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Friday, July 17, 2015

Melson Defeats Ruiz in Ten Round Bout

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson defeated Mike Ruiz by wide unanimous decision on May 8 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. After a sloppy start, southpaw Melson took control of the fight with his left hand.

Both Melson and Ruiz hadn't been in the ring in over a year and it showed early. Ruiz implemented his plan of rushing Melson for the first half of the first round, but then seeming fell asleep for the next several minutes. Melson fired punches, but they initially looked awkward and poorly timed.

Melson slowly started to gain a rhythm by the end of the second round. He waved his right jab in order to distract Ruiz and land the left hand. The plan worked well in the third round as well. Ruiz was more active in the third, but his punches were clumsy.

Ruiz's best punch was his left hook and he landed a few stunning ones in the fourth round. After four, The Jewish Boxing Blog had the fight even. Melson slowly found his timing by the fifth round. In the sixth, a left uppercut put Ruiz down. It was a flash knockdown, but even for a 10-8 round. It also changed the momentum of the fight.

Melson dominated the seventh round. He landed crunching straight lefts. After the fight, Melson claimed that he had hurt his left hand in the second round. Melson also added the right hook. When he uses the right hook, Melson becomes a dangerous fighter. The layoff seemed to limit that punch's effectiveness against Ruiz, but it did land in the seventh.

Melson had never gone past eight rounds in his career and it showed. He moved more in the last three rounds of the fight. His defense was tad sloppier. Ruiz seemed to take two of the final three rounds.

The fight was also defined by headbutts, which often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter. After one nasty collision in the third, Melson asked Ruiz, "You ok?" with genuine concern. He also complimented Ruiz after a particularly stiff jab in the seventh round.

Melson won the fight was scores of 100-89, 99-90, 98-91. Ruiz grimaced in disbelief when he heard the scores. Even Melson was surprised at the 100-89 score. "I felt it was a lot closer," Boyd told boxing announcer Steve Farhood after the fight. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the fight 96-93 for Melson.

Melson improved his record to 15-1-1 with 4 KOs. Ruiz fell to 17-9 with 9 KOs.

Some side notes:
Prior to referee Pete Santiago's pre-fight instructions, ring announcer David Diamonte accidentally put the microphone under a bewildered Mike Ruiz's armpit. Santiago laughed as he called Diamonte over.

Melson weighed in at the lightest he's been in four years. He dropped over 15 pounds in a week before the bout.

Ruiz wore socks to promote autism awareness.

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