Retired boxer plans to run against Donovan
Boyd Melson seeks funds for Congress race
A retired professional boxer is hoping to climb into a different ring — the political ring — and topple a popular elected official. Boyd Melson, who is originally from Brooklyn, announced this week that he intends to run for Congress in the 11th District in 2018.
Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan has represented the Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island district since winning a special election in 2015. Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney, handily won re-election in November of 2016.
But Melson, 35, said he is ready, willing and able to take on the challenge of running for public office.
“I am built for this, my life has prepared me. I will continue my willingness to be knocked down and get back up to keep fighting. I will inspire you to believe in my spirit. Fighters fight! I am a fighter. District 11 must know that I am ready to fight in their corner,” he said in a statement.
Melson has set up a funding page on actblue.com, a website that promotes left-leaning and progressive candidates.
Melson, a light middleweight, had a 15-2-1 record as a boxer, including four knockouts. He won the World Boxing Council U.S. Championship in 2015. He retired from the ring in 2016.
During his six-year boxing career, Melson donated 100 percent of his winnings to various charities, including organizations to raise funds to help people suffering from spinal cord injuries and brain cancer. He also donated funds to anti-drug programs.
A 2003 West Point graduate, Melson is currently a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and is a motivational speaker. He has appeared before the Future Business Leaders of America Conference, college sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, army battalions and religious organizations. He also served as a mentor at Steve Harvey’s Youth Mentorship Camp in 2016.
Melson runs free boxing clinics on Staten Island for men and women battling or recovering from addiction.
He spent his early years in Brooklyn. He attended P.S. 195, Mark Twain Junior High School and Brooklyn Tech High School. His family moved to White Plains when he was in high school. He graduated from White Plains High School.
After high school, Melson attended West Point, where he graduated as a lieutenant in 2003 with a psychology degree and a minor in nuclear engineering. Within three years of his graduation, he was promoted to captain.
“I need to continue my service to this nation. I have a heavy task in front of me. I am committed. I have a tremendous fight in my spirit for what is right,” he stated. “I was born mixed with African, Irish, Native American, French, Dutch, Spanish and I am Jewish. Perhaps I am a good example of one of the aspects as to why us American citizens are what makes us great; we the people. We combine our strengths. We are the best of all cultures. We are strong, and we do not allow ourselves to be seduced by fear.”
Melson vowed to campaign heavily in the district. “I will be in the community, at events, highly visible and highly accessible,” he stated.