Many athletes dabble in the sweet science during their offseasons to stay in shape. Chad Ochocinco, Shawn Merriman and Tom Zbikowski are just a few (Zbikowski actually had one pro fight). Even NBA star Shaquille O'Neal got into the act, taking on Oscar De La Hoya in an exhibition for his show, Shaq Vs., on ABC.
Now you can add Bruins forward Shawn Thornton to the list.
Thornton spent all summer working out at The Ring Boxing Club in Boston, and I recently caught up with him. Seeing how I write about boxing and he's a hockey player, I kept it short and sweet ? science.
Bryan Brennan: Shawn, you have been spotted training at the Ring in Allston over the summer. Why did you decide to pick up boxing this offseason, and how has
it been going?
Thornton: Well, it?s done now. It was fun, a good summer. My trainer, Tommy, is a great guy and went out of his way to help me out. It was a great experience. For conditioning, it is more fun to go in and do that than to just go for a run in the afternoon or ride the bike. It?s better to train with someone.
Brennan: How do you think boxing will help you when you hit the ice?
Thornton: Conditioning-wise, it should help me, and it helped me lose a few pounds.
It might help with my balance, too. I didn?t do it to become a better hockey player. I don?t really like talking about fighting really to tell you the truth. I?m sure it won?t hurt me, but it wasn?t my mindset to become a better fighter.
Brennan: You told me at a recent event you went to the Kelly Pavlik vs. Jose
Luis Zertuche fight. (Pavlick knocked out Zertuche in the eighth round.) What were your impressions of that event?
Thornton: It was awesome. We were sitting pretty much ringside, and Pavlik was
actually staying in my hotel. I got to go have breakfast with him the next day. He?s a big hockey fan, a big guy. I hadn?t heard of him before then, but I have been trying to follow his career ever since. It was a pretty cool experience.
Brennan: Last but not least, every fighter has a carefully chosen ring entrance song and fighting nickname. Any ideas for yours?
Thornton: No, neither. I have not put any thought into that, but I am sure one of my hockey nicknames would carry over. But for a fight song, I would have to put a little more thought into that and get back to you.
Brennan: Thank you, Shawn, for all your time. We'll see you on the ice.
As an afterthought, I'm not sure about a nickname, but to keep with the Bruins? theme, I think his entry music should be AC/DC?s ?Back in Black.?
For more information on The Ring, visit its Web site, and for more on Shawn's hockey career, check out the Bruins? site.