EliteXC middleweight champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler had his hands full with a resilient challenger in Scott Smith during the CBS broadcast of "Saturday Night Fights" this past Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
With a bout that had the potential for fight-of-the-night, things were brought to an abrupt halt in the third round when Smith suffered an unintentional eye poke from Lawler. While action was stopped and Smith was given time to recover, ringside officials would not allow the bout continue.
Because a championship bout is required to complete a full three rounds for a decision, Saturday's slugfest was ruled a No Contest. Lawler retains the championship and Smith gets a pair of shiny new crutches for the broken foot he suffered during the fight.
Many fans did not appreciate the stoppage and EliteXC President Gary Shaw said at the post-fight press conference that the company hopes to have the rematch headline its next CBS broadcast, perhaps sometime in early fall. Shaw already has a title in mind for the planned show: "Unfinished Business."
Shaw was also generous enough to award both fighters win bonuses as a reward for their efforts.
Now he can reward the fans who felt cheated out of a title fight by having the rematch as soon as both fighters are physically able to compete.