NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Sean Monaghan (R) of...

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Sean Monaghan (R) of the United States throws a right against Santos Martinez of the United States during their Light Heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Credit: Getty/Al Bello

It’s been quite the world tour for junior middleweight contender Charlie Ota, from Harlem, to Maryland, to Japan and back to New York City for his first fight in the United States.

Ota spent part of his youth growing up in Harlem, before moving with his family to Maryland at age 6. Since then, the 30-year-old joined the Navy, settled in Japan and took up boxing.

“I joined the Navy fresh out of high school,” said Ota. “My first station was in Japan, I went over there, loved it and have been there ever since…All in all, it was a good experience for me.”

He put on a quite a show on Saturday night as he scored a 7th-round TKO of Gundrick King in a scheduled 10-round bout. Ota, a national champion in Japan and the current Pacific Region champ, is hoping to make a name for himself in America.

“I’m doing pretty well,” said Ota, who improved to 20-1-1. “My name got through the pipeline a little bit, so I was invited to fight on this undercard.”

In addition to fighting in the US for the first time, Ota got to fight in front of several of his family and friends, who made the trip up from Maryland. “It’s lovely. My mom lives in Maryland,” Ota said. “A couple of my military buddies who live close came up…It was a blessing.”

The next step for Ota is to hopefully sign a promotional deal with an American promoter. Ota mentioned DiBella Entertainment as a possible destination.

“It was a pretty good step-up fight,” said Ota. “Hopefully I’ll get some more fights so I can be back soon.”

Monaghan stays undefeated
Long Beach resident “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (13-0) continued his climb up the boxing ranks with a unanimous-decision win over Eric Watkins (6-3) in a six-round light heavyweight bout in front of a sold-out crowd at the Theater at MSG last night. Monaghan won on all three scorecards 60-54, 59-55 (twice).

Monaghan was in control the entire way as he battered Watkins with his straight jab and a mixture of combinations. It was the second fight at MSG for Monaghan, who scored a second-round knockout of Santos Martinez on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito undercard on December 3.

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