(New York, NY) Through five rounds, Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson appeared to be in complete control in last night’s rematch against rugged Brooklynite Jason Thompson.
Melson, a West Point graduate whose garnered international attention for donating 100% of his fight purses to Justadollarplease.org in support of a trial to help cure chronic Spinal Cord Injuries, boxed effectively, displayed much-improved head movement and landed cleaner punches in much greater volume.
The pro-Melson crowd, which included notable celebrities such as Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., former NBA All-Star Larry Johnson and Kim G. from the Real Housewives of NJ – each whom specifically came to see Melson – packed the sold out BB King Blues Club in New York City. They cheered for their fighter as he connected with a plethora of jabs, hooks and straight left hands as his opponent hung in tough.
In the sixth however, things almost took a turn for the worse when a Thompson punch opened up a nasty cut over Melson’s eye ala Vitali Klitschko against Lennox Lewis. The shape of the cut however led Melson and others to believe it may have been caused from an accidental headbutt. The two New Yorkers had an exchange in close quarters where the butt may have happened, but as they came out of the exchange a punch landed where blood immediately squirted out. Recognizing that he may have an opportunity to turn the tides, Thompson swarmed Melson before the referee called for the doctor to look at the cut. Proving that he lives up to the “Army Strong” billing, Melson immediately signaled with a smile that he wanted to continue, assuring that he was fine.
Fired up by the sight of his own blood, the cut appeared to awaken a side of Melson that few had ever seen. The 2008 Olympic alternate selection fought extremely hard and focused, dominating Thompson while showing no ill-effects from the cut. At the beginning of the eighth and final round, Thompson took a bit of a cheap shot by touching gloves with Melson for an instant, and with the same hand, using it to immediately land a hard punch on Melson’s face. Moments later, The Rainmaker scored a knockdown with a right hook en route to controlling his game foe until the final bell.
Scores were 78-73 twice and 77-74 for Melson, who was congratulated in the ring by the aforementioned Cuba Gooding Jr. and improved to 12-1-1 with 4 wins by knockout.
“I felt great after eight rounds,” said Melson, who also had more than ten of his West Point classmates that served in Iraq or Afghanistan amongst his large contingent of fans. “My plan was to time him as he came forward with punches as well as come off of the blocks with straight punches when he would attack with wide hard punches. I think I did a decent job of that. I wanted to remain within a few feet of him at all times unlike in our first bout, where I gave him too much space to think. Additionally, I made a point of it to not allow myself to become overzealous and boxed patiently even when I hurt him. I believe I did a fair job of both.”
Melson’s solid performance was also admired by two notable spectators.
“Boyd has the biggest heart in boxing,” said Gooding Jr., who has trained with Melson in the past. “He fights with his hands to heal a nation. Think about that. He’s a warrior in spirit and one of god’s angels.”
“I’m so proud of Boyd’s performance this was the best of his career,” said Promoter Lou Dibella, who promoted five of Melson’s bouts and is a personal supporter of Justadollarplease.org. “He’s got a bigger heart than anybody he’s such a good human being. He fights for a cause that’s so important and it makes him rise above any obstacles in the ring. His heart is so big and his desire to help people is so great. I admire Boyd like nothing else.”
In an entertaining six round bout, Melson’s Team Fight to Walk stablemate Sonya Lamonakis looked strong against five-time Golden Gloves champion Tanzee Daniel. The two combatants fought in close quarters from bell to bell, with Lamonakis’ hard punches and consistency earning her the decision.
In association with the 501 (C) 3 nonprofit Justadollarplease.org, Melson and his best friend Christan Zaccagnino created Team Fight to Walk, whose mission is to raise awareness within the boxing community as well as the entire nation about the importance of bringing Clinical Trials to the United States to help cure Spinal Cord Injuries. Team Fight to Walk is comprised of Melson, Zaccagnino, former Rutgers football player/ESPY honoree Eric LeGrand, two-time cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham, WBA junior middleweight titlist Austin “No Doubt” Trout, title contender DeAndre “The Bull” Latimore, Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana, Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., 2008 US Olympians Demetrius “Boo” Andrade and Shawn Estrada along with prospects Sid “The Messenger” El Harrak, Jeff “TNT” Spencer, Denis “Da Momma’s Boy” Douglin, Will “Power” Rosinsky, Floriano “Italiano” Pagliara, Danny “Little Mac” McDermott, Vinny “The Lion” O’Brien, Ahmed “Prince of Egypt” Samir, Sonya Lamonakis and Delen “Sniper” Parsley.
It was recently released in the nationwide media that the clinical trial Team Fight to Walk is raising funds for to bring to the U.S. resulted in 15 out of 20 patients enrolled in the study in China being able to walk again. The patients were paralyzed an average of 7 years ranging from their necks down to their lower backs. 13 of the 15 needed a walker to help them walk and 2 of the 15 required no assistance in helping them walk. Unfortunately, there still is not enough money to carry the trial out in the US.
For more information or to make a donation, go to teamfighttowalk.com or Justadollarplease.org. All specific questions about the nature of the Clinical Trial to cure Spinal Cord Injury can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can also follow Boyd on Twitter @BoydMelson. Contact: Matt Yanofsky (Publicist) – 551-206-0578 Twitter: @kopublicity or Twitter.com/kopublicity