HomeBoxingCanadian Ring Legend Eddie Melo Fondly Remembered — Boxing News
Canadian Ring Legend Eddie Melo Fondly Remembered — Boxing News
April 16, 2021
“He was arguably probably the most thrilling boxer I ever noticed” – Ray Rutter
“Eddie Melo crammed the Montreal Discussion board at 18 years previous. His explosive energy punching model made him on one in every of Canada’s most enjoyable fighters of our time”: boxing icon Spider Jones.
Eduardo Manuel de Melo grew up within the Little Portugal neighbourhood of West Toronto and turned professional in Montreal at age 17 years previous after producing a formidable file as an beginner with 93 wins and 4 losses. He was Canadian middleweight champion in 1979 and shortly turned a favorite of Montreal boxing followers.
The youthful Melo was usually matched towards a lot older and extra skilled opponents, as is usually the case, dangerous administration was on the root of the issue.
Even so, he busted strongly out of the gate in 1978 and 1979 with twelve consecutive wins in a row, most by way of the knockout route.
Melo is finest remembered for his trilogy of fights with Quebec boxing legend Fernand Marcotte (51-14-4 with 34 knockouts). The Quebec Metropolis native tuned professional in 1970 and had a just about spotless file till he misplaced by way of ninth spherical TKO to Clyde Grey in 1973 for the Canadian welterweight title. Grey would later struggle and lose to Jose Napoles for the phrase welterweight title. In 1978, Marcotte received the Canadian middleweight championship after dethroning Gerald Boucher.
The primary of the Melo/Marcotte tussles occurred October 31, 1978 when Marcotte dropped a 10-round cut up choice to Melo on the Verdun auditorium in Montreal. Melo was solely eighteen years previous on the time. That led to a shot on the title earlier than a capability viewers of 15,000 rabid followers on the Montreal Discussion board. Melo misplaced by majority choice, with the scorecards as shut because it will get. And the ultimate bout was even tighter with a draw, that noticed a grand whole of precisely one spherical because the figuring out issue within the choice. It occurred on the cavernous Olympic Stadium as a part of the undercard for the historic Sugar Ray Leonard/Roberto Duran match.
One yr or so later, the 21 year-old Melo was lastly eligible to compete in Ontario.
On reflection, 1980 and 1981 ought to have been banner years when Melo firmly established himself as a fighter with limitless potential. Sadly, he was by no means in a position to put collectively a profitable streak towards high quality opponents, along with his worst displaying being a fifth spherical TKO January 1981 in a title struggle towards the Middleweight champ Ralph Hollett (19-10-1).
Then, George Chuvalo entered the image to advertise the eagerly anticipated struggle at CNE Coliseum on Could 4, 1982 which might seize the rapt consideration of each Toronto boxing fan. It pitted one other hard-hitting homeboy Jimmie Gradson towards Melo. For 5 years, each had been high attracts on the Montreal boxing scene however their paths had by no means met.
Each warriors had a typical opponent in Gerald Bouchard with each notching choice wins. Each additionally went the space towards Gary Broughton. Nonetheless, a better examination of their data signifies that Gradson had a really distinct benefit. Gradson had overwhelmed future Canadian middleweight champ Ralph Hollett (19-10-3) by way of choice proper in Hollett’s residence turf of Halifax, whereas Melo had misplaced twice to the Halifax native. Extra impressively, Gradson was coming off a win over tough-as-nails veteran Donato Paduano (43-10-2) who had as soon as bested the legendary Luis Rodrigues (107-13-0), anyone who had given all-time nice Emile Griffith all he may he may deal with in three extraordinarily shut matches for the world welterweight title.
It was a battle of hate as every always bad-mouthed one another inside in addition to outdoors the ring. The tempo was unimaginable within the first three rounds and the three,000 followers packing CNE Coliseum questioned how lengthy both pugilist may final. Nonetheless, each gladiators had been in a position to faucet into hidden reservoirs of vitality. The din was so deafening that it drowned out many of the venom coming from the rabid followers: cut up 50/50 between the house towners. By the eighth spherical, it wasn’t simple to inform who was shedding with each males lined in sweat and fatigue, however nonetheless swinging away.
Early within the tenth spherical, Gradson 22, unleashed a sweeping left hook to Melo’s head that despatched him crashing between the ring ropes, however as he struggled to stand up he didn’t have time to regain his composure. A left and one other proper despatched Melo as soon as once more crashing to the ring apron behind the ropes. He bought up once more, however the subsequent flurry despatched him crashing onto the laps of ringsides whereupon referee Harry Davis counted him out. “I’ve seen numerous fights however by no means a battle like this” stated ringside Decide Jackie Silver, 74.
The one different noteworthy struggle Melo would ever file had him besting a former Canadian mild heavyweight champ by way of TKO in June 1983. Melo wished to redeem himself after shedding to Gary Summerhayes three years earlier. GS held his personal within the ring within the first two rounds till Melo unloaded time and again within the seventh spherical when referee Ed Gaudet stopped the carnage. The struggle would mark the swan tune for Summerhayes (39-7-3), and two years later Melo additionally retired. He was solely 25 years-old.
Melo’s ultimate chapter was written in 2001, when at 40 years of age, he was murdered together with pal Johnny Pavao. They had been the dual victims of a employed hitman.
On August 12, 2017 aboard the Empress cruise boat 400 individuals gathered on a $75 ticket, in assist of the Eddie Melo Legacy Group: devoted to serving to younger beginner boxers and murder victims’ households to recollect the sophisticated, however a lot beloved and revered Eddie Melo.
Nicknamed “Hurricane” for his continuous aggressiveness, Eddie Melo is a real legend in Canadian boxing who notched up a really spectacular file of 32-9-2 with 27 knockout victories. His reminiscence is assured to dwell on.