Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight


Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight

WILMINGTON, Mass. Shawn Thornton was named after the John Wayne character that bare-knuckle boxes in The Quiet Man and makes no bones about his love for the sport of boxing. He did everything he could to help support local boy Danny Bhoy OConnor during his big fight against New England title holder Derek Silveira at TD Garden last night, and that included agreeing to be the spit bucket guy in his corner during the fight.

Thornton engages in boxing and jujitsu training during the summer and offseason to train for his role as an NHL enforcer, so he was excited to get an up-close-and-personal look at a big-time boxing match.

O'Connor, a IBF and WBC-ranked welterweight, scored the 10-round decision over Silveira. He was awarded scores of 100-89 and 97-93 while the third judge scored the bout a draw at 95-95. O'Connor improved his record to 20-1 with seven KOs after Saturday nights victory.

So the good guy ended up winning the fight, but unfortunately Thornton had to watch from a ringside seat after the second round. OConnors camp was told by the refs that they had one too many people in his corner, and the Bruins fourth liner was the guy told to vamoose.

I paid my 50 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and I got permission from the commission along with the wrist band that I needed, said Thornton. But the officials came over to our corner in the second round and told us we had too many corner people there.

So I was the one to go, but they still took my 50. Im expletive rattled. Maybe I can get a refund from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick?

Thornton said the Fight Night at the Garden was a huge success with close to 5,000 people attending in the lower bowl as they set tables up around the ring while utilizing half of the hockey rink.

It was pretty loud, said Thornton. There were a lot of people there. The walking out with the OConnor entourage and hanging out with him while he got ready for the fight, Ive done all of that a few times before. But its still a really cool experience.

Its amazing how relaxed, but focused he is before a fight. Hes just watching all of the fights and really chilling out. I was probably more nervous than he was. I wish I could have gone the whole 10 rounds, but they took my money and ran.

The good thing: Theres always next time when Thornton can perform the role as spit bucket guy for OConnor.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.