- November 8 down the years
Calzaghe bows out on a high
Joe Calzaghe's last fight. It was his 46th as a professional, and he won them all. He had climbed off the canvas to beat Bernard Hopkins in his previous fight ( April 19) and he did so again against Roy Jones jnr. The American was 39 and past his best, but still carried a considerable threat. Calzaghe was knocked down in the first round but he showed his class and durability by picking himself up and controlling the fight for an overwhelming points success.
Over in Newcastle, New South Wales, Manu Vatuvei equalled the record number of tries in a rugby league World Cup match. Rob Burrow scored two tries and kicked four goals out of four for England, but they lost 32-22. New Zealand beat them again in the semi-final on their way to winning the Cup for the first time (22 November).
The first snooker player to make five centuries in a best-of-nine match at a ranking tournament. It had to be Ronnie O'Sullivan, who took a 3-1 lead over Ali Carter with breaks of 108, 122, and 107 before making a 147 maximum. Carter pulled a frame back, but O'Sullivan won this third-round match 5-2 with a 129 clearance.
Italy's women, a growing force in tennis, won the Fed Cup for the first time in 2006 and were hot favourites to regain it today: the final was at home in Reggio Calabria, and their opponents were the weakest American team of all time. In the usual absence of the Williams sisters, they fielded the tall 20-year-old Alexa Glatch, who'd never gone past the second round in any grand slam singles tournament. She lost the opening singles 6-3 6-1 to Flavia Pennetta. Melanie Oudin had reached the quarter finals at that year's US Open, but she was only 18 and hadn't played at the French Open. So she was inexperienced on clay, whereas Francesca Schiavone won the French the following year. Oudin took the first set to a tiebreak, but she lost it 7-2 and the second set 6-2. Then she followed another tight set against Pennetta by losing the second 6-2 again. That gave Italy the Cup, and they beat Liezel Huber and Vania King in the doubles for a 4-0 win.
In the rugby union World Cup, a 51-9 thrashing by France sent Scotland into a tougher quarter-final. While France were playing Ireland in Melbourne, Scotland were landed with reigning champions Australia in Brisbane. They battled hard throughout and were level at half-time, but Australia scored a try five minutes into the second half and pulled away to lead 33-9. Scotland's late consolation try was scored by replacement hooker Robbie Russell - in the town where he was born! While Australia went all the way to a famous final against England ( November 22 ), six of the Scotland players weren't capped again, including full-back Glenn Metcalfe, who was born in New Zealand; scrum-half and captain Bryan Redpath after 60 caps; goalkicking winger Kenny Logan after 70; and mercurial centre Gregor Townsend after 84, including two for the Lions.
On the same day in the other rugby code, Adrian Morley was sent off after only 12 seconds against Australia. His high tackle on Robbie Kearns in Wigan was the first piece of action in the Test series. Great Britain's remaining 14 men stepped up superbly. Only 8-4 down at half-time, they actually led 18-14 with less than ten minutes left thanks to Brian Carney's second try. But the great Darren Lockyer put Australia back in front within a minute, and their 22-18 win set them on the way to a 3-0 whitewash. It was the last Ashes series ever staged in Britain.
In his first fight since losing part of his ears to Mike Tyson ( June 28 ), 35-year-old Evander Holyfield unified a couple of world heavyweight titles. Despite a cut eye in the third round, he kept his WBA title and took the IBF belt from Michael Moorer. Three years earlier, Moorer had taken both titles from Holyfield, and he cut his eye tonight. But Holyfield knocked Moorer down five times and stopped him after eight rounds. It was Moorer's first defeat since his historic fight with George Foreman ( November 5, 1994).
An NFL record that stood for 43 years, and achieved by a man with only half a foot. Kicker Tom Dempsey wore a special shoe because he was born with only half a right foot. On the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions, he scored from 63 yards to give the New Orleans Saints a 19-17 win. His record kick was matched by the Denver Broncos' Jason Elam in 1998, then overtaken on December 8, 2013 by Matt Prater, also a Bronco, and also achieved like Elam's in the rarefied air of Denver's Mile High Stadium.
East German master backstroker Roland Matthes set his first world record. Just before his 17th birthday, he swam the 200 metres in 2 minutes 7.9 seconds. His 9th and last world record in the event was six seconds faster, and he set another nine at the 100. He won Olympic gold at both distances in 1968 and 1972 ( September 2).
Former Yugoslavian gymnast Leon Štukelj died aged 100. The all-round Olympic champion in 1924, he also won gold on the high bar at those Games and on the rings four years later. He won six Olympic medals in all, including two in 1936 when he was 37. He was world champion on the high bar and rings in 1926 and shared three other world titles in 1922.