DiBella Entertainment will return to the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, tomorrow for the latest installment of its popular Broadway Boxing series, presented by Cedars Mediterranean Foods, Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House. Super middleweight Boyd “The Rainmaker” Melson, of White Plains, NY, is coming out of retirement and will appear on the undercard in an exciting eight-round bout.
Melson last fought on May 8, 2015, impressively defeating Mike Ruiz via a 10-round unanimous decision to win the WBC USNBC junior middleweight championship. Having gone the 10-round distance for the first time and capturing a title, an aging Melson, saddled with ring injuries, told his family he was satisfied with his career and would retire. Over his four and a half years as a pro, beginning with a November 2010 debut, Melson built an excellent record of 15-1-1, with 4 KOs. His only loss came to the unbeaten Delen Parsley in a 2012 war, in which both boxers hit the canvas. Melson, who graduated from West Point as a Lieutenant, also had success as an amateur, making it to the Olympic trials in 2004 and 2008 and winning the 2004 World Military Boxing Championships as well.
Now an Army Reserve Captain, the happily retired 35-year-old Melson felt compelled to return to the ring one last time for a reason very important to him. Seeing fatal drug overdoses in New York City on the rise, particularly in the borough of Staten Island currently plagued by a spike in heroin addiction, Melson wanted to help raise awareness about this growing epidemic. Though he grew up in Brooklyn, Melson holds a deep connection to Staten Island, where he spent much of his youth visiting family and friends.
Throughout his pro career, Melson regularly donated his fight purses to stem cell research via the “Fight To Walk” foundation, for which he has helped raise over $400,000 to find cures for spinal cord injuries. However, his purse for tomorrow’s fight against Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington (8-4-1, 4 KOs) will be donated to “Big Vision”, a nonprofit run by Eve Goldberg that assists those battling addiction.
“Shortly after I retired, Lou DiBella connected me with Eve as he knew I would be passionate about her ‘Big Vision’ project, which helps young adults suffering from addiction,” said Melson. “We spoke and immediately hit it off. Eve started ‘Big Vision’ when her son tragically passed away almost two years ago from an accidental heroin overdose at just 23 years old.
“As I got more involved with ‘Big Vision’ and doing research on drug abuse, I read an article stating that there had been 40 heroin-related deaths in Staten Island alone by May of this year. That number had risen to 76 deaths by September. This is an epidemic and I want to do my part to help raise awareness about this issue. Working with Eve, I have thus far held two boxing workshops at Mendez Gym in Manhattan, where we invited addicts to participate, followed by heartfelt discussions to motivate them to stay clean and healthy.
“I initially came to Lou with the idea of staging a Veterans appreciation fight night, with me in the main event and cadets on the undercard, that would also create awareness about drug addiction. Having learned about the recent changes to the health insurance laws for boxing in New York State that have currently placed the sport on hold here, I felt that tomorrow’s Broadway Boxing at Foxwoods was the next best opportunity for me to promote ‘Big Vision’.”
Opening up the event will be a six-bout amateur card presented by the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) featuring boxers from Melson’s alma mater, the United States Military Academy (West Point), as well as the United States Coast Guard Academy, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut and Trinity College.
As an added bonus, boxing fans in attendance will not have to worry about missing the highly anticipated Kovalev-Ward light heavyweight championship pay-per-view, as the event will be shown live on Foxwoods property that night as well.
Tickets for the November 19 Broadway Boxing event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Teiken Promotions and presented by Cedars Mediterranean Foods, Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House, are priced at $125, $75 and $45. Tickets can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Doors open at 6:30pm, with the first fight scheduled for 7:00pm.