Good evening. Thank you all so much for being here tonight and supporting these talented and fierce inductees. It’s an honour to stand up here in front of you and accept this award on behalf of my father, Eddie “The Hurricane” Melo.
This deep honour is a testament to his blood, sweat, tears, and triumphs. He was a force to be reckoned with in the ring with his lightning-fast hands and his ability to put his opponents to the canvas quickly. His handsome, movie star looks, charismatic personality and fighting style made him one of the biggest names in boxing.
Boxing gave my father a place to evolve and flourish from a young boy to a teen and essentially shape him into the man he was in and out of the ring. Living in Toronto’s Little Portugal, he got involved in boxing from the age of nine and turned pro at 17 — which by the way was not even legal! At this young age, he fought Fernand Marcotte, who was the middleweight champion and was 10 years his senior, and beat him. This led to the first rematch seen by 20,000 people at the Montreal Forum, and then the third fight, a draw, on June 20, 1980 at Olympic Stadium in front of 49,000 people on the Roberto Duran–Sugar Ray Leonard undercard.
Eddie Melo achieved so much in his boxing career. Russ Anber, one of Canada’s most respected cornermen, listed the first 2 Marcotte-Melo fights as a tie for second out of the 10 most exciting fights ever in Quebec. This recognition by the Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame is a huge achievement and compliment to my father’s reputation and career. If my dad were here today, he would be greatly humbled and appreciative to be receiving this award tonight.
In his honour we launched “the Eddie Melo Legacy Organization” to help young, at-risk amateur boxers as well as children who have been affected by a homicide. We will be holding our second annual Eddie Melo Legacy Organization boat cruise under the stars this August 11, so if you haven’t already gotten your tickets or Eddie Melo Legacy Organization swag, please do so and help support this incredible non-profit organization in giving back to these kids the way Eddie would be if he were here today.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for this award, and thank you for-the continued love and support you have shown Eddie during his career, and that you continue to show today. I know he’s with us — and is proud of the lives we are helping to shape and change in his name. Cheers!
Jessica Melo’s Acceptance Speech