Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based boxing manager Henry Rivalta proudly announces the signing of 19-year-old featherweight prospect Luis “El Chucho” Melendez to a promotional contract.
A stand-out amateur in Florida and his native Puerto Rico, Melendez will be making his professional debut under the guidance of Rivalta in July.
Born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Melendez started boxing at age 11. He went on to have 124 amateur fights, winning a number of Puerto Rican and international titles including the Junior Olympics, Olympic Cup, and the Puerto Rican Nationals from 101 lbs. to 132 lbs.
Melendez says the managerial deal is the culmination of a long association the pair have held. “When I was about 15, I went to spar at the Mike Tyson Gym in West Palm Beach and I was sparring a pro and Henry saw me. He told me he likes what he sees and since then he’s had his eye on me. Now that I’m reaching my dream of going pro, Henry is the right person to help guide my career.”
A throwback fighter with a style more suited for the professional ranks, Melendez calls his style ‘smart aggressive.’
I have a very pro style. I sit down on my punches. I like to throw combinations a lot. I like to break my opponents down. I like to go to the body. Or, depending on the opponent, I can box you. I can also hit and not get hit when I need to.”
Melendez says training at KO Fitness in Hialeah, Florida, with trainer Michael Robles is going well and he’s excited to get started on his professional career. “I feel great. This is my dream. I have always loved the pros. I used to watch and say ‘man I will be there one day.’ I’ve always had that style. I want to win titles in six divisions. I want to be the best pound for pound. I want to be the next face of Puerto Rico.”
“Luis has all the talent to become a world champion,” said Henry Rivalta. “He’s been a stand-out since he was a kid and he’s developed into a very good fighter. I’m happy to finally be working with him in the professionals. I look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with this next great fighter from Puerto Rico.”