AFTER nearly a decade of professional boxing, Larry (Razor) Sharpe has honoured a lot of contracts.
But this one packs a punch harder than even he can throw.
Sharpe, a full-time teacher from Pine Falls who is Manitoba's famous boxing late-bloomer, said he's made a personal pact that this is his last year in the ring as a fighter. Sharpe will fight Jose Corral (18-15-0) on Thursday on King John Boxing's Hometown Heroes card at the Winnipeg Convention Centre in what will surely be his last professional fight on home soil.
The card's main event is Olivia (The Predator) Gerula in a defence of her WBC world super featherweight title.
"I made my wife a promise that I'm going to keep. At the end of December, I'm hanging up the gloves," said Sharpe, who began professional boxing at age 28. "This is my last fight here for sure. Unless something worthwhile comes my way between now and then, this will be my last fight. I'm not going to fight just for the sake of fighting. I have that clause to the end of December, just in case!"
Sharpe, 36, and his wife of 11 years Southida, also a teacher, have three young children aged 10, 9 and four. She continues to be his staunchest supporter but the couple decided the focus must now be on their growing family.
Promoter "King" John Vernaus isn't drawing the line quite yet and is cooking up a title fight as a going-away present for Sharpe. Vernaus said he's working a deal to have Sharpe fight former Olympian Adam Trupish, the reigning Canadian middleweight champion, for the title in Edmonton on Aug. 7.
"I haven't got a signed deal but that might be his last fight. This one will be his last in Winnipeg, for sure," said Vernaus, who met Sharpe in 2002.
Sharpe said he won't have any regrets. He's got a stack of belts from kick boxing, Muay Thai and boxing. In boxing, he's won the Canadian middleweight title (2004-2005), the WBA North American super welterweight title (2007) and the WBA Fedecentro light middleweight title (2008).
"It will be hard (to leave pro boxing) but along the way, I had a pretty good run from 2004-2008 with Canadian titles, a North American title and an international title (WBA Fedecentro)," Sharpe said.
"At one point when I was on rise, I got to about 15 in the world, a world title wasn't out of reach and I had set that as a goal. It didn't happen, I don't feel mad that it didn't. I'm happy that I've accomplished what I did in a short period of time. It would have been something. Who wouldn't want to be world champion?"
Weight: 168 pounds (super middleweight)
What: Hometown Heroes show, July 8, Winnipeg Convention Centre; doors open 6 p.m., fights at 8 p.m.