Boxing Inspiration: Fighter with One Hand Making Pro DebutWritten by Lee Cleveland
Inspiring... Courageous... Heroic!
Michael Costantino, a 33 year old fighter born without a right hand, will make his pro boxing debut on October 27 in Brooklyn, New York.
And yes, the title is correct. He has only one hand.
Who would have thought a man with one hand could compete in the pro ranks?
Fighting out of Queens, NY, the courageous Costantino is no stranger to boxing. He's participated in two New York City Golden Gloves Tournaments, even reaching the quarterfinals once.
The bout will be promoted by 23-year-old Sadam Ali's World Kid Promotions. Ali (15-0, 9 KO) is a highly-touted upstart welterweight who will be facing former Indiana State champion Jermaine White (17-5, 9 KOs), on the same card in the promotion's main event.
Michael Costantino is proof that dreams can come true.
"This is a dream come true for me," the property manager in Brooklyn and Queens explained. "I always loved boxing. I was an athlete growing up, playing all sports, and a friend got me into boxing when I was 16. I thought boxing was a beautiful but hard sport and I respected individuals in boxing. I tried boxing and enjoyed it."
"I have to thank Sadam and David Ali for giving me this opportunity. I know Sadam from the amateurs. I'm taking it as one fight at a time. My goal is to show people that anything is possible. I had no problem getting licensed. Fighting on pay per view is important because, the more people who see what I'm doing, the better. I'm just focusing on this fight but I definitely want to show people that anything you put your mind to is possible."
In his first notable amateur boxing match, which took place over 10 years ago, Costantino rocked his opponent with short right hooks. The bout was halted so fast some didn't even notice Costantino's impairment.
Video on YouTube
But his second amateur match didn't go according to planned.
Overwhelmed, Costantino was beaten into a corner and was unable to fight his way out. And finally, after Costantino took a knee twice, the referee ended the contest.
After the knockout loss, Costantino made no excuses and denied his poor performance was a result of his not being able to defend himself. "I just lost focus, I really did," he said. "The guy won the fight but it was more about me."
"A kid like that shouldn't be allowed to fight, it doesn't make any sense," said the renowned trainer Angelo Dundee in 2002, who managed such boxing legends as Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. "A fighter with one hand can't fight effectively against one with two hands."
In 2002, fabled boxing writer Bert Sugar called Costantino's efforts "amazing." "I have nothing but admiration for what he's done," said Sugar.
"We build monuments to people like this."
But as much as the late boxing writer admired Costantino, he insisted that the boxer needed to know his limitations. "If he wants to prove something," he said, "He's already proven it!"
Last year Constantino made a name for himself in some circles when he sued the Transportation Security Administration for allegedly "unfairly" rejecting him for a job. His efforts were unsuccessful.
"Rising Olympian Star In The Big Apple," presented by Sadam Ali's World Kid Promotions, will be distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay per view via iN Demand, DISH Network and Avail-TVN for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.