By Alexey Sukachev and Dmitry Mikhalchuk
Hard-hitting Kiev-based Georgian Avtandil “Tornado” Khurtsidze (26-2-2, 16 KOs) has a new opponent for his shot at the vacant WBC silver middleweight title. The 32-year old pocket battler will now face experienced Ghanaian veteran Ossie Duran (26-9-2, 10 KOs) on December 18 in Zaporizhya, Ukraine.
IBF #7 and WBO #12 Khurtsidze, formerly an IBO titlist, was first scheduled to take on lanky Japanese boxer Nobuhiro Ishida, who caught everyone’s attention following his crushing upset win over James Kirkland in April.
However, rumors had it that Ishida was knocked out badly in a sparring session against WBC 154-pound king Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and the WBC refused to sanction the bout as a title fight. Duran, meanwhile, is of the highest durability possible. He has never been stopped and went the distance with a prime Kirkland in 2007.