Nearly four months to the day of his first professional defeat, Warwick’s Benny Costantino will be in the ring again looking to get back on track.
He’s confident he’ll regain his winning ways.
As an owner of a 7-1 professional record, Costantino is coming off a TKO loss to Yolexcy Leiva on March 22 at Twin River.
In that fight, Leiva fractured Costantino’s left orbital bone, causing him to lose vision for the latter part of the fight.
The result was a near victory for Costantino that turned into a frustrating loss.
After having surgery, and with everything back to normal, Costantino is ready to put that all in the past and focus on what’s in front of him.
“I think I’m going to have a tough fight, but I’m looking forward to it,” Costantino said. “I’ve got a little chip on my shoulder.”
The hope is that translates into another victory. In his third fight since coming back from a 10-year layoff, Costantino will be taking on Dennis Ogboo, who is a 6-5 with five knockouts in his career.
The fight will take place this Thursday – July 19 – at Twin River as part of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports “Built to Last” card.
Ogboo is a bigger fighter than Leiva was, and the four-round fight is taking place at 168 pounds.
That’s heavier than the last time Costantino fought, when he was at 160, and he’s anticipating a fighter who has the ability to land some heavy blows.
“If you do something wrong or dumb, he’s obviously strong, so you’re going to have a problem,” Costantino said.
Yet, that’s not necessarily a deterrent.
“This guy is big,” Costantino said. “He stands in front of you. He’s tough, but I’m ready for a tough fight. To be honest, I’m better for a tough fight then a technical fight.”
Costantino is also feeling good about the state of his eye, which is fully healed after orbital bone surgery.
And fully healed is no small matter, considering just how bad the injury was.
“I had a hole that went through my orbital, through my nose and down,” Costantino said. “He said he pulled pieces of bone out of my sinus cavity.”
But despite all of that, Costantino has been cleared by his doctor to return to the ring.
That was the answer he was hoping for, but also one that he needed to feel secure about stepping in-between the ropes again.
“I talked to my trainer, I talked to people that care about me in boxing,” Costantino said. “I had a couple sleepless nights, and I promised my family that I would go by what the surgeon said. He told me that I’m in no danger.”
He’s feeling good and is still receiving support from family and friends, as well some local businesses such as Cosmic Pizza and Sinful Ink Tattoo’s and Body Piercing.
Now he’ll see what he can do.
If Costantino were to defeat Ogboo, he’s planning on fighting Leiva once more.
Leiva turned down an initial re-match, and has since gone on to defeat another opponent.
The thinking is that something will be worked out for September or October.
“I know in my heart that I can beat him,” Costantino said of Leiva. “I stand by that.”
Of course, that’s all contingent on the outcome of the fight with Ogboo.
“My mentality is all forward, no backwards,” Costantino said. “I’m very confident, because you have to be.”
To purchase tickets for “Built to Last,” which range in price from $35-$125, call CES at (401) 724-2253 or (401) 724-2254. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, or in person at the Players Club booth at Twin River or any TicketMaster location.
The doors to the event will open at 6 p.m., while the first fight is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The card features eight fights, and is headlined by Rhode Island’s Vladine Biosse and Alex Amparo. Other fighters include Keith Kozlin, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Thomas Falowo, Kevin Cobbs, Johnathan Vazquez and Zack Ramsey.