’m happy that I’ll be training in the US with experienced trainers and also to have the best sparring. I hope US boxing fans will love my aggressive style.”
 
“I love these kind of signings. They are worth the effort,” DiBella said. “These guys are true professionals and legitimate contenders. I got two guys like that [on Wednesday.] Both of these guys can win titles in the right circumstance and both will be in great fights. I’m very pleased with both of them. Whenever you can bring two world-class fighters into the fold it’s a good thing. These guys want to fight in the United States.”
 
Headlining the Broadway Boxing card on the December 19 will be Queens-native Will “Power” Rosinsky (16-2, 9KO’s) taking on former USBA and WBO NABO light heavyweight champion Otis Griffin (24-10-2, 10KO’s) in a 10-round matchup. Also scheduled to appear on the card is red-hot DBE prospect Ivan Redkach (12-0, 11KO’s), as he squares off against Edward Valdez (11-8-2, 8KO’s) in an eight-round lightweight matchup. Junior welterweight contender Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (20-1, 3KO’s) takes on Jonnie Edwards (15-5-1, 8KO’s) in an eight-round contest as well.
 
Tickets are priced at $45, $65, $85 and $125.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 6:30 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1 (800) 745-3000 or by going on Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the DBE office at (212) 947-2577. The card is sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group and Newlio.com, in association with Everlast.