|Rated at||Light middleweight|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
October 16, 1981|
White Plains, New York
|Wins by KO||4|
Boyd "Rainmaker" Melson (born October 16, 1981) is an American light middleweight boxer.
As an amateur, Melson won the 48th World Military Boxing Championship gold medal in the 69 kg. weight class, and was a four-time United States Army champion, a three-time NCBA All-American boxer, a four-time West Point Brigade Open Boxing Champion, and received the Colonel Marcus Award. He also won gold medals at the All Army Boxing Championships twice and at the Armed Forces Boxing Championships twice. He made it to the quarterfinals in the welterweight 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships, and won a bronze medal at the 2005 US Amateur Boxing Championships.
As a professional, through May 2015, Melson was 15–1–1, with 4 of his wins coming by knockout. He is 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall, and weighs 154 lb (70 kg). Melson donates all of the money that he earns in his boxing matches to stem cell research and his efforts have been profiled on Emmy Award winning HBO series Real Sports, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo.
In 2013, he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Early and academic life
Melson is Jewish, and was born in White Plains, New York, to an Israeli Jewish mother (Annette Melson; also an Army veteran) and a Creole father. His maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors from Poland. He said:
"My grandfather, while being put onto a train en route to a death camp, escaped by sliding down the receptor tank full of defecation. It deposited him down the track allowing the train to pass over him until he could run off escaping. That is what he did to fight for his life and allow his bloodline of Judaism to pass down to his children, and now his grandchildren in me.”
Melson graduated from West Point in 2003 with a psychology degree, and a minor in nuclear engineering. He also graduated as a lieutenant, and was promoted to captain three years later. He earned an MBA in business administration at Touro College.
Army champion and world military champion
Melson started boxing in National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) competition while he was a cadet at West Point. He was picked for the US Army World Class Athlete Program, and sent to Fort Carson, Colorado.
Melson was a four-time United States Army champion. He was also a three-time NCBA All-American boxer, a four-time West Point Brigade Open Boxing Champion, and received the Colonel Marcus Award, which is given to the best West Point boxer at graduation. He was trained by former lightweight world champion Joey Gamache.
In 2004, he won the 48th World Military Boxing Championship gold medal in the 69 kg. weight class by defeating Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan at Fort Huachuca, Arizona (as Ait Hammi Miloud of Morocco shared the bronze medal with Vyacheslav Kusov of Ukraine). That year he also won gold medals at the All Army Boxing Championships and the Armed Forces Boxing Championships.
Melson made it to the quarterfinals in the welterweight 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships, losing to future pro star Erislandy Lara of Cuba, the eventual gold medal winner. That year he also won gold medals at the All Army Boxing Championships and the Armed Forces Boxing Championships, and a bronze medal at the 2005 US Amateur Boxing Championships.
Melson became a professional in 2010 to raise research funds to honor a woman who had been his girlfriend. She had been in a wheelchair for 17 years, since the age of 10, following a diving accident. They had met during his senior year at West Point, when she was already using a wheelchair due to a diving accident.
Melson worked tirelessly to educate himself on spinal cord injuries and stem cell research. He traveled abroad with girlfriend Christan Zaccagnino so she could undergo experimental procedures that are not currently offered in the United States. While there, they were exposed to the vast expansion of work being done in this field that does not involve the use of embryonic stem cells.
Melson donates all of the money he earns in his boxing matches to stem cell research. He gives it to Justadollarplease.org, a non-profit organization that raises money for the first U.S. spinal cord injury trial in using umbilical cord stem cells. Along with Justadollarplease.org, Melson created Team Fight to Walk, to increase awareness in boxing of the importance of stem cell research for spinal cord injuries. Team Fight to Walk is composed of Melson, former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand, former two-time IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham, US Olympians Shawn Estrada and Demetrius Andrade and contender Deandre Latimore amongst other boxers.
Through April 2014, Melson was 14–1–1, with 4 of his wins by way of knockout and the sole defeat coming via controversial decision in what was considered one of the best local fights on the New York scene in recent memory. Welterweight Dmitry Salita said of him following a May 2011 bout: "I have seen tremendous improvement in Boyd in the last two fights. He is a very talented fighter and sets an example inside and outside the ring."
Professional boxing record
|15 Wins (4 Knockouts 11 decisions), 1 Loss, 1 Draw|
|N/A||N/A||Russ Niggemyer||-||? (6)||2011-10-01||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
He was honored as the 2005 Marty Glickman Outstanding Jewish Scholastic (college) Athlete of the Year by the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He said, as to his induction: "I am pleased to show that [Jews] can excel in all areas of human endeavor, and that is what is of great importance to me in being honored."
Outside of boxing, he works for Johnson & Johnson in the Ethicon Division. He also serves as an Army Reserves Captain of the 1179th Transportation Brigade at Fort Hamilton, in Brooklyn. Melson is a Manhattan resident.
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- "Melson wins U.S. boxing quarterfinals". USA Today. March 9, 2006. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Tanja Linton (November 5, 2004). "2003 grad Boyd Melson wins CISM world". Usma.edu. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Alan Freedman (February 10, 2011). "Guest column: Alan Freedman on Boyd 'The Rainmaker' Melson". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Boyd Melson". The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. April 3, 2005. Archived from the original on September 9, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- John C. Cotey (August 22, 2007). "Thurman Wins Again; Will Face Favorite Today". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Wladimir could fight Chisora-Fury winner; Wach-McBride on 7/29; Brighton Shore Fights". Eastsideboxing.com. July 5, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "2004 CISM Military Boxing Championships". Armedforcessports.defense.gov. November 1, 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "48th World Military Boxing Championship, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, USA, 22–31 October 2004". CISM – Conseil International du Sport Militaire (International Military Sports Council). Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "World Championships; Mianyang, China; November 13–20, 2005". Amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "USA Boxing news: The Countdown to the Opening Bell Begins". Doghouseboxing.com. November 9, 2005. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- "The Nation's Top Boxers to Face Off at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing, August 20–26". Eastsideboxing.com. August 13, 2007. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- "Melson wins at 152 lbs.; defending champs advance". ESPN. March 8, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- Boxing 101, "Boxer Boyd Melson Is On A Soldier's Fight To Walk", December 11, 2012
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- Team Fight To Walk website
- Justadollarplease website
- Boyd Melson website
- Facebook page
- Professional boxing record for Boyd Melson from BoxRec
- National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame profile
Victory at Barclay Center Brooklyn, NY April 27, 2013 Trained by Speedball Fitness guru Steve Feinberg