Bruins’ Thornton packs mean punch, but knows he’s no Micky Ward

Ward

BOSTON — It’s only a coincidence that two nights after the Bruins racked up 92 penalty minutes and six fighting majors in their win over Montreal that former boxing champions Micky Ward will drop the ceremonial first puck for Boston’s TD Garden date tonight with Detroit.

Ward will be on hand to promote the release of Mark Wahlberg’s Ward-based movie “The Fighter.”

For those that hear about the Lowell, Mass., native and begin to imagine what would happen if he and the Bruins’ prized pugilist Shawn Thornton got into a ring, Thornton has the answer.

“He would absolutely [bleeping] destroy me,” said Thornton after the Bruins’ morning skate.

“Everyone thinks because they’re small … those guys, they know how to throw a punch,” he continued. “They’ve trained their whole lives. If I get him on skates, that might be another story.”

Thornton trains in the offseason at The Ring in Allston. At the peak of his training, he’ll spar three-minute rounds with one minute off.

“I always thought I could stand in there. But then I train with them, and they’re at another level. It’s really impressive; it really is,” said Thornton, who added he has trained with UFC fighter Kenny Florian.

“By the eighth round, I can’t keep my hands up. My trainer keeps going because he knows he’ll be able to tag me with one. It’s exhausting, it really is.”

Luckily for Thornton, hockey fights rarely last more than a minute. And he can expect an easy night tonight and Sunday against a Detroit team that has picked up just eight fighting majors all season.

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