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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Boyd Melson to Fight Troy Lowry

Junior middleweight Boyd Melson faces journeyman Troy Lowry on April 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This bout will be on the undercard of a Showtime televised event. It features a  contest of competing narratives for both men.

Melson (10-1-1, 4 KOs) had his roughest year in the ring in 2012. Last year saw Melson post the two numbers that sit beside his double digit wins. He lost to Delen Parsley in March and drew with Jason Thompson, a fighter with a losing record, in October. He's currently experiencing his longest layoff as a professional, six months, which is longer than the amount of time he sat out with an injury last summer. This layoff is due to the Danny Garcia-Zab Judah main event, originally scheduled for February 9, being postponed due to a Garcia injury.

Yet, all is not as bad as it seems. The fight with Parsley was a war that increased the stock of both men. It  was a close fight that could have gone either way. And Parsley remains undefeated. The draw against Thompson was, frankly, a bad decision. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 58-54 for Melson and there really just isn't a case to be made for a draw. In both bouts, Melson put his man down on the canvas.

As was the case with his 2012, Melson's strengths and weaknesses in the ring are all about how you look at them. Boyd hasn't shown good finishing power. He has four knockouts in twelve fights. His last KO came five fights ago. Those four KOs came against a blown up lightweight who went down on the fist punch that landed, a winless fighter who wasn't interested in punching, an MMA fighter trying his luck in boxing, and a man who turned pro at age 33.

But Boyd has power. In his loss and in his draw, Melson scored knockdowns. In fact, he knocked the undefeated Parsley down twice. He is also incredibly strong for his weight and can push an opponent around when he's in the mood.

Melson also has the propensity to get knocked down. It isn't that he has a weak chin per se, it's more that he becomes too square when he rushes in. In the first minute of his pro debut, in the loss to Parlsey, and in the draw with Thompson, Boyd found his bottom on the floor. Each time, he showed the same resiliency in the ring that has driven him to travel the world trying to find a cure for spinal cord injuries (find out more at TeamFightToWalk.com).

The career of Troy Lowry (28-12, 17 KOs) can likewise be viewed from two different vantage points. He's from Minnesota; the Twin Cities have been up and coming in the world of boxing, but have not produced an elite fighter recently. On the positive side, Lowry began his career winning 24 of his first 25 fights until he was decisioned by the late Hector Camacho in 2001. He has fought other world class opponents, as well.

But Lowry simply has not been competitive against them. Yuri Foreman outboxed him on route to a shutout decision in 2005. Peter Quillin and Andy Lee both blasted him out of the ring. Lowry, who is now 42-years old, has lost seven of his previous eight bouts dating back to that Foreman fight.

The good news for Lowry is that the lone win came against an undefeated super middleweight with an overhand right that knocked him out cold in the fifth round. The less good news for Lowry is that the undefeated fighter was Travis Loveless, who donned a built-up record, and neither man had shown much skill up until that point.

In his last fight, a February 2012 debacle against Vanes Martirosyan, Lowry was beat around the ring from the opening bell until the fight was finally stopped in the third round. Lowry couldn't mount anything resembling an offensive attack and had no way of stopping his much younger, much better opponent's punches. At one point in the first, Lowry literally turned and ran away from the onslaught. No word on why referee Laurence Cole or Lowry's corner decided not to stop the fight right then.

Melson must be considered a heavy favorite because he has the skill, strength, and stamina advantage. This fight between Melson and Lowry is scheduled for six rounds.

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