Fighting for the Cure Gala Oct 13 2016

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2016 fundraiser
New York, NY (September 24, 2015) – WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Boyd Melson and Christan Zaccagnino, Founders of Team Fight to Walk, will host the organization’s third annual “Fighting for the Cure” benefit gala Thursday, October 15 at 6:15 pm at the Beckwith Pointe in New Rochelle, NY.

Tickets and sponsorship packages to “Fighting for the Cure” are available by going to teamfighttowalk.com/gala or calling 914-497-5727. All donations are deductible per IRS regulations.

New York Knicks great John Starks will serve as the Honorary Chairman for this special evening and a number of other guests will be available to mingle with ticket holders. The current guest list includes former world champion and pound for pound superstar Paul Williams, Super Bowl XXV Champion Stephen Baker of the New York Giants, middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, former champions Junior Jones and Chris Algieri along with former New York Knicks Herb Williams and John Wallace. More guests will be announced shortly. This outstanding evening of entertainment and awareness includes cocktails & appetizers, a formal dinner, silent auction, blackjack tables, live music, open bar, DJ and guest speakers.

During the last two years, Team Fight to Walk hosted successful Galas in New York featuring comedy acts from Artie Lange and Damon Rozier accompanied by emotional speeches from Melson, Zaccagnino, Major Max Brewer, world renowned Dr. Wise Young, Eric LeGrand and cancer survivor turned world champion boxer Danny Jacobs.

In June, Melson, Dr. Young and Dr. Patricia Morton met with Congress in Washington, DC to present evidence from successful Spinal Cord Injury trials in China. The Chinese trials saw 15 out of the 20 patients regain the ability to walk again and 10 patients have their bladder and bowel function return. This is the exact same procedure that would be used in America and an official answer from the FDA on the trial is expected to come before this year’s end.

If the trials are to take place, the cost for surgery and therapy is $150,000 per patient and 100% of those costs are being raised through public donations. The trial will be held at University Hospital in Newark, NJ and will involved 12 patients. Currently, the federal government is not offering financial assistance, even though thousands of soldiers are returning from war with Spinal Cord Injuries.

From the time they met at a dance club during his junior year at West Point in 2002, the most important thing in Melson’s life has been to see Zaccagnino walk again. Christan broke her neck at the age of 10 after a diving accident and been confined to a wheelchair ever since. To spearhead the funding efforts for the aforementioned trial, Melson’s donated 100% of his purses from 16 of his 17 professional to Team Fight to Walk, a 501(c)(3) with one of his purses going to a childhood friend whose son was battling brain cancer. Between the two Galas and his professional bouts, Melson’s helped raise more than $330,000.

“We are close as ever to making a significant difference in America,” said Melson. “Team Fight to Walk has been working extremely hard for this and our fundraising efforts have been nonstop. Still, there’s a long way to go, even if we get approval from the FDA. Our last two galas have been outstanding, and we’re aiming to raise even more money this year towards the cause. We need the assistance from everybody out there. We need to wake up and live each day with the fact that we share this planet leading our active consciousness. Our Galas have emotionally moved many attendees that heard the stories and struggles from those suffering from Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries who are can’t have the surgery in America that could enable them to walk again. If you’re unable to attend the Gala, please consider donating to Teamfighttowalk.com. Every dollar makes a difference!”

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Team Fight to Walk to host “Fighting For the Cure” Gala October 15!

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2015 fundraiser
New York, NY (September 24, 2015) – WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Boyd Melson and Christan Zaccagnino, Founders of Team Fight to Walk, will host the organization’s third annual “Fighting for the Cure” benefit gala Thursday, October 15 at 6:15 pm at the Beckwith Pointe in New Rochelle, NY.

Tickets and sponsorship packages to “Fighting for the Cure” are available by going to teamfighttowalk.com/gala or calling 914-497-5727. All donations are deductible per IRS regulations.

New York Knicks great John Starks will serve as the Honorary Chairman for this special evening and a number of other guests will be available to mingle with ticket holders. The current guest list includes former world champion and pound for pound superstar Paul Williams, Super Bowl XXV Champion Stephen Baker of the New York Giants, middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, former champions Junior Jones and Chris Algieri along with former New York Knicks Herb Williams and John Wallace. More guests will be announced shortly. This outstanding evening of entertainment and awareness includes cocktails & appetizers, a formal dinner, silent auction, blackjack tables, live music, open bar, DJ and guest speakers.

During the last two years, Team Fight to Walk hosted successful Galas in New York featuring comedy acts from Artie Lange and Damon Rozier accompanied by emotional speeches from Melson, Zaccagnino, Major Max Brewer, world renowned Dr. Wise Young, Eric LeGrand and cancer survivor turned world champion boxer Danny Jacobs.

In June, Melson, Dr. Young and Dr. Patricia Morton met with Congress in Washington, DC to present evidence from successful Spinal Cord Injury trials in China. The Chinese trials saw 15 out of the 20 patients regain the ability to walk again and 10 patients have their bladder and bowel function return. This is the exact same procedure that would be used in America and an official answer from the FDA on the trial is expected to come before this year’s end.

If the trials are to take place, the cost for surgery and therapy is $150,000 per patient and 100% of those costs are being raised through public donations. The trial will be held at University Hospital in Newark, NJ and will involved 12 patients. Currently, the federal government is not offering financial assistance, even though thousands of soldiers are returning from war with Spinal Cord Injuries.

From the time they met at a dance club during his junior year at West Point in 2002, the most important thing in Melson’s life has been to see Zaccagnino walk again. Christan broke her neck at the age of 10 after a diving accident and been confined to a wheelchair ever since. To spearhead the funding efforts for the aforementioned trial, Melson’s donated 100% of his purses from 16 of his 17 professional to Team Fight to Walk, a 501(c)(3) with one of his purses going to a childhood friend whose son was battling brain cancer. Between the two Galas and his professional bouts, Melson’s helped raise more than $330,000.

“We are close as ever to making a significant difference in America,” said Melson. “Team Fight to Walk has been working extremely hard for this and our fundraising efforts have been nonstop. Still, there’s a long way to go, even if we get approval from the FDA. Our last two galas have been outstanding, and we’re aiming to raise even more money this year towards the cause. We need the assistance from everybody out there. We need to wake up and live each day with the fact that we share this planet leading our active consciousness. Our Galas have emotionally moved many attendees that heard the stories and struggles from those suffering from Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries who are can’t have the surgery in America that could enable them to walk again. If you’re unable to attend the Gala, please consider donating to Teamfighttowalk.com. Every dollar makes a difference!”

Melson Receives Humanitarian Award from WBC; Set to Assist Amateur Program!

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Boyd Humanatarian Award
New York, NY (July 6, 2015) – 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 Jamel 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

Melson to meet with WBC at Convention in San Francisco!

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New York, NY (July 1, 2015) – WBC-USNBC junior middleweight champion Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson has been personally invited by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman to their NABF convention this weekend in San Francisco, CA.

A close friend and supporter of the WBC Cares Program long before capturing their title with a win over Mike Ruiz in May, Melson’s garnered attention throughout the boxing world for donating 100% of his purses to Team Fight to Walk in support of America’s first clinical trial to cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries.

While in the Golden Gate City, Melson will spend time with Sulaiman to discuss becoming an ambassador for the WBC’s Youth Amateur Program. In his potential role as an ambassador, Melson’s focus would be on amateur boxing in the military. Prior to turning pro, the 2003 West Point graduate captured the World Military Championship and defeated many fighters that became top pros such as Keith Thurman, Charles Hatley and DeAndre Latimore.

Between his humanitarian efforts, success in the ring and educational background, Melson believes he can be of great assistance to the WBC’s initiative and is excited to learn more.

“It’s an honor that the WBC has personally invited me to their NABF Convention in San Francisco,” said Melson. “All of the great fighters have honed the green belt and the fact that I am one of their titlists itself is a dream come true. I’d like to thank Jill Diamond for going above and beyond to help Team Fight to Walk. Mr. Sulaiman has a great heart and I know he really cares about our Veterans. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help grow their emphasis on amateur boxing in the military.”

Team Fight to Walk’s Briefing with Congress a major knockout!

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Boyd and Wise Young Albany Photo
New York, NY (June 28, 2015) – When Dr. Patricia Morton, Dr. Wise Young and Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson presented their case to Congress at a briefing in Washington, DC they had one goal in mind. The goal, which has been the focal point of Melson’s life since meeting Christan Zaccagnino 13 years ago, is to see her walk again. Zaccagnino suffered a diving accident as a child that left her paralyzed from the waist down and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

A major step for Zaccagnino being able to potentially walk again would be congress approving a clinical trial to take place in the United States focusing on non embryonic stem cell research. The trial, which samples random patients, includes surgery and rehabilitation with the end result hopefully being that person walking again. In China, this trial produced great results under the lead of Dr. Young and a number of the patients were able to walk again following surgery and three months therapy.

On June 22, Morton, Young and Melson emphatically presented their case at the Rayburn House Office Building in our nation’s capital.

With a packed room filled with interested parties, Dr. Morton, Director of Planning and Development for the Spinal Cord Injury Project, served as the moderator. Dr. Young, widely considered the best in the world for Spinal Cord Care, presented scientific data to support why the trial would be successful in America. Melson moved members of the audience and congress by detailing how he’s risked his life as a professional boxer to raise funds to cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. Ms. Ida Cahill, CEO of Conqueor Paralysis now, and Dr. Balpreet Grewal-Virk, whose father was paralyzed during Hurricane Sandy, also gave heartfelt speeches.

Overall, each speaker played a key role by presenting different reasons why they believe the trial needs to take place and can be the reason hundreds of thousands of paralyzed Americans are able to walk again.

“Everything went perfectly,” said an ecstatic Melson. “Congressman Fattah really had our back too and I owe everybody who was there special thanks. Tuesday was one of the most important days of my entire life and even though we may be waiting a little bit for the word if this trial officially gets the green light, my confidence is at an all-time high. Members of congress understood the importance of these trials and the results from China presented by Dr. Young can’t be denied. If this briefing were a fight, it definitely would’ve been a knockout in our favor!”

Melson Speaks at National Spinal Cord Injury Connecticut Chapter BBQ!

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Team Fight to Walk co-founder and WBC-UNSBC champion Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson was a special guest speaker at the Connecticut Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s annual BBQ last Friday. Melson, who earlier today spoke with Chaka Fattah  at a congressional hearing in DC,  expressed his confidence to those in attendance  that the trial could officially take place in the near future.

A renowned figure in the Spinal Cord Injury world, Melson’s doanted 100% of his fight purses to Team Fight to Walk in order to support the aforementioned pending trials.

USNBC Champion Melson to speak to Lodi students!

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New York, NY (May 21, 2015) – Newly crowned WBC-USNBC 154 pound champion Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson will serve as a special guest speaker at Thomas Jefferson Middle School Friday, May 22 in Lodi, NJ.

A 2003 West Point graduate, Melson serves as an Army Reserve Officer, donates 100% of his purses to Teamfighttowalk.com and works a full time job. Between his aforementioned commitments along with training and making weight, Melson’s had to overcome many difficulties both personally and professionally. As a professional boxer, the native New Yorker’s built an impressive 15-1-1 record with 4 wins by knockout. On May 8, he scored the biggest win of his career, dominating Mike Ruiz over 10 rounds to capture the WBC-USNBC championship.

During his speech, Melson will discuss what it’s like to get knocked down by life when pursuing dreams, how to stay focused on goals, choices in life and the different paths life could take a person based on those choices.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity,” said Melson. “There are many kids that need the proper guidance or fuel to light their fire. I believe everybody has the potential to make something of themselves. What it comes down to is making the right choices and staying on track even when life throws you a curveball. My goal is to relate to these students and inspire them to stay focused while making smart choices for their futures.”

Layoff not a concern for Melson ahead of title fight!

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New York, NY (May 7, 2015) – Eleven months ago, popular 154 pounder Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson was training for a career changing fight with contender Glen Tapia. Against Tapia, who is considered amongst the top rising stars in America, Melson was taking a significant step up in competition and training like a madman so he’d shine when it mattered most. Unfortunately, an injury forced him out of the bout and a rematch was never scheduled.

Between other opportunities not coming through and obligations outside of the squared circle, Melson’s been inactive since a gutsy February 2014 win over Donald Ward. Against Ward, the 2003 West Point grad literally fought with one arm, overcoming a stretched brachial plexus which caused temporary paralysis in his right arm during the last five rounds of the bout.

Tomorrow evening at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, NY, Melson returns from the fifteen month layoff to face charismatic Mike “El Cangri” Ruiz. Melson-Ruiz is scheduled for the WBC USNBC junior middleweight title, with the winner likely working their way into the world ratings. Fighting in his first ten rounder and serving as one half of the main event, Melson is confident that he’ll be sharp as ever even with the layoff.

“On paper, I’ve been out of the ring for over a year and I know a lot of people see that as a reason for concern,” said Melson. “The truth is I never got out of shape and once my body healed, I was right back in the gym. After suffering an injury during the Olympic Trials, I was inactive for more than two years. Since then, I’ve only lost one controversial decision in 16 pro fights. Personally and professionally, I’ve overcame things much more challenging than the inactivity. I have felt fresh throughout training camp and don’t see any problems tomorrow night. The goal is to beat Ruiz convincingly and move on to challenge one of the world’s top rated fighters.”

Born in Puerto Rico and based in Long Island, the popular Ruiz has a significant experience advantage in the paid ranks, having faced a number of contenders. Overall, his record stands at 17-8 with 9 knockouts and some insiders believe he’s a step up for Melson.

“Ruiz is a tough and battle tested fighter,” stated Melson, who is 14-1-1 as a professional with four knockouts. “He has faced some good opponents and always comes to fight. I know that he’s viewed as a step up for me and I’ve been ready to step up for awhile now. Regardless if it’s by decision or knockout, I’m fully confident that I’ll earn my 15th victory tomorrow evening.”

The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with New Legends Boxing. All of Team Fight To Walk’s tickets are sold out but may still be available by calling DiBella Entertainment at 212-947-2577.

After his fight with Ruiz, Melson will continue his pledge assist in curing chronic Spinal Cord Injuries by donating 100% of his purse to Team Fight to Walk in support of America’s first trial of its kind.

Team Fight to Walk is comprised of Melson, Zaccagnino, former Rutgers football player/ESPY honoree Eric LeGrand, two division world champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 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., WBA Middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, WBO Junior Middleweight titlist/2008 US Olympian Demetrius “Boo 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 bamstrong1981@gmail.com. Fans can also interact with Melson via Twitter @BoydMelson or Facebook.com/Boydmelson

Melson to speak at Rutgers Student Society for Stem Cell Research!

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New York , NY (April 26, 2015) – Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson will serve as a special guest speaker Tuesday, April 28 as part of a special fundraiser for the Rutgers Student Society for Stem Cell Research. The event is named “Knocking out Spinal Cord Injury One Punch at a Time” and benefits Rutgers’ W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience. Admission is $4 and the start time is 8 PM. The fundraiser is taking place at the Busch Student Center’s Multipurpose Room.

In addition to Melson’s speech, there will be performers from the Rutgers Belly Dancing Troupe and RU Salsa Club. Dinner is also included for all attendees.

A close friend of the Rutgers Foundation through his involvement and donations to Spinal Cord Injury research, Melson’s generosity has helped make him one of the biggest local attractions on the east coast. The 2003 West Point graduate is a former world military champion and founded Team Fight to Walk along with best friend Christan Zaccagnino. As a pro, Melson is 14-1-1 with 4 wins by knockout. His next bout takes place May 8 against Mike Ruiz for the NABA championship at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, NY.

Having worked closely with Dr. Wise Young and Dr. Patricia Morton from the Rutgers Foundation with the ultimate goal being to cure Spinal Cord Injuries, Melson considers the campus his second home.

“Rutgers has a special place in my heart and I visit whenever I get the chance. I’ve received a tremendous amount of hospitality from students, teachers and members of the athletic staff. Eric LeGrand is a member of Team Fight to Walk and a close friend of mine, so speaking on this subject at Rutgers about something that can potentially get him out of his chair is extraordinarily humbling for me. I look forward to meeting many new friends and growing the support system we’ve built to finally get the trials in the United States so those suffering can walk again . ”

Tickets for Melson’s fight are available by going to http://teamfighttowalk.com/tickets-for-boyd-melsons-may-8-fight/

Team Fight to Walk is comprised of Melson, Zaccagnino, former Rutgers football player/ESPY honoree Eric LeGrand, two division world champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 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., WBA Middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, WBO Junior Middleweight titlist/2008 US Olympian Demetrius “Boo 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. All specific questions about the nature of the Clinical Trial to cure Spinal Cord Injury can be sent to bamstrong1981@gmail.com. Fans can also interact with Melson via Twitter @BoydMelson or Facebook.com/Boydmelson