Liam Smith’s attempt to win another world title fight suffered yet another setback after a points loss to Magomed Kurbanov in Russia.
The Liverpudlian produced a fiery effort against the undefeated Russian but suffered his third career loss as Kurbanov claimed a unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-112, 115-113 and 115-113 at Yekaterinburg.
After a cautious opening, Smith attempted to increase his pace of work, but was briefly injured in the sixth round by Kurbanov and the two fighters continued to trade combinations until the final bell.
Smith had racked up three straight wins since his last loss, a points loss to Jaime Munguia as he failed to regain the WBO super-welterweight title fight in 2018.
The 32-year-old had already made two WBO belt defenses before his reign ended in a stopping loss to Saul “ Canelo ” Alvarez in 2016.
Kurbanov extended his unbeaten record to 22 wins, improving his standings by winning the WBO international title.