Champion's plan not to look too bad

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:35 PM ET

Larry (Razor) Sharpe has a plan when he's not fighting for a title.

"I go in there trying not to look bad," Sharpe said. "It sounds funny, but it's true."

The reigning Canadian middleweight champ didn't look bad, but he didn't look that good, either, as he scored a unanimous decision over Montreal's Martin (Machine Gun) Desjardins in the boxing main event of the Colosseum of Champions III card at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The main event, a Muay Thai battle between Winnipeg world champion Giuseppe DeNatale and Mexico's Raul Romero, hadn't begun as of press time.

Sharpe, a 32-year-old phys ed teacher from Pine Falls, had control of the eight-round non-title bout, but he never did look comfortable in improving to 16-3 as a pro.

"It was more awkward than I wanted it to be," Sharpe said. "He didn't initiate like I heard he would. I heard he comes forward, throws lots of punches. He threw one or two, but mainly he wanted me to initiate it, which isn't what I'm the best at doing. I'm a counter puncher.

DEFEND CANADIAN TITLE

"I usually work best when I'm moving backwards, so probably for the first four or five rounds I had to fight his game. I had to initiate the fight."

Sharpe is gearing up to defend his Canadian title on Nov. 17 against Jason (Notorious) Naugler in Naugler's hometown of Halifax.

If nothing else, Sharpe said, he got some good action against a scrappy opponent.

"It was disappointing that it didn't go the way I wanted it to, but it was eight hard rounds and I got the decision," Sharpe said.

While the Sharpe-Desjardins bout didn't feature too many fireworks, the rest of the card, which featured 11 fights of mixed martial arts, boxing and Muay Thai, certainly fired up the crowd of approximately 3,000 spectators.

Mark Durant's victory in the first Muay Thai fight of the night was not only entertaining, but it means UPS customers will have their packages delivered tomorrow.

Durant, a Winnipegger, lost badly to Reno Belcastro, of Windsor, Ont., during Colosseum of Champions II in the spring, and his UPS co-workers, who were in the audience last night, were giving him all the motivation they could for his fight with Toronto's Rick Sanita.

"They were saying 'You better not lose or you can't come back to work,'" Durant said. "Last time they were nice for the first couple days, then they let me have it. This time they said if they come to this fight and I lose, they'll want their money back."

The good news for Durant (6-3) is he can go back to work and he won't be lighter in the wallet, as he scored a unanimous, three-round decision.

"I fought a bit sloppy, but I pulled out the win," he said. "I'm not much of a knockout guy, so if it comes it comes. I just try and work for points and try to outscore the guy."

In the mixed martial arts scraps, South Dakota's Clint Godfrey TKO'd Winnipeg's Eric Perez, Winnipeg's Dominick Blais made Indianapolis's Michael Cooper tap out after giving him an arm bar 43 seconds into the first round, and Winnipeg's Kevin Manderson TKO'd Indianapolis's Dustin Neace in the second round.

In the other Muay Thai clashes, Hamilton's Adam Higson pummelled Reno Belcastro of Windsor, Ont., Winnipeg's (Dangerous) Dave Zuniga TKO'd Toronto's Alex Ricci 2:08 into the first round, and Serge (And Destroy) Rochon won with arm bar over Winnipegger Mike (The Native American Psycho) Davis in the all-nickname fight of the night.

In the lone women's boxing match, Winnipeg's Olivia Gerula beat Edmonton's Amanda Carriere by TKO at 1:55 of the second round in a spirited struggle that brought the crowd on its feet.


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