On Wednesday, February 12 Army Reserve Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson and Mike “El Cangri” Ruiz will headline the Roseland Ballroom’s final boxing card in a ten round junior middleweight contest. However, both men are fighting for a lot more than the notion of winning the Roseland’s last boxing match.
Melson, residing in Manhattan by way of Brooklyn and White Plains, and Ruiz, who hails from Puerto Rico and resides in Long Island, are two of New York’s most popular prizefighters. Each fighter has appeared in the Big Apple various times, participating in many local classics and knows that a victory could catapult them onto a bigger stage.
With an outstanding 13-1-1 record and four wins by knockout, Melson’s fought thirteen of his bouts in the Empire State. The West Point graduate and 2008 Olympic Alternate dropped a controversial 2012 decision to Delen Parsley in what is widely considered the best match in Broadway Boxing history. Melson also dominated tough veterans Jason Thompson, Gundrick King and Yolexcy Leiva in front of sold out crowds.
A former World Boxing Federation titlist, Ruiz’ record is a deceptive 17-8 with 9 wins by knockout. The charismatic 28-year-old scored a career best victory in July 2012, knocking out world title contender Paul Delgado in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. Like his counterpart, Ruiz took place in memorable bouts in the Big Apple against the likes of Martin Wright (twice), Glen Tapia, Daniel Sostre and Charlie Ota.
“This is going to be a very tough fight for many reasons,” Melson said of his upcoming showdown with Ruiz. “He’s got a lot of experience and was in a lot of close fights that went the other way. Two fights ago, he beat a fighter that fought for a legitimate world title and he’s also faced a lot of top opponents. For most of my fights, I’ve been the clear crowd favorite but Ruiz has a large and vocal fan base of this own. I’m ready for the challenge and know a victory will lead me to better opportunities. I am also excited to have progresses up to the ladder where I am competing for the first time in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds. I owe a special thanks to Lou DiBella for sticking with me and giving me this chance.”
Tickets starting from $45 are available on teamfighttowalk.com.
Following the match, Melson’s pledge to help find a cure for chronic Spinal Cord Injuries will continue when he donates 100% of his earnings from his purse to Justadollarplease.org in support of America’s first trial of its kind.
It was recently released in the nationwide media that this clinical trial we are raising funds for to bring here to the U.S. has resulted in 15 out of 20 patients walking enrolled in the study in China who were paralyzed an average of 7 years. Unfortunately, there still is not enough money to carry the trial out in the US but it is estimated that it could start sometime in 2014. The hopes are for this trial to begin at the end of the Summer of 2014 with Mount Sinai Hospital- Manhattan’s very own- being one of the hospitals carrying out the study.
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, Austin “No Doubt” Trout, title contender DeAndre “The Bull” Latimore, Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana, Sonya Lamonakis, Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., WBO Junior Middleweight titlist/2008 US Olympian Demetrius “Boo” Andrade and fellow 08’ Olympian 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 and Delen “Sniper” Parsley.
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 [email protected] Fans can also interact with Melson via Twitter @BoydMelson orFacebook.com/Boydmelson