• January 14 down the years

Ruby Robert leaves mark on champion

The sporting events of January 14 down the years
Bob Fitzsimmons has his pulse rate measured © Getty Images

British-born Bob Fitzsimmons won his first world title. The original Jack Dempsey was considered so good he was known as the Nonpareil. But Ruby Robert was more than equal to the task. In New Orleans, his famous punching power left its marks all over the champion. 'His nose was broken, the upper part of the body was one mass of bruises...it seemed doubtful whether the man would live.' His corner let him take 13 rounds of this before throwing in the sponge. Even heavyweights avoided Fitzsimmons after that. He didn't get to fight for the big prize until March 17, 1897.

Martin Adams won the world darts title at last. Well, the softer version of it. When Ray van Barneveld thumped him in the final two years earlier, that seemed to be his last chance. But he squeezed home 7-6 against Phil Nixon. At 50 years old, Adams was the oldest world champion ever. Or a soft version of one.

19-year-old Ding Junhui became the youngest snooker player to score 147 on live TV. During a 6-3 win over Anthony Hamilton in the Masters at Wembley Arena, he also became the first Chinese player to make a maximum. Ding went all the way to the final on January 21, where things suddenly got a whole lot tougher.

Gutsy British middleweight Terry Downes made his first attempt on Paul Pender's world title, losing in seven rounds. He needed 12 stitches in a cut on his nose and another three above his left eye. No wonder he called his autobiography My Bleeding Business. He got another shot at Pender on July 11.

The Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl for the first time by beating the Washington Redskins 14-7. Their famous 'No-Name' defence kept the Redskins scoreless until the last three minutes, and it was no surprise that their safety Jake Scott was voted MVP. Miami won every game that season and retained the Super Bowl on January 13, 1974.

Erland Kops was born in Denmark, home of top badminton players. In the days when winning the All-England title made you world champion in everything but name, Kops did it seven times, a record among the men before the arrival of Rudi Hartono (born August 18, 1949). Kops won his first title in 1958 after losing in the final the year before, then four in a row, and his last in 1967.

The Jo Maso who is most recently remembered sitting in the directors' box as the manager of the French national rugby team used to be a brilliant player. Great hands, flair, curly hair that looked better on him then. But today wasn't one of his favourite memories. Making his Five Nations debut, he injured a leg just before half-time, and although France scored two tries to nil, they lost 9-8 at home to Scotland. Bad news for their captain Christian Darrouy, who had the champagne on ice from his 30th birthday the day before.

Rubén Olivares was born in Mexico City. A magnificent little fighter with firework fists, he was too much for Britain's Alan Rudkin on December 12, 1969 and won world titles at bantamweight and featherweight twice each.

Charles Reid was born. He and Ninian Finlay (born January 31, 1858) were the youngest ever to play rugby for Scotland: 17 years 36 days. Reid played in 21 internationals from 1881 to 1888, finishing on the losing side only four times and scoring four tries, including two in consecutive games in 1883. The second couldn't prevent a narrow home defeat by England, but as so often he was the best forward on the pitch.