PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                             September 13, 2009 - News & Notes


Home Boxers Fights Arenas Non-Boxers Gyms Relics More About Contact




By Bob Shryock - Gloucester County Times

(This article was originally published in the Gloucester County Times on 9/12/09)

Tony "The Punching Postman" Thornton, a life-long Glassboro resident who was on the brink of professional boxing greatness, died Thursday at Cooper University Hospital of complications from an Aug. 30 motorcycle accident in Camden.

Thornton, 49, posted a 37-7-1 record as a middleweight fighter with 26 knockouts in a career that started in 1983 with a first-round knockout of Steve Waters and ended in 1995 with a third-round TKO loss to Roy Jones Jr. in a United States Boxing Association (USBA) title fight in Pensacola, Fla.

He was 17-0-1 before suffering his first setback to Doug DeWitt in a historic USBA championship fight in Atlantic City that went 13 rounds.

Thornton rebounded with four wins in a row and beat Mike Tinley in 1989 to capture the USBA middleweight crown. He also was USBA super middleweight titleholder in 1995.

"He was pretty happy with what he accomplished with his boxing career, but decided to retire after the Jones fight because of injuries and his full-time job and family," says Carol Thornton, his ex-wife. "Tony wore many hats."

Thornton got his boxing nickname from his job at Bellmawr Post Office. He worked there 25 years and was a supervisor at the time of his death.

Thornton played football and ran track at Glassboro High School. He decided to enter the professional boxing arena after winning a collegiate title at West Chester State College.

Carol Thornton said Tony appreciated the support he received from hometown fans. When he fought Chris Eubank for the super middleweight title in Glasgow, Scotland in 1992, a contingent from Glassboro made the journey. Thornton lost the fight in a highly controversial split decision.

Services for Thornton will be Sept. 17 at Healing Wings Church in Glassboro. Viewing 9 to 11 a.m., service at 11.

His survivors include daughter Ashley, 22, and son Tony Jr., 20.





Bob Shryock - Gloucester County Times - September 12, 2009