• May 13 down the years

Hatton storms America

Ricky Hatton moved up a division and became a two-weight world champion with a bruising points win over Luis Collazo © Getty Images

Ricky Hatton had been moving up in the world. After various defences of the cardboard WBU light-welterweight title, he took the IBF belt from an ageing Kostya Tszyu on June 4, 2005, added a thing called the WBA super world light-welterweight title, and today won the more recognisable WBA welterweight title from Luis Collazo. He did it in style, too. Fighting an American in America, he knocked Collazo down in the first round on the way to a unanimous decision.

Silverstone had the honour of staging the opening race in motor racing's first World Championship year. There had been a European Championship before the War, but this was the first global competition. The whole season was dominated by Alfa Romeo's supercharged 158, a pre-War model which won all six European races, starting today with the British Grand Prix, where they occupied the first three places. Italians Nino Farina and Luigi Fagioli started on the front row of the grid and finished in that order, Farina a few seconds ahead of Fagioli. They made a tasty pair. Farina is the Italian for 'flour', Fagioli for 'beans'. But the main story was the oil pipe which forced Juan Manuel Fangio out with nine laps to go. Farina got the jump on him by eight points, which proved crucial in the final standings: he became the first world champion by finishing just three ahead of Fangio, with Fagioli third.

On the same day in 2007, Lewis Hamilton became the youngest driver ever to lead the Championship. Felipe Massa dominated the Spanish Grand Prix, winning the race after starting on pole and setting the fastest lap. But Hamilton finished second at the age of 22 years 126 days, undercutting Bruce McLaren, founder of the car Hamilton was driving. McLaren was 35 days older when he won the Argentinian Grand Prix in 1960.

David Coulthard won the Austrian Grand Prix in 2001. Michael Schumacher started on pole, but Coulthard set the fastest lap and finished ahead of both Ferraris, with Rubens Barrichello obeying orders to let Schumacher through into second place. People muttered into their beer, but team orders have been around since they invented the wheel, and Schumacher was always going to retain the world title that year.

Back in 1956, Stirling Moss won the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time. He overtook Juan Manuel Fangio, who started on pole but finished second and fourth in the same race! Races were longer and harder in those days, and drivers often shared drives. Fangio finished just three points clear of Moss in the Championship that year.

Joseph Barrow was born in Alabama and changed his name to one of the biggest in boxing: Joe Louis. On June 22, 1937, he became the first black boxer allowed to fight for the world heavyweight title since the great Jack Johnson offended sensitive souls in White America. With that out of the way, Louis proceeded to rack up the longest line of successful world title defences in history. Of course, you can't win 26 fights in a row without meeting the odd stiff - and Louis fought a lot of stiffs. Bum of the Month, they called it, which was about right. Scattered among the bums was the occasional nugget, like Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938, Billy Conn on June 18, 1941, and Jersey Joe Walcott on December 5, 1947. But the rest were mainly crash test dummies. No wonder Louis won a record five world title fights inside the first round. He came after you like a monster in an old film: slow but relentless. You can run, he said, but you can't hide. And when you stopped running, he hit you very hard. But his defence was always suspect and his balance was famously poor. So he was knocked down a lot himself: by Schmeling in their first fight, by big Buddy Baer, Jersey Joe, even tubby Tony Galento on June 28, 1939. Still, he deserved to be treated better after he retired. He'd donated some of his Bum cheques to the War effort - only to find that the kindly IRS were now demanding tax on them. In a financial hole, Louis was forced into a comeback. He lost an attempt at the world title against Ezzard Charles, then retired for good after a bad beating from Rocky Marciano when he was a 37-year-old shell. Even then the money troubles didn't dry up, and he resorted to being a meeter and greeter at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Dementia and drug addiction added to the grim mix, but those 11 years as world champion are still a record - and he opened the door for the black heavyweight champions who followed.

Jeremy Guscott enjoyed a fine England career and helped them win back-to-back grand slams © Getty Images

Jeremy Guscott scored three tries on his England debut. In only a few years, Romania had gone backwards in rugby, no longer the country that could beat France, Wales, and Scotland. Even at home, they were no match for a supercharged England back line, in which winger Chris Oti scored four tries. Simon Hodgkinson's 19 points included eight conversions.

The fastest try in any rugby league Challenge Cup final. St Helens prop Graham Rees charged down a Leeds clearance kick after only 35 seconds, almost the fastest score of any kind in a final. Kel Coslett kicked five goals in Saints' 16-13 win. Terry Clawson kicked five for Leeds, but the last two were too late to matter.

Dennis Connor will always be The Man Who Lost The America's Cup (September 26, 1983). He won it back four years later, but who remembers that? Or when he won the event in 1974, 1980, and 1988? Or - luckily for him - when he lost it 5-0? Let's remind everyone. Today in San Diego, his boat Young America lost the fifth race to Peter Blake's Black Magic, skippered by Russell Coutts. New Zealand won the Cup at the fourth attempt, and Blake's 'lucky' red socks sold 100,000 pairs back home.

Kenyan superstar Henry Rono set his second world record of his greatest year. A tremendous front runner who was kept out of two Olympics by his country's boycotts, he was unstoppable in 1978. He won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games as well as setting world records in the 3,000 metres, 5,000, 10,000, and the 3,000 metres steeplechase today. Despite windy conditions in Seattle, despite his ragged technique, he ran 2.6 seconds faster than the time set during the Olympic thriller on July 28, 1976. Rono broke his own 5,000 metre world record in 1981.

Muriel Robb was born in Newcastle. Not one of the better known Wimbledon champions, she was nevertheless a worthy winner. At the prestigious German Championships in 1900, she showed fight and endurance in taking Blanche Bingley Hillyard to three hard sets in the final. In the Wimbledon semi-finals two years later, she beat Dolly Douglass, later the formidable Dorothea Chambers who went on to win the singles title seven times. This was Douglass's first Wimbledon, but she was already a powerful groundstroker, with the same jutting jaw as Robb, so our Muriel did well to win 9-7 in the third. She won the All-Comers' Final against the unexceptional Agatha Morton, then showed more stamina and determination in the Challenge Round, when she lost the first set to defending champion Charlotte Sterry but won the second 13-11 before the match was abandoned in bad weather. It was replayed in its entirety the following day, when Robb won another long set, which seemed to sap the holder's confidence: the second set was an easy 6-1. Robb was only 28 when she died in 1907.

Romanian hammer thrower Mihaela Melinte set two world records on the same day. The first, which broke the record she set the previous year, was the first 75-metre throw by a woman. Later that summer, she again set two world records in a day.