What happened to him Saturday night felt worse to Michel Soro and his team than his controversial technical-knockout loss to Israil Madrimov in December 2021.

France’s Soro is sure he won “eight or nine rounds” against unbeaten Russian junior middleweight contender Magomed Kurbanov in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Soro instead was left with another suspect loss on his record – this time a 12-round, split-decision defeat that will make it much more difficult for the 35-year-old contender to get a 154-pound title shot.

Two judges – one from Russia (116-112) and one from Germany (115-113) – scored their fight for Kurbanov. A French judge scored Soro a 115-113 winner, but Soro officially is 0-2-1 in his past three fights and was left exasperated by what occurred against Kurbanov.

“This is crazy,” Soro told BoxingScene.com. “I’m sure I won the fight. It was a big robbery [Saturday night]. When you fight outside of your country, you can lose by controversial decision. I’m OK with that. But when you win eight or nine rounds, you can’t have a robbery like this.”

 Kurbanov (25-0, 13 KOs) fought through a nasty cut over his left eye that the referee ruled was caused by an accidental head-butt during the first round. Soro (35-4-2, 24 KOs) opened another cut above Kurbanov’s left eye later in the bout, but the referee determined that one of Soro’s shots caused that laceration.

Soro seemed to be the more active, accurate fighter in a bout that was streamed live on the YouTube channel of RCC Boxing Promotions, which represents Kurbanov.

“I’ve never seen what I saw [Saturday night],” Soro said. “I saw a big robbery [Saturday night]. It’s a shame for me. It’s a shame for boxing. It’s not good for boxing promotion in Russia. When I walked down from the ring, all the people said I won. I clearly won this fight. I won eight or nine rounds.”

There was controversy the day before Kurbanov fought Soro as well.

When Kurbanov weighed in, a video showed he leaned on the hand of one of his team members as he stood on the scale. The 27-year-old contender stripped naked before he stepped on the scale, but his official weight for this 154-pound fight was listed at 152 pounds.

Soro’s team protested and came to a financial agreement with RCC Boxing Promotions to move forward with the fight.

As part of that arrangement, both camps committed to a second-day weigh-in Saturday morning. David Berlin, an attorney for Soro, said Kurbanov came in heavier at the second-day weigh-in than what was agreed upon after the controversy at the scale Friday.

Kurbanov’s weight issue Saturday required more compensation from RCC to Soro on the day of their fight.

“What Kurbanov and his team did on the scales is shameful,” Berlin said. “Plain and simple, he cheated to give himself an unfair competitive advantage in the ring. It will undoubtedly follow him for the rest of his career.”

Berlin intends to petition the WBA for Soro to maintain his second spot in its super welterweight rankings.

Uzbekistan’s Madrimov (9-0-1, 6 KOs) is the WBA’s number one contender in the 154-pound division. Kurbanov is ranked fifth by the WBA.

Madrimov hit Soro at least six times after the bell sounded to end the ninth round of their elimination match 16 months ago in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Referee Salvador Salva didn’t hear the bell ring, allowed Madrimov to continue hitting Soro and declared Madrimov the winner of what had been a competitive bout by TKO.

Though the official result stood, the WBA ordered an immediate rematch, which took place last July 9 at O2 Arena in London.

The second Madrimov-Soro fight ended in a technical draw because Soro suffered a cut above his left eye, which was caused by an accidental clash of heads in the third round. A British Boxing Board of Control doctor determined that Soro shouldn’t continue at that point.

Like Soro, Berlin felt what happened in Russia was worse than what transpired during Soro’s first fight with Madrimov.

“This is just beyond belief,” Berlin said. “I feel like this is the worst of them. First he cheats on the scales and then this is just a shameful decision for boxing, honestly.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.