Former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith 29-3-1 (16) has hit out at the judges who scored his fight against Magomed ‘Black Lion’ Kurbanov 22-0 (13) against him at KRK ‘Uralets’ in Ekateringburg, Russia on May 7.
Russian judge Dmitry Boldyrev and Hungarian judge Bence Kovacs both saw the fight 115-113 while Ukrainian judge Viktor Fesechko had it wider at 117-112, all for the undefeated 25-year-old Russian.
The winner was expected to get matched with unbeaten Australian Tim ‘The Soul Snatcher’ Tszyu 18-0 (14) who has long spoken about his desire to fight in his father’s home country of Russia.
Smith, 32, from Liverpool in England, feels the judging was a stitch-up.
“Whether you like me or you don’t, not one person felt Kurbanov won that fight. Anywhere else in the world I would have got that decision,” Smith said to iFL TV.
“I didn’t expect any favours from the judges, but the referee was just as bad. He warned Kurbanov seven times for holding, but then nothing happened. The more I watch it back, there is no way I can see Kurbanov even winning six rounds, never mind seven.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow and I know it will be tough trying to get the rematch. There should have been the knockdown in round one too. I know he wasn’t hurt, but it’s a knockdown. He was punished for a mistake he made with his feet and he was hit with a left hook.
“I had 17 months out of the ring and it was 25 months since I made 154lbs. Taking that into consideration I feel that I boxed well. If you give me a fight in three months you’ll have a totally different fighter.
“Jessie Vargas, Tim Tszyu or the Kurbanov rematch are what I want next. The one positive is the Kurbanov fight was competitive and people were saying it was a great fight, but I still feel there was only one winner.”