SARATOV, May 20 (RAPSI) - A district court in the Russian city of Saratov handed down an 11-year prison sentence to a boxer whose punch to the head caused the death of a local resident, court spokesperson Anastasia Tudakova told RIA Novosti on Monday.
The incident occurred on the evening of September 21. According to investigators, Rasul Gaitamirov, 23, who has been practicing Thai boxing for five years and has participated in numerous competitions, insulted a passerby and punched him in the head. The victim collapsed to the ground and was taken to the hospital, where he died on October 2 without regaining consciousness.
"Gaitamirov has been sentenced to 11 years in a general security prison," Tudakova said. "He was also ordered to pay 900,000 rubles ($28,670) in moral damages, 12,100 rubles ($385) in material damages, and 40,000 rubles ($1,270) in litigation and defense costs."
The athlete was convicted on charges of having caused serious damage to an individual's health resulting in his death, as well as of theft - another crime that the officials uncovered while investigating the murder. Gaitamirov, who remains in custody, could have faced up to 15 years in prison for his crimes.
The case parallels that of Rasul Mirzayev, a professional fighter who was convicted on similar charges in February. Prior to his arrest, Mirzayev had been widely regarded as a promising MMA fighter. He was undefeated in the ring and two of his five victories were won with knockout punches.
On August 16, 2011, after the incident but before his arrest, Mirzayev made headlines in the MMA world for signing a professional multi-fight contract with the sponsor Bellator Fighting Championships.
Mirzayev was initially charged with intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm, resulting in Agafonov's death. During their fight outside a popular Moscow nightclub, the 19-year-old student received a blow to the head and collapsed. He died in a hospital days later without regaining consciousness.
Mirzayev was eventually convicted of having negligently caused the death of 19-year-old student Ivan Agafonov in a 2011 Moscow street brawl, and was released on time served.