3 More Rounds

Khurtsidze upsets Douglas in 10

Photos: Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Photos: Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Avtandil Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs), known as “mini-Mike Tyson” looked like a tank on Saturday night, as he never stopped coming forward and stopped the previously unbeaten Antoine Douglas (19-1-1, 13 KOs) in their middleweight clash.

Khurtsidze, a 5-foot-4 native of Georgia (the former Soviet nation), stalked and stayed in Douglas’ chest the entire night and rarely let the 6-footer breathe.

Though Douglas looked to outbox his smaller opponent, Khurtsidze stunned Douglas in the third round and put him on the canvas.  Douglas, who had never been down before, recuperated and did well in the two following rounds.  The sixth round was a slugfest, with neither fighter willing to give an inch, but in the seventh, Khurtsidze connected with a huge left hand that sent Douglas down again.

fight night-0009 [khurtsidze]

Somehow Douglas, who remained on wobbly legs throughout that round, survived but was the worse for wear going forward.  Khurtsidze for his part, continued to apply plenty of pressure, letting his hands go and showing no signs of fatigue.  Finally in the tenth, Khurtsidze landed a barrage of punches along the ropes that forced referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight.

“I knew he was going to get tired,” said Khurtsidze, who took the fight on less than three weeks notice. “I felt like I was going to catch him. He’s a good fighter, but he’s not strong.

“I knew he was going to be hungry. But I also knew that I was going to beat him. It was short notice but I did everything I could in the time we had. I stayed in the gym and stayed sharp.”

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