Whenever a professional boxer decides to hang up the gloves, he normally leaves his fight inside of the ring. In the case of former professional boxer Boyd Melson, he’s learned how to take his fight with him outside of the squared circle.
Boyd Melson was simply born to fight. That statement isn’t entirely surprising once you find out that he grew up in Brooklyn. A neighborhood in New York that isn’t exactly known for its friendliness.
Before Melson decided to put the boxing gloves on, he was a bright student with an even brighter future. He just so happened to have a penchant for punching people in the face.
To list the accomplishments of Melson, quite frankly, wouldn’t do it enough justice. He attended West Point Academy where he would go on to major in Psychology while minoring in Nuclear Engineering. While there, Melson was a four time United States army champion and picked up the Colonel Marcus award amongst his long list of other honors.
After taking home gold in the World Military Boxing Championships, Melson was ready to take his talents to the professional scene.
It didn’t take long for Melson to make an impact as he won his first eight fights before suffering his first set back at the hands of Delen Parsley. Melson would go on to win seven more fights and capture WBC United States Super Welterweight before losing his final contest against Courtney Pennington, and calling it a career.
The boxing career of Melson may have been over, but if you believed he would fade into the shadows then you were mistaken. His real fight was only just beginning.
Becoming both a professional boxer and a champion would be enough for most people, but Melson has a different thought process in that regard. His reign in the pro ranks was fun but his true passion is giving back, and that’s exactly what he plans on doing as he hosts a pair fundraisers for two very different, but important causes.
“On April 10th at the Ping Pong nightclub called Spin on 48th, east 23rd street in Manhattan New York, we’re going to hold a fundraiser,” said Melson on Boxing Insider Radio. “This one is going to be for my West Point classmates that lost their lives serving this country. We created a foundation and were titling it protectors of the free. It is 100 percent a nonprofit that.”
If you’ve ever met Melson, then you’ll soon find out that he is one of the nicest people around who enjoys a good laugh. But when discussing the reasoning behind this fundraiser, he’ll turn his smiling face into a serious one as this topic touches close to home for him.
“This foundation was created to raise money for the family of my fallen classmates. We’ve had seven that we lost. So this is hopefully money for their children when they are ready to go to college one day.”
The origins surrounding the fundraiser is nothing to joke about, but that doesn’t mean that the event in itself won’t be one that every and anyone won’t enjoy. The now retired fighter plans on bringing the fun and excitement to this event, even if it comes at his own expense.
“We’re going to set up these four pillars from Mendez boxing gym. They’ve also let us borrow mats and we have two ropes to go around the four pillars to make a ring. People will donate $50 to get inside and throw punches at me. We did it for half an hour last time and raised $500. It was a long line so we’ll do it for an hour this time. I’ll get myself into some shape,” said Melson while chuckling.
“Last time the hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, got in the ring with me. Kenny Anderson from the Nets also came by last year and worked the corner. We also had Alicia Napoleon show up and Big Baby Miller. I reached out to my good friend Demetrius Andrade and he told me he would come by provided that he’s available. So it should be a really good turnout. This year we’re also having a celebrity ping pong match available. You pay $50 and you get a bracelet for two hours of open bar.”
For Melson, this fundraiser isn’t just an attempt to raise money for his fallen classmates. That in itself would be a worthy cause, but no, it’s much deeper than that.
“I Just pack the place with veterans and pay tribute to the lives that volunteers and lost themselves while they were out serving. Hopefully everyone has a great time.”
If we took a look at the entire landscape of all sports, we would notice that they all have one thing in common with its participants.
They try to make as much of it as possible.
In a sport as barbaric and unforgiving as boxing, who could really blame them? If you are going to risk your life every single time you step foot inside of the ring, then at the very least, you should profit considerably from it.
Yet, for Boyd Melson, he was never completely fixated on what boxing could do for him financially. Instead, he wanted to use his platform to help someone who, at the time, was the love of his life.
“I was in love one time with a woman that was paralyzed once upon a time and I promised her that I would never give up on helping her walk again. So when I turned pro I donated everything that I earned to help fund a specific clinical trial that one of Christopher Reeves former doctors is working on. They will be injecting umbilical cord cells and they just need the funding for it.”
Yes, you read that right. During a career that spanned six years, Melson never pocketed a dime. Instead, he fought for the woman that he loved. Now, even in retirement, he is still fighting, but not just for her, but for everyone affected by paralysis.
“Were having our first annual one love music festival June 6th at the Montgomery County agricultural fairgrounds in Maryland. We’re trying to pack it with the spinal cord community. I’ll be a speaker there and we’ll have a few performers. We’re looking to get Sean Paul to perform but we’re still in the process of getting our sponsors and investors to come and help fund it. But so far everything looks like it’s on track so it should be a great event.”
Retirement for professional boxers is usually a time where a fighter can relax. After all, he or she has been fighting for the majority of their lifetime. But for Boyd Melson, it doesn’t seem that he’ll ever stop fighting. Even if he’s doing it in a different way now.