New York, NY (January 17, 2017) – Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson may be the only fighter in boxing history not in the sport for financial gain and even came out of retirement for one final match to raise funds for others.
A multi-time champion as an amateur that defeated future pro standouts Keith Thurman, Charles Hatley, and Deandre Latimore, Melson had a different vision of what boxing would do. The 2003 West Point graduate and Army Reserve Officer used boxing as a vehicle and a voice for causes close to his heart throughout his 18 fight career, donating 100% of the money he earned in the ring.
Overall, Melson helped raise $400,000 between his boxing purses and charity galas. The majority of the funds was for Team Fight to Walk, a 501(C)3 which raises funds and awareness for a clinical trial focused on to curing Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. He also donated one of his purses to a childhood friend that had a son battling brain cancer and another to Big Vision, which helps people battle drug addictions among young adults.
Fighting for causes was his ultimate passion, but the literal fights were often very difficult. Melson spent the first few years of his professional boxing career traveling from his New York City residence to New Jersey where he worked for Johnson&Johnson as a medical device sales rep. When he was preparing for a fight, he’d run on his lunch break, train in the evening after working a full day and often run again in the middle of the night to help cut weight. At the same time, Melson served in the U.S. Army Reserve, having military duties one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
In addition, Melson would teach fitness classes at Equinox Fitness to earn extra money and regularly traveled to public schools providing motivational speeches to students for free. The exhausting schedule was hard for Melson, who suffered multiple injuries including a stretched brachial plexus which temporarily paralyzed his right arm during his fight against Donald Ward, multiple tears in his left rotator cuff, kidney stones due to dehydration and a fracture in his left orbital bone. Still, he made weight for every fight in his career and finished 15-2-1 with 4 wins by knockout, winning the WBC USNBC junior middleweight title against Mike Ruiz in May 2015.
Melson believed his championship winning performance would be his last bout as lingering injuries from boxing still bothered him and a laundry list of other commitments occupied much of his time. He came out of his unofficial retirement for one final match last November against Courtney Pennington. Melson’s fight financially assisted the aforementioned Big Vision, an organization which he works very closely with that has a mission of helping young adults battling drug addictions return to sobriety. Unfortunately, Melson took extreme measures to cut 30 pounds in 8 weeks and entered the ring devoid of energy, losing via 7th round stoppage.
Following the fight, Melson officially announced his retirement and plans to run for U.S. Congress in 2018. Promoter Lou DiBella, who promoted most of Melson’s fights including his career finale, said to the crowd at the Foxwoods Casino “I’ve never promoted a better man than Boyd Melson.”
Overall, Melson is satisfied with his boxing career and is greatly appreciative for the incredible support from the boxing community.
“When I turned pro, I had no idea how far or long professional boxing would take me. This is a brutal sport not just physically but mentally as well. There were many days where I wanted to stop fighting for a number of reasons, but it was on those days that I had to always remind myself that I needed to fight to help others. The causes I fought for and continue to fight for outside of the ring are as important as anything in my life. Through boxing, I made many great friends and am incredibly thankful for that. I also appreciate everybody that donated to Team Fight to Walk or Big Vision as well as all the media that helped raise awareness for these great causes by covering my career.”
With the gloves hung up, Melson’s focused on running for United States Congress, advancing his career in the US Army Reserve, assisting others in need and continuing his growing career as a public and motivational speaker.
“I fell on my sword in order to compete in this last fight. The weight loss took the fight from my body, so I used every bit of strength in my mind to give whatever I had. I had one purpose for this last fight, and that was to raise awareness and money to help combat the heroin epidemic in Staten Island. I took a beating for this mission and I hope my example demonstrated the need to risk everything, even your body, when you believe it will help the lives of others suffering. Boxing has created a future that has continued to allow me to serve mankind now that I have left the ring as a competitor. I am on the board for the charities Boxer Inc., Stop Soldier Suicide, Team Fight To Walk, and hopefully Big Vision sometime soon. I was recently asked to join the 501c3 titled “The In Bed and Chair Recovery Foundation” so that I can serve on their board. They have a patented multi-faceted exercise apparatus which is meant for anyone who is confined to a wheelchair or a bed. They’ve asked me to help raise money through donations so that they can provide their unit, free of charge to groups of people in need such as disabled veterans and children battling cancer. There is a lot of pressure I continue to put on myself through various commitments and organizations I’m involved with, but this is what makes my world go round as I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“I continue to have more opportunities presented to me so that I can positively reach children through my words. Although I have only fought once in order to help create a larger awareness regarding the heroin epidemic in Staten Island, my mission for this cause has only begun. My goal is to begin offering my time to host free boxing clinics on the Island at Rustam’s Boxing Gym as well as one of Teddy Atlas’s boxing gyms. These clinics will be meant for heroin addicts, and the aim is to knockout heroin on Staten Island. My hope is to help Staten Island’s heroin addicts fall in love with boxing and have that as a vehicle to help overcome the addiction. These human beings are sick but they’re are not criminals. Sometimes people who are sick are not able to be healed on their own and when that happens it is upon us as human beings to come together to help heal them.”
Melson is currently on military orders at Fort Meade, Maryland for 9 weeks in total. He is in school there being trained for his new duty as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. Upon completing training in March, Melson will be looked at in April for a much welcomed promotion to the rank of Major. When he is finished, Melson looks to take his political aspirations to the next level.
If elected, Melson’s mission will involve helping many aspects of human beings’ daily lives with a focus on battling bullying, sickness and disease, poor health care for veterans, veteran suicide, heroin addiction, racism, hunger and unemployment.
“Every part of my journey these past 6 years as a professional boxer has led me to my decision to run for U.S. Congress in 2018. I hope to make my official announcement some time in 2017. Various celebrities and generals have given me their words that they will stand by my side in the public during this run. I am tired of being the human being always asking for help and never being the one asked for help. My mission is to bring the type of fight I brought every fight into the ring and implement it while serving the people as an elected official. I’m confident I can be very effective in using my abilities to help improve the lives of human beings that I am responsible to and for. Most importantly, I need to inspire the hearts and minds of those necessary to help get me elected.”
Melson is also proud to announce that the cause that brought him to boxing, Team Fight To Walk, should have FDA Approval to conduct the clinical trial here in the United States by this Fall. Melson, along with Christan Zaccagnino and publicist Matt Yanofsky have raised $400,000 to help conduct this clinical trial. The trial will consist of 27 Spinal Cord Injured human beings in total. It will divide the 27 into three groups of nine treated between the University of Newark Hospital in New Jersey along with Mount Sinai and Long Island Jewish Hospitals in New York.
The study presented to the FDA was published in May of 2016 in the Medical Journal “Cell Transplantation,” with its results being heavily investigated by American physicians. All reviewing physicians agreed with the results, a requirement in order to be published. This exact study conducted in China resulted in 15 out of 20 Spinal Cord Injured patients, as a group paralyzed an average of 7 years, now able to walk at least 10 meters with the help of a walker. The results also showed that 12 out of these same 20 had their bladder and bowel functions restored. Melson, Zaccagnino and the rest of Team Fight to Walk believe this is the beginning of our long awaited cure for Spinal Cord Injuries in the United States.
Fans can keep up with the latest on Boyd and contact him via Twitter @Boydmelson, Facebook at Boyd Melson, and Instagram @BoydMelson
New York, NY (August 16, 2016) – Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson will sit in with DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God as a special guest on Power 105.1 FM’s critically acclaimed Breakfast Club Wednesday, August 17 at 9:30 AM ET.
Known as “The World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show,” the Breakfast Club is a syndicated radio show based out of New York City that airs in 15 markets. The Breakfast Club was named the #1 radio program in the nation by The Source Magazine and regularly features world famous musicians, athletes, actors, activists and politicians.
Melson, the World Boxing Council’s USNBC junior middleweight champion, is a recognizable figure in and out of the ring. The 2003 West Point graduate and Army Reserve Officer has raised close to $400,000 for Team Fight to Walk, a 501(c)(3) that raises funds and awareness towards curing Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. He is also a sought after public speaker who has spoken at schools, to college sports teams, the military and corporate America.
Outside of his aforementioned responsibilities, Melson’s proud to be closely involved with various causes and organizations including Stop Soldier Suicide and BOXER Inc. among many others. On August 15, he was the humanitarian honoree for the New York Sportscene Children Foundation’s annual fundraiser. Last year, Ring Magazine nominated Melson for Most Inspirational due to his philanthropy.
In June, Melson served as a mentor at Steve Harvey’s annual Youth Mentorship Camp. One of the special guest speakers was Charlamagne Tha God. Melson and Charlamagne spent time together at the camp, exchanging contact information. To his pleasant surprise, he was invited to be a guest on Power 105.1’s hit show.
“The Breakfast Club is one of the most popular morning shows out there and I’m incredibly honored they’ve selected me as a guest,” Melson said of the invite. “Many of the biggest names in music, film and sports have appeared. I’d like to thank Power 105.1 and Charlamagne personally for this incredible opportunity on such a large scale.”
The Breakfast Club can be heard across the world by logging onto power1051.iheart.com or on the IHeartRadio app.
Special guests include Kenny Anderson, Danny Jacobs, Chris Algieri, Susan Sarandon, Rosie Perez & Kobayashi!
For Immediate Release
New York, NY (March 9, 2016) – WBC USNBC 154 pound titlist Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson will take off the gloves and pick up a ping pong paddle when he meets New York State welterweight champion Chris Galaeno at SPiN New YorkFriday, March 11.
The SPiN charity event starts at 9 PM and $10 general admission tickets can be purchased at the door. All attendees who donate $50 or more will be invited to go in ring with Melson and throw punches at him for a round. New York basketball great Kenny Anderson will be working Melson’s corner during these rounds while Melson offers himself as a target for those donating at least $50. SPiN is located at 48 E 23rd st in New York City and can hold up to 700 people.
All admission fees and proceeds from a special silent auction hosted by Cardboard Memories will be split between Team Fight to Walk and B.O.X.E.R. Inc.
Attendees will enjoy a truly one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment emceed by Vice Sports’ Eric Kelly and a silent sports memorabilia auction highlighted by a 30 pound bronze statue that includes engravings of many world champions including Floyd Mayweather. Those on hand are also invited to an exclusive after party hosted by DJ KP.
Special guests for the SPiN event include New York City basketball legend and former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson, actresses Rosie Perez & Susan Sarandon former WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri, NABO and NABF heavyweight champion Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, WBA world middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, middleweightcontender Willie Monroe and Team Fight to Walk members Frank Galarza and Will Rosinsky amongst others. Legendary competitive eater and six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating champion Kobayashi will also be on hand to enjoy the action. All guests will be available for photo ops and autographs throughout the evening.
A competitor at heart, Melson’s posted a series of recent videos training on the ping pong table with 14-Time Swedish National Champion Malin Pettersson accompanied with friendly trash talking towards Galaeno.
“Chris may be undefeated in the ring but he’s taking an L on the table,” Melson said with a smile. “On a serious note, I’d like to thank SPiN NYC and all the celebrities that are attending this event in support of Team Fight to Walk and B.O.X.E.R Inc, which is another great organization I recently became a board member of. Events like these can literally help change lives, whether it be to cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries or keep at-risk youths off the street. Anybody who donates $50 or more on Friday gets the once in a lifetime opportunity to get in the ring and literally throw punches at me for a round. That is how much I care about raising the additional funds still needed for the clinical trial I’ve been discussing during the last five years.”
For more information on Team Fight to Walk or to donate, please visit Teamfighttowalk.com. Donations can also be made by texting Walk to 20222. B.O.X.E.R. Inc information is available by logging onto boxerinc.nyc.
New York, NY (January 22, 2016) – WBC USNBC 154 pound champion Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson will serve as a special guest speaker for Johnson & Johnson during their Veterans Leadership Council Town Hall Meeting Thursday, February 18th in Raritan, New Jersey.
A 2003 West Point graduate, Melson was personally invited to speak by retired Army Colonel and current J&J employee Irving Smith, who was Melson’s Minority Admissions Representative and mentor when he applied to West Point as a teenager. On the 18th, Melson will present to J&J employees who are part of J&J’s Veterans Leadership Council with respect to the topics of Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury. A former standout salesman for J&J’s Ethicon Division, Melson’s success in and out of the ring is still closely monitored by J&J’s CEO and fellow West Point graduate Alex Gorsky.
“Johnson and Johnson will always exist within an independent aspect of my heart. I am overwhelmed with pride that the honor of speaking to J&J’s Veterans Leadership Council is now extended to me as I was once myself a Veteran working for J&J” said Melson.
Last week, Melson was honored at Johns Hopkins University as a military superstar. He was their guest of honor for their Men’s and Women’s basketball game, and upon personal request from the women’s basketball team’s coach, he delivered a pre-game inspirational talk to the ladies on that team.
In regard to J&J, Melson said it “it was a great place to work. They were extremely supportive of my boxing career and the mission of Team Fight to Walk. Many of J&J employees are loyal supporters that purchased tickets to see me fight. I am personally asking J&J CEO Alex Gorsky to attend this lecture on the 18th. It is very important to me that he learns how close we are towards receiving FDA Approval to conduct the clinical trial in the United States that Team Fight To Walk has worked the past 5.5 years to raise money for.”
For more information about Team Fight to Walk, please visitTeamfighttowalk.com. Tax deductible donations can be made on the website or by texting “Walk” to 20222.
New York, NY (October 21, 2015) – WBC United States Junior Middleweight Champion, philanthropist and US Army Reserve Captain Boyd Melson will finish up a very busy month by continuing to help others. By the end of October, the Class of 2003 West Point Graduate will have attended the TicTocStop Gala, Signature Chefs Auction and Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association Dinner as a special guest. Melson was also asked not just to attend the March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Auction, but to co-emcee their fundraising event, which he enthusiastically accepted.
Founded by renowned sports radio talk show host Craig Carton, TicTocStop’s mission is to help improve the quality of life for people with Tourette’s Syndrome. Carton, who has Tourette’s as does two of his children, has assisted many families through this 501C3 charity.
The TicTocStop Gala includes a cocktail party, dinner and presentations and takes place Thursday, October 22 from 6-11 PM at Battery Gardens in New York City. For more information, visit Tictocstop.com.
Every year, more than 15 million babies are born prematurely. Sadly, 1 million of them will die prior to their first birthday as a result. The March of Dimes helps fund research, education and support to ensure more babies can celebrate their birthdays.
On Monday, October 26 at 6 pm, more than 25 chefs, restaurants, wineries, breweries and dessert designers will be sharing their most exciting culinary delights to the 200-plus guests on hand at the Carlyle on the Green in Farmingdale, NY. All attendees will enjoy an evening of networking, live music and wine and spirits. Tickets are available by going tosignaturechefs.marchofdimes.org.
Regarded as one of the best tasting events in New York, the Signature Chefs Auction helps support the mission of the March of Dimes. Arlene Dayboch, Senior Community Director for the March of Dimes, has appointed Melson as a co-emcee alongside Donna Drake from Live it up TV for this special event. Drake and Melson will be joined by “Hell’s Kitchen” celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as celebrity guests attending in order to help raise money for the March of Dimes.
A non-profit, the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association was founded in 1987 by Kevin Hoagland. It is run exclusively by a volunteer board of directors and raises approximately $80,000 annually.
On Friday, October 30, the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association hosts the 29th Annual Vito Racine Spinal Cord Research Dinner and Auction at Pines Manor Banquet Hall in Edison, NJ. Cocktail hour beings at 6:30PM followed by dinner at 8PM. Attendees can also bid on items including autographed sports memorabilia, jewelry, event tickets, gift baskets and collectibles. Individual tickets are $70 and tables of ten priced at $700 can be purchased at cjsca.net. All donations are tax-deductible.
“October has been a very busy month trying to help raise money for others,” said Melson, who played a focal point in Team Fight to Walk’s third annual “Fighting for the Cure” Gala on October 15 and spoke to students at Paul Roberson High School earlier today. “Improving the lives of those facing different challenges is very important to me. Attending events like these is not only an honor, but something I believe I must do. We all share this planet and must help however possible even if we’re far removed from the suffering.”
New York, NY (July 6, 2015) – WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson received the Humanitarian Award from the WBC during their NABF convention last weekend in San Francisco, CA.
A success since first putting on a pair of gloves as a Plebe (freshman) while attending West Point, Melson won various tournaments as an amateur prior to capturing the WBC-USNBC crown with a career-best performance against Mike Ruiz in May. Since turning pro in 2010, Melson’s donated 100% of his fight purse earnings and helped raise more than $300,000 towards stem cell research in lieu of America’s first clinical trial to help cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. His ultimate goal is to see his best friend Christan Zaccagnino, who was paralyzed from her neck down from a childhood diving accident, walk again.
Last month, Melson and other supporters of Team Fight to Walk had an emotional meeting with Congress inWashington, DC to push for the trial to officially be approved. The meeting was a major success and Congressman Chaka Fattah is a big believer in the trials, which produced outstanding results when it was conducted in China. Team Fight to Walk hopes to officially get the green light for the US trial in the very near future.
The epitome of a selfless athlete, Melson’s humanitarian efforts have been featured by ESPN, HBO, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, Ring Magazine and Huffington Post amongst various other outlets.
Recently, Melson was invited to San Francisco for the convention to discuss the WBC’s initiative to sponsor different amateur boxing programs. His primary goal was to meet with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman and Chairwoman Jill Diamond however, he was completely caught of guard to hear his name announced as a Humanitarian Award winner for his outstanding service as a champion in and out of the ring.
“This is one of my greatest honors as a pro or amateur” said Melson. “When I was invited to San Francisco, I was thrilled to meet with the WBC and looked forward to seeing other great people in boxing receive awards at the convention. I wish you could have seen my face when I realized Jill Diamond was referring to me when she went up on stage and presented the next award of the night. Many of boxing’s all-time greats wore the green belt and won awards at their conventions. It’s extremely humbling to be mentioned among them.”
After receiving his award, Melson and the WBC discussed details of their plan to become more involved with amateur boxing in the public service sector. This is included but not limited to police, firefighters and various branches of the military. As an Army Reserve Officer who maintains many great relationships, the WBC knew Melson was the man for the job.
During the convention, Melson was officially appointed an Ambassador. His job will be to help the WBC get involved in sponsoring amateur fighters and events featuring public service workers.
“Mauricio Sulaiman said to me that you are my man, and the WBC is your family forever. I probably gave him one of the brightest smiles of my life. It’s also important to remember that throughout history, there have been great American fighters from the public service sector. My Team Fight to Walk brother Steve Cunningham is a multi-time world champion by way of the Navy and 2012 US Olympian Jamal Herring was a Marine Sergeant who served two tours of duty in Iraq. The consensus greatest fighter of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, came from the Army. Six heavyweight champions, Ray Mercer, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Joe Louis, Gene Tunney and Rocky Marciano, served our country as did legends Barney Ross and Tony Zale. My goal is to help the WBC connect with military personnel, policemen, firefighters, etc. because there is a lot of great talent out there.”
After Boyd received his award, he was given a few moments to speak. With his father Nolan Melson by his side that night, Boyd went on stage and spoke from his heart.
“I was extremely emotional to the point where I felt myself having to hold back my eyes from watering up. I said that boxing is the greatest sport in the world and it opened so many doors for me. Last weekend is one I’ll never forget.”
For more information on Melson’s cause, please visit Teamfighttowalk.com