He once sold music and now Eddie Velez is making the proper boxing shoe • Latino Sports

Boxing

He once sold music and now Eddie Velez is making the proper boxing shoe

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New York – Hector Camacho Jr. the junior middleweight from Spanish Harlem put on a new pair of black boxing shoes. During the course of his 15-year professional career that is nothing new. Every fighter goes through more than a share of shoes, and eventually wears a new pair from the various apparel companies that specialize in boxing gear. But the Arrowok Authentic Warrior shoe, an innovation of Eddie Velez was different.

“It has a comfort level and makes you maneuver better,” said Camacho, who is preparing for a fight next week in Atlanta Georgia. And words like that make Velez, a 39-year old former US Marine, and entrepreneur from Perth Amboy New Jersey, smile. Because Velez, a former amateur fighter and a one-time music industry executive loves the sport of boxing and selling shoes to fighters keeps him involved in the sport.

His shoe, which is currently available for order on his web site, and Facebook Page (The Warrior Wrestling Shoe), is becoming popular in the boxing community. There has been interest from the undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and fighters with major, or no stardom. Though it is not unusual to find a good boxing shoe, fighters know where to find them, but word of mouth is definitely making Velez a champion with fighters.

The high school and collegiate wrestling market have been receptive to the WARRIOR  and Dimitriy Salita, a known and established welterweight in the New York City area wore the first created WARRIOR product on an HBO televised boxing show from Madison Square Garden. Velez continues to work with veteran boxing trainer Andre Rozier of Havoc Boxing Promotions

He says, “ARROWWOK AUTHENTIC is the footwear line which we are using to develop the business model which is really the meat and potatoes of this venture, the big picture you may call it. The ultimate destination is called Team Branded Footwear the only footwear company exclusively dedicated to providing uniformed footwear to complete teams, leagues and athletic organizations across all sports.”

In other words, Velez envisions taking the footwear to other sports. He has already tested the amateur wresting circuit and looks to expand. The idea came to fruition in 2007 and he moved his shoe to the market last year. He has been a one-man show, using his own money to get the shoe manufactured in China. Already the first round of distribution has been sold-out and that is encouraging.

After looking at all his past experiences in life, the original one of boxing came into play. The former executive of 10-years with LOUD records, which closed their doors said, “What can I sell to fighters, was the main question,” says Velez. “If I can sell music I can surely sell shoes,”

But, like any other business venture, especially of this sort, Velez needs capital and he hopes with a structured business proposal, and with fighters wearing the shoe, that someone will make a pitch and keep the production line moving.

For a boxing fan, as he was from the age of 8, in Puerto Rico, Velez is in a business for the fighter. “Mayweather is such a business man in a sport where the fighters usually go home broke after the final curtain calls,’ he says. “If he could become a business partner for Arrowok Authentic and Team Branded Footwear I would hands down choose Floyd.”

Velez will be seen at the fights. He wants to be there, of course more than a fan. His product is something that that fighters are asking for. “But like everything else you need the capital to keep it going.  It’s coming together,” he says.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]

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About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.