Unlike many Jewish boxers, Boyd Melson does not feature a Magen David on his trunks.
He has an image of a wheelchair.
Melson, 29, a junior middleweight who will fight Zack Schumack of St. Paul on Wednesday, July 20 at the Oceana Theater in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood (1029 Brighton Beach Avenue), donates the money he earns in boxing to stem cell research.
A graduate of West Point with a day job at Johnson & Johnson, Melson (5’10”, 154 lbs.), a successful boxer in the amateur ranks and in the Army boxing championships, turned professional last year to raise research funds in honor of Christan Zaccagnino, a friend who has been in a wheelchair since a diving accident 17 years ago.
Melson’s earnings support justadollarplease.org, a Website that assists the work that Dr. Wise Young does for people with spinal cord injuries.
The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Melson calls Zaccagnino, and his fellow West Point graduates, his inspiration. “I carry my classmates with me every time I go into the ring,” he told boxingscene.com. “I was fortunate enough to never have to get deployed. A couple of them have been killed, a lot of them have been injured, and they sacrificed their time by going out there when I got to go home every night. I think about that every day.”
Melson, a Manhattan resident who is undefeated in his first four pro bouts, serves as an Army Reserves Captain of the 1179th Transportation Brigade at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
He was honored by the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Melson will fight next week on a card promoted by welterweight Dimitriy Salita, a Ukrainian-born Orthodox Jew. Salita Promotions’ monthly “Brighton Shore Fights” (dsalita.com,  481-5558) is making an effort to feature other Jewish boxers, Salita says – another Jewish fighter on Wednesday’s card will be Cletus Seldins from Shirley, L.I..
Melson, Salita says, “has a lot of potential. He’s very dedicated to this [stem cell research] cause. He’s very passionate about it.”