Godfather lives dream

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:57 AM ET

After 'The Godfather' suffered a deep gash to his shin, he decided to take care of business quickly.

Winnipeg's Guiseppe (The Godfather) DeNatale knocked out Scotland's six-time world champion Duncan Airlie James in the third round to capture his first International Kickboxing Federation Muay Thai heavyweight title before 3,190 fans at the Winnipeg Convention Centre late Saturday night. The bout was the highlight of the Colosseum of Champions that featured three different disciplines.

"That happened in the third round," said DeNatale, still bleeding profusely from the ugly wound that screamed down his right leg. "I threw a really hard low kick and Duncan threw a hard low kick at the same time. Our shins clashed and I knew as soon as I hit it that my shin split. I looked down, I saw it was bleeding and split wide open.

'HAD TO FINISH HIM'

"I knew I was injured and I couldn't kick with it so, I knew I had to finish him off. My right hook landed a couple of times."

So did James.

"It's a dream-come-true," said DeNatale, 32. "This is something that I've wanted ever since I was a kid, ever since I started doing karate at a young age. This has been the hardest four months of my life preparing for this. I had a really bad injury about eight weeks ago. I tore a groin muscle and the last eight weeks of my life has been a mental test."

Meanwhile, the boxing main event came to an abrupt conclusion. Larry (Razor) Sharpe of Pine Falls won a unanimous -- but technical -- decision over Chicago's Anthony Ivory because the scheduled six-round fight was stopped in the fifth as both fighters were cut due to an accidental head butt and deemed unable to continue.

"It was a good fight for me," said Sharpe, the Canadian middleweight champ. "It might not have been good for the fans. The guy I was fighting was a world-class journeyman. He had been in there against eight world champions, so it wasn't easy for me to get in where I wanted to get in. I had to box, take my shots."

In the Mixed Martial Arts main event, Winnipeg's Joe (El Dirte) Doerksen defeated USA's Thomas Russell, a last-minute replacement, in just 44 seconds.


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