• November 16 down the years

A British boxing great is born

The sporting events of November 16 down the years
Frank Bruno: Took on Mike Tyson for the world title © Getty Images

Frank Bruno was born. Big punch, big laugh, iffy defence. When he won the world heavyweight title at last, on September 2, 1995, he was lucky to be facing a stressed-out Oliver McCall who shocked Lennox Lewis, who beat Frank easily. Bruno's best moment probably came in his first fight with Mike Tyson, when he caught the champ with a good punch. In 2003 he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, suffering from depression. The Sun's typical headline 'Bonkers Bruno Locked Up' was out of kilter with anyone with a shred of compassion.

In the World Cup semi-final, England's rugby union boys recovered from conceding an early try to beat France 24-7. Jonny Wilkinson kicked all the points, including an England record three drop goals. To rub salty into the wounds, Jason Leonard's 112th cap broke the world record he shared with French centre Philippe Sella.

Aleksandr Popov was born in the Soviet Union. A hugely successful sprint freestyle swimmer, he won the 50 and 100 metres freestyle double at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, plus six world titles, including three in the 100 metres, and a whopping 21 golds at the European Championships. His world records lasted an age by swimming standards: six years for the 100 free, nearly eight for the 50 free, which was broken by someone wearing a controversial swim-faster suit.

Tazio Nuvolari was born. The top motor racing driver before the start of the World Championship in 1950, and one of the greatest of all time. Among other things, he's the oldest to win a Formula One Grand Prix, at the age of 53 on July 14, 1946, 22 years after his first major race victory. European (effectively world) champion in 1932, he won the French Grand Prix, the Italian three times, and the German in 1935 when he drove his greatest race, nursing his outdated Alfa Romeo round ahead of the mighty Mercedes. It's said that the authorities couldn't play the Italian national anthem because they thought only the German version would be necessary. "It's OK," said Nuvolari, "I always bring my own."

Future world heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko made his pro debut, stopping American Tony Bradham in the second after knocking him down once in each round. Bradham had lost his previous three fights and fought just once more, a pro career of only 11 bouts.

One of the great unfulfilled talents was born. Competing for Britain, Marilyn Neufville won the 400 metres at the European Indoors in 1970. Later that year, running for her native Jamaica, she won the same event at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, setting a world record of 51.0 seconds when she was still only 17. Then injuries took over. She didn't run in the Olympics until 1976, when she had to drop out of her second-round heat.

Yet again Great Britain and Australia went into the third match of a rugby league series all square. Yet again the decider wasn't won by the Brits. They lost 37-20 this time, six tries to three. Wendell Sailor scored two tries, Britain's Jason Robinson one. In 2003 they opposed each other in the rugby union World Cup final.

The unwanted title of Best Never To Win A Major gets passed from golfer to golfer. Corey Pavin, who was born today, held it until he won the US Open in 1995.

Jonny Wilkinson kicked two conversions and six penalty goals as England beat Australia in a thriller at Twickenham, recovering from 31-19 down to win 32-31. Ben Cohen's second try near the end gave Wilkinson an easy winning conversion. Elton Flatley scored two tries for the Wallabies but although Matt Burke kicked 16 points he missed with a late 40-yard penalty that would have won the game.

Oksana Baiul was born in the Ukraine. While the world's attention centred on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, the 16-year-old Baiul won the ice skating gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. And it shouldn't have been quite the surprise it was: she was already world champion from the previous year.

Irish lightweight boxer Jack McAuliffe was one of the few world champions who never lost a professional fight. But he should have lost this one. Britain's Jem Carney was about to knock him out when some of the crowd broke into the ring and brought proceedings to an end. Alright, said the ref, let's call it a draw. McAuliffe was about to lose through exhaustion more than anything: the fight was stopped in the 74th round.

Zina Garrison was born. In 1990 she beat Steff Graf in the semi-final to become the first black woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to reach the Wimbledon singles final, where she lost in straight sets to Martina Navrátilová. She'd won the mixed title there in 1988, the same year she took gold in the doubles at the Olympic Games.

Waqar Younis was born. Master of the reverse-swinging yorker, he took 373 Test wickets for Pakistan from 1989 to 2002 and formed a lethal new-ball partnership with Wasim Akram. Waqar took seven wickets in a Test innings three times, as well as 416 in one-day internationals, including a career-best of 7-36 to beat England at Headingley in 2001.

Veteran batsman Arthur William Nourse finally scored his first Test century, 19 years after making his debut, a record wait in international cricket. His 111 against Australia helped South Africa draw the match after following on. 'Dave' Nourse had come close to that elusive hundred before the First World War, making unbeaten scores of 93 against England and 92 against Australia.