In the main event of the card, staged by the RCC Boxing Promotion at Uralets Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia, local favorite and TBRB #7 Magomed Kurbanov escaped with a split decision win in a very tight and damaging (for Kurbanov) affair with a long-time light middleweight contender Michel Soro of France.

WBA #2 Soro, 35, might have been considered as the last stepping stone for WBA #5 Kurbanov en route to a long-awaited shot at one of the major belts due to his high ranking retained under somewhat odd circumstances.

Soro hasn't scored a win since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Frenchman was coming off a pair of controversial fights with the Uzbek prodigy Israil Madrimov (who is rated #1 by the World Boxing Association) - a debated TKO loss in the first fight and a cut-induced technical draw in their second encounter. Meanwhile, Kurbanov scored some solid wins both in 2021 (over Liam Smith) and in 2022 (over Patrick Teixeira and Johan Gonzales). Smith and Teixeira were former beltholders.

The fight went in the wrong direction for the "Black Lion" from round one. After sitting most of the round at his back foot, Kurbanov, 27, tried to engage Soro in an exchange, which resulted in an accidental headbutt. A deep cut over the right side of Kurbanov's left eyebrow opened immediately, blurring his vision. After round one, Kurbanov's cornermen tried to patch him up but to little effect.

The Frenchman targeted Kurbanov's left eye in the second but he also came a bit short due to an exaggerated layer of vaseline being smeared all over Kurbanov's cut; referee Irakly Malazonia paying next-to-zero attention to this violation. Kurbanov adjusted his style in the third to be more active but as he usually does he took the role of a counterpuncher. Soro's success was limited, although his jab penetrated Kurbanov's defense at times. The Russian answered in spurts but Soro also covered himself well.

Kurbanov found room for some extra punches in the mid rounds but Soro was more active. As rounds went by, another cut was opened - this time after a punch - over the left side of Kurbanov's left eye. Soro specifically targeted the damaged eye to inflict more damage but Kurbanov's team did a great job dealing with the cut later on.

Soro got more and more successful over rounds eight and six, capitalizing on Kurbanov's fatigue and Soro's own potent attacks. Rounds ten and eleven were also in Soro's favor, who tagged Kurbanov several times but never cleanly. The last round was more even, Kurbanov coming strong at the very end.

Two judges had it one round apiece (115-113) - for Kurbanov and for Soro. The decisive score was delivered by the third judge who had it 116-112 - seemingly too wide - for the local fighter in an even fight with the Frenchman coming strong during the second half. Kurbanov progresses to solid 25-0, 13 KO, while Soro drops down a notch to 35-4-2, 24 KOs.