The city of New York has always been a place that births some of the best athletes in the world. Some make it and become stars while others don’t. It isn’t always because of the lack of talent but more so the challenges they face whether at home or out in the streets. The chips can stack against you, but the special ones end up pushing through the adversity and making it to the top.
Insert 26-year-old Lightweight prospect Christian “Veneno” Otero (3-0) from Harlem, NY. He had a rough upbringing but like many others, turned to boxing in order to avoid further spiraling out of control to a place that is unrecoverable.
I recently spoke to the Lightweight prospect in order for him to introduce himself to the NYF readers from across the world.
AG: Christian, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. For those that don’t know you, can you give the readers a quick BIO blast?
CO: My name is Christian Otero and I’m from Harlem, NY. Originally from the Upper West Side by way of Douglas Projects. I was born here but I’m Puerto Rican and Cuban through my parents. My mother is Cuban, and my father is Puerto Rican and I have three older siblings, so I am the youngest of four.
Coming from the projects and living in an unstable area, you can leave the projects and end up getting into some stuff. It’s an inconsistent area but it’s all about what you are getting yourself into. When I was younger, it was just all about finding that adult guidance. I didn’t find that until I got older as my parents weren’t doing too good. My father was in jail for most of my life and my mother was dealing with mental instability. With that, I had to learn how to grow up on my own.
AG: You started to box a lot later than some of these fighters in the sport. What made you start boxing?
CO: I played sports but wasn’t really into it. I was getting into so much trouble as a teenager that I had to take matters into my own hands and start boxing around seventeen/eighteen years old. I wasn’t doing anything positive with my life, so I started to box.
AG: You are now pro after having over hundred amateur fights. Which gym do you work out of and who is part of the team that helps you prepare for fights?
CO: I train out of South Box Gym by Eric Kelly in the Bronx. My brother, Juan Otero, is my head coach and I have a stablemate by the name of Raekwon Butler who is 1-0.
AG: A couple of weeks ago, you scored a TKO victory over Edward Hatler (1-2). What were some lessons learned if any, coming out of that fight?
CO: I’m learning on the job, but I knew what I was capable of doing going into this matchup. The kid had never been knocked out before, so I was going in with the mentality that I was going to blow him out of the water. I felt like I could have got him out of there in the first round. I did feel like I was taking my time a little too much, but I made the right adjustments to get him out of there.
AG: You are currently scheduled to face Benigno Aguilar (4-0) in May. What do you know about your opponent?
CO: I’m not very familiar with him but what I do know is that he is a tough competitor. I’m just looking forward to going in there and perform to the best of my abilities.
AG: Stepping outside of boxing for a second, what are some of the things you like to do when you’re not training for a fight?
CO: Right now, my sole dedication is boxing. I was working a 9-5 but it was very back breaking. Doing that and then going to the gym at night was exhausting so I’m just mainly focused on boxing at the moment.
AG: When boxing fans read this, tell them why they should pay attention to you and your career?
CO: I work hard, and I’m dedicated to this sport day in and day out. I’m getting better and my goal is to be a world champion. I’m not going to give up until I get that.
AG: Where can fans follow you on social media?
My Three Cents:
Christian Otero started boxing a little later than some of these other kids in the sport but made up for it with hard work and over a hundred amateur fights in a short time period. Being that he is now twenty-six, it’s time to really pick up the pace and get him as active as possible. Will he become a great Lightweight within the next couple of years? Who knows but for now, keep an eye on him and see where his career goes from here.