WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson received the Humanitarian Award from the WBC during their NABF convention last weekend in San Francisco, CA.
A success since first putting on a pair of gloves as a Plebe (freshman) while attending West Point, Melson won various tournaments as an amateur prior to capturing the WBC-USNBC crown with a career-best performance against Mike Ruiz in May. Since turning pro in 2010, Melson’s donated 100% of his fight purse earnings and helped raise more than $300,000 towards stem cell research in lieu of America’s first clinical trial to help cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. His ultimate goal is to see his best friend Christan Zaccagnino, who was paralyzed from her neck down from a childhood diving accident, walk again.
Last month, Melson and other supporters of Team Fight to Walk had an emotional meeting with Congress in Washington, DC to push for the trial to officially be approved. The meeting was a major success and Congressman Chaka Fattah is a big believer in the trials, which produced outstanding results when it was conducted in China. Team Fight to Walk hopes to officially get the green light for the US trial in the very near future.
The epitome of a selfless athlete, Melson’s humanitarian efforts have been featured by ESPN, HBO, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, Ring Magazine and Huffington Post amongst various other outlets.
Recently, Melson was invited to San Francisco for the convention to discuss the WBC’s initiative to sponsor different amateur boxing programs. His primary goal was to meet with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman and Chairwoman Jill Diamond however, he was completely caught of guard to hear his name announced as a Humanitarian Award winner for his outstanding service as a champion in and out of the ring.
“This is one of my greatest honors as a pro or amateur” said Melson. “When I was invited to San Francisco, I was thrilled to meet with the WBC and looked forward to seeing other great people in boxing receive awards at the convention. I wish you could have seen my face when I realized Jill Diamond was referring to me when she went up on stage and presented the next award of the night. Many of boxing’s all-time greats wore the green belt and won awards at their conventions. It’s extremely humbling to be mentioned among them.”
After receiving his award, Melson and the WBC discussed details of their plan to become more involved with amateur boxing in the public service sector. This is included but not limited to police, firefighters and various branches of the military. As an Army Reserve Officer who maintains many great relationships, the WBC knew Melson was the man for the job.
During the convention, Melson was officially appointed an Ambassador. His job will be to help the WBC get involved in sponsoring amateur fighters and events featuring public service workers.
“Mauricio Sulaiman said to me that you are my man, and the WBC is your family forever. I probably gave him one of the brightest smiles of my life. It’s also important to remember that throughout history, there have been great American fighters from the public service sector. My Team Fight to Walk brother Steve Cunningham is a multi-time world champion by way of the Navy and 2012 US Olympian Jamal Herring was a Marine Sergeant who served two tours of duty in Iraq. The consensus greatest fighter of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, came from the Army. Six heavyweight champions, Ray Mercer, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Joe Louis, Gene Tunney and Rocky Marciano, served our country as did legends Barney Ross and Tony Zale. My goal is to help the WBC connect with military personnel, policemen, firefighters, etc. because there is a lot of great talent out there.”
After Boyd received his award, he was given a few moments to speak. With his father Nolan Melson by his side that night, Boyd went on stage and spoke from his heart.
“I was extremely emotional to the point where I felt myself having to hold back my eyes from watering up. I said that boxing is the greatest sport in the world and it opened so many doors for me. Last weekend is one I’ll never forget.”
For more information on Melson’s cause, please visit Teamfighttowalk.com