Wild Change in Winter Game Plan: Boyd Rainmaker Melson To Fight Donald Bulldog Ward in DiBella Roseland Finale
By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
Captain Boyd Melson, 32, at is a world ranked light middleweight boxer, graduate of West Point and a U.S. Army Reservist. On Wednesday February 12, 2014, Melson, 13-1 with four knockouts, will fight the final bout of a DiBella Entertainment card at Roseland Ballroom in New York City before the popular venue is demolished in March 2014 to build a new midtown skyscraper. For Melson, who fought the first professional bout ever at Barclays Center, there always seems to be something new happening in his diehard career.
In a wild change in the game plan, opponent Mike ‘El Congri’ Ruiz pulled out of his bout with Melson with a broken hand. The new opponent will be 24 year old Donald ‘Bulldog’ Ward of Memphis, Tennessee. With a record of 6 wins and three defeats with three knockouts, Ward’s three losses come to fighters with a combined record of 36-0-1. Ward is a dangerous opponent with an extremely deceiving record. Melson must defeat Ward convincingly if he expects to get a belt fight later this year and attract a major promoter to sign him. Melson, who remains active in the U.S. Army reserve and also works as a physical trainer, donates his purses to Spinal Cord research. His career is at a crossroads.
Real Combat Media: “Boyd, you are the finale at Roseland Ballroom this week.”
Boyd Melson: “I never headlined at Roseland before. Now I’m the headliner. That’s incredible. I was the first (boxing) fight at Barclays Center, now I’m the last fight at Roseland Ballroom. I love to fight at Roseland.”
Real Combat Media: Your opponent was supposed to be Mike ‘El Congri’ Ruiz. Unfortunately Ruiz just broke his hand. Joe Quiambo is Lou DiBella’s matchmaker.”
Boyd Melson: “Ruiz was supposed to fight me. They then proposed Eric Mitchell, who turned out to be under suspension. The promoter was wanted to agree to the new opponent, because owing to all of the snowstorms the New York City area has had and are coming up, they wanted to be sure they had somebody for next week, so I agreed to Donald Ward.”
Reader’s Note: Former NBA Light Middleweight champion Eric Mitchell, 44 was suspended after losing a decision on January 31, 2014, to 16-0 Cecil McCalla in West Orange, New Jersey, a suspension which does not yet appear on BoxRec.
Boyd Melson: “Donald Ward is 6-3 but I’ve seen him fight. He’s tough! I preferred to get someone as good as him but with a better record, but Ward is better than 6-3.”
Real Combat Media: “Patrick ‘Bulldog’ Ward has three losses to light middleweights with a combined record of 36-0-1. The Bulldog gave a good accounting of himself in his six round loss against undefeated Patrick Day at BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York City this past summer. The Bulldog was in the house. What new preparations have you made for Ward?”
Boyd Melson: “I have a solid background of amateur experience. There aren’t many (boxing) styles I haven’t seen.”
Real Combat Media: “Will you seek to reschedule Mike Ruiz as an opponent later this year? Will you seek a rematch with Delen Parsley, your lone loss, who you knocked down twice but lost an eight round decision to in March 2012?”
Boyd Melson: “Sure, I would take a rematch with Ruiz if it happens. I’m not going to go out of my way to fight Ruiz if there are better opportunities next.”
Real Combat Media: “Lou DiBella is featuring you on his cards but has yet to sign you. Would you fight DiBella’s light middleweight Yuri Foreman? Parsley, the guy I lost to, has moved up to 160 pounds for his last four bouts since he fought me, and he can’t get back down to 154 pounds anymore, so that rematch won’t happen. There are too many fighters I can move up against out there (at 154 pounds).”
Reader’s Note: Delen Parsley, in his last bout on May 15, 2013, lost an eight round decision at middleweight to undefeated Louis Rose. Another fighter who appeared on DiBella cards, undefeated Akil Auguste, lost to Louis Rose at Roseland by six round decision in July 2013.
Boyd Melson: “I would fight Yuri! It would be a great public relations event because we are both Jewish, if it (the promotion) is handled in the right way.”
Reader’s Note: DiBella Entertainment light middleweight boxer Yuri Foreman is a former World Boxing Association World Light Middleweight champion has currently won four bouts on the comeback trail.
Real Combat Media: “Are you disappointed Mike Ruiz had to pull out?”
Boyd Melson: “I feel for Mike. It stinks for me. It stinks for him also. He has a broken hand and a cast on his hand. He pulled out. It (injury) happens.”
Real Combat Media: “It is cruel when you get hurt right before the big event. U.S. female freestyle skier Maggie Voisin injured her right ankle during a training run for Olympic ski slopestyle yesterday. American snowboarder Shaun White pulled out of the Olympic snowboard competition last week after jamming his wrist.”
Boyd Melson: “Emotion comes out in the Olympics more than any other sport in the world.”
Real Combat Media: “Boyd, what are your immediate goals in boxing?”
Boyd Melson: “To raise money for spinal cord research. I’d like to fight on national television. I’d like to fight for any type of belt. I would be grateful if I could do them both at the same time.”
Real Combat Media: “Boyd, will you continue to fight at 154 pounds, or will you go up or down in weight class in the future?”
Boyd Melson: “I will stay (fighting) at 154 pounds. That’s where I’m most competitive.”
Real Combat Media: “Who is training you now?”
Boyd Melson: “My trainer is Simon Bakinde, and my assistant trainer is Bernie Lenahan. Bakinde has me executing whatever he says. He’s phenomenal. When he tells me things in the corner, I analyze it real quick. All the nuances, all the theories, different strategies, what to expect. He always knows what to do very quickly. I have to be able to orchestrate (the game plan) very smartly.”
Reader’s Note: Cameroon cruiserweight Simon Bakinde fought between 1994 and 2001, and had a career record of 17-6-3 with eight knockouts, going undefeated in his last nine professional bouts. Bakinde finished his career a winner, scoring a second round knockout of Kenny Gayle in Port-Audemer, France, on February 13, 2001.
Real Combat Media: “Why do you admire your trainer so much?”
Boyd Melson: “Because I donate my purse to spinal cord research, my trainer also donates my purse to spinal cord research. I think Bakinde is amazing (to give his trainer income from me to my charity with me) because he gives up a lot of his time.”