Cestone Back Where He Belongs - Hitz Boxing News Update
By Media Report on Doghouse Boxing (May 21, 2010)    
Until earlier this year, Kevin Cestone was a trader working downtown in his native Chicago. That's when life caught hit him with a shot in the solar plexus.

The 39-year-old says the sagging economy and his responsibilities as a single father of three small children forced him to leave his job, move back in with his parents and look for a new direction in life. The direction he chose was backward... to the time when he was happiest.

"My parents help me out a lot with the kids now, so I got back into working out and got myself back in shape again, both body and mind. Eventually, I started training in boxing again and felt good about it, so the desire to compete came back. Boxing was part of me and I left it behind for a long time. I didn't know how much I missed having that outlet. There's a spirituality involved when your body is in terrific shape and working like a machine."

Cestone will have his first professional boxing match in over decade on May 29 at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, on the undercard of Hitz Boxing's "Quest for 50" event that is headlined by former world champion Montell Griffin. Undefeated at 5-0, 2 KOs when he retired in 1999, Cestone will go for his sixth victory against Memphis native Quinton Smith.

The former Golden Gloves Champion says he's expecting a large crowd of old, familiar faces to be at the fights supporting his comeback. "I had a lot of people who used to follow me as an amateur. I went to Addison Trail High School and Lake Park my senior year and a lot of people used to come watch me fight. A bunch of them are coming out next Saturday. I was lucky enough where a lot of my high school friends worked at the exchange also, so I kept contact with a lot of them. And I happen to live a few doors down from one of my best friends from high school."

Cestone says that while many of his supporters will be the same from back in the day, he has had to change his fighting style to reflect the passage of time. "I'm not as fast as I used to be," he admits. "I need to use more of my experience and a little bit of ring savvy instead of blunt force power and speed. You can get away with relying on power and speed when you're 20. I don't have that anymore, but I'm smarter. I was 67-4 as an amateur and am now 5-0 as a pro. I know a lot of little tricks. I can use them to be smarter than my opponents.

Cestone says he'll wait and see how he fares on fight night before deciding if this is a full-fledged comeback or his farewell performance.

But one thing is now certain: When life hits Kevin Cestone, he fights back.

The high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings make the Horseshoe Casino a Las Vegas-style night of boxing just 20 minutes from Chicago. The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino is an intimate, comfortable room with luxurious, unobstructed seating throughout. The casino also offers a spectacular gaming area, free parking and a large selection of exquisite dining options.

Besides Cestone and the Montell Griffin vs. Ross Thompson main event, also slated for battle are Chicago welterweight Achour Esho (7-0, 5 KOs); power punching Chicago-based cruiserweight and former UFC fighter Terry Martin (4-0, 4 KOs); Chicago middleweight Mike Kurzeja (3-0, 3 KOs); Chicago super middleweight Ninos Abraham (4-0, 1 KO) and Chicago light welterweight Russell Fiore (3-0, 3 KOs).

In addition, comebacking Chicago-based former bantamweight and featherweight contender John Lewus (23-4, 19 KOs) will have his second fight in 12 years; and Rafael Murphy, son of former cruiserweight contender Kenny Murphy and nephew of former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Leroy Murphy, will make his professional debut.

"Quest for 50" tickets are on sale now, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and are available at the "Venue" box office, ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.

For more event information, visit www.hitzboxing.com.

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