The Rising Olympian Star In The Big Apple event was presented by Sadam Ali’s World Kid Promotions on a Pay-Per-View event Saturday, October 27, 2012. The event was held at the Aviator Sports Arena in Brooklyn. The most anticipated fight on the card was between the one-handed fighter Michael Costantino in the dark trunks versus Nathan Ortiz in the white trunks. Both are cruiserweights.
Mr. Costantino at age 33 trains at a gym in Bay Ridge. He participated in two New York City Golden Gloves Tournaments, reaching the quarterfinals in 2002 (novice) by knocking out an opponent earning him “The Fight of the Night Award.” He was born without a right hand. Instead, a bony mass protrudes from his right arm rather than a hand. He uses the shorter arm for defense and the normal left arm for rapid jabs and vicious left hand crosses.
Nathan Ortiz hails from Rhode Island with a 0-2 record coming into this fight. Mr. Ortiz was clearly shorter than Mr. Costantino. The fight was a pro debut for Mr. Costantino. It’s very unusual for a novice fighter to progress from novice to a pro debut, as much as a decade later.
The NYS Athletic Commission granted a license to Mr. Costantino after an extensive examination. They witnessed him wrap his right limb to determine logistically how it would be covered during the fight. In practice, the trainer fastens the hand wraps over the stub and pulls the glove over the right limb before lacing it just prior to the fight.
Mr. Costantino dominated the fight against Mr. Ortiz, with an artful jab and a longer reach. A minute into the second round, Mr. Ortiz walked away from Mr. Costantino completely exhausted. He simply could not keep up with the fast pace of the fight and a huge left hand cross delivered early in the second round. Thereafter, the referee stopped the bout.
For Mr. Costantino, this fight was an easy win in a pro debut fight steeped in controversy over whether or not the New York State Athletic Commission would grant him a license to fight. Mr. Costantino just might be the first one-handed pro boxer in the history of New York State. His pro debut is an event which could qualify for a listing in the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum.