/ ON BOARD WITH Marco Velazquez

Our very own Marco is a cool character with a fascinating mix of talents. He is both a highly creative designer who started drawing at six-years-old and an aspiring boxer who trains assiduously. Both fields of endeavor allow this affable individual the opportunity to learn and grow. Or, as Marco says, “I really like a challenge.”

What other sports are you involved in?

I was a defensive end on my high school football team until I fractured my shin in two places. I couldn’t play at all in my senior year.

Did this affect your scholarship eligibility?

I was out for good. But a couple of my friends got football scholarships. One went on to play for the National Football League (NFL) — the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

My grandmother, who lives in the village of Juchitepec near Mexico City, makes a delicious dish called “pozole” which is a stew made with chicken or pork. It’s served with tortillas, sour cream and shredded cheese. When I visit, she makes it just for me.

Do you have a travel bucket list?

Yes, I’d like to see much more of Mexico. I want to visit Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula and revisit picturesque Oaxaco.

How often does an amateur boxer go to the gym?

I go to the gym, and work with a trainer, seven days a week for a two-hour session. I split this between two gyms: one in Manhattan, the other in Astoria.

Do you have a definite routine that you follow?

I start with a three-mile warmup. Then I do 300 situps, followed by shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag. I end with a 15-minute jump rope, three rounds of speed bag, weight lifts, pushups and a cold shower for muscle recovery.

Are you training for the Golden Gloves?

You don’t train for an event — you train to become a boxer. The first thing I had to do was get my weight down. I lost 55 lbs.

What’s your favorite movie?

I really like Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns or The Dollar Trilogy which includes A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself doing what I’m doing now. I want to sharpen my skills as a graphic designer. Right now, boxing is secondary.

Do you enjoy visiting your family in Mexico?

Yes, because every time I go back, I learn something new. In June of 2013, we visited the Town Hall in the village of San Juan Tezompa and I saw my great-great grandfather’s name in a historical document. He fought in the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

You went to Chicago for Vodafone/STC — any thoughts?

It really helped me because I got to see the end product of the design I created on the computer. It made me look at the work I did from a different point of view.

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