6' 2" 217 pound Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton is one of the best fighters in the NHL. And then he started supplementing his 15 plus years of boxing by learning Jiu-Jitsu at Kenny Florian's gym.
"Maybe the average fan doesn't think we do, but yeah, you've got to actually learn how to throw a punch if you're going to scrap in the NHL," said Thornton.
Naturally enough, Thornton is a mixed martial arts fan.
"UFC's kind of our get together night," Thornton said. "After the Stanley Cup we wanted to get the guys together in private and just hang out, so everyone came over to my place to watch the fights and have a few beers. Even the guys who aren't big fans were still glued to the fights."
While Thorton is a ferocious competitor, in his spare time he directs the Shawn Thornton Foundation, which raises awareness, funds innovative research, and helps to relieve the burden and improve the quality of life for patients striken with Parkinsons and cancer.
Wednesday night in Boston, Thornton, UFC president Dana White, and UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin will host a "UFC Homecoming fundraiser for the charity at Barrio Cantina in Boston from 6-10 pm.
"It's such a terrible, terrible disease," said Thornton of Parkinsons. "My grandmother fought it as well as she could, but it was just so bad watching what she went through. I had to do something about it. These guys from the UFC, they don't really get enough credit for how much charitable work they do. They've got a busy week and they're making the time to come out and do it. It's going to be a fun night."
For more information, please check out ufchomecoming.eventbrite.com.
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