In boxing, Manny Pacquiao won a world title at a sixth different weight if you count the IBO light-welterweight belt he took from Ricky Hatton ( May 2, 2009), which would have been seven if he hadn't missed out bantamweight. Today Pacquiao ended the suspicion that he was a small man who could beat only washed-up bigger ones. Miguel Cotto was highly rated. After two years as WBO light-welter champion, he won the WBA and WBO welterweight belts. In his first fight after tonight, he took the WBA light-middleweight title. But he couldn't cope with Pacquiao's speed of punch. Cotto was down in the third and fourth rounds and stopped in the 12th and last. Pacquiao had now won world titles from flyweight to welter, an amazing and unique spread of two and a half stone.
Jonny Wilkinson set a world record. After today's match with Argentina at Twickenham, he'd scored 1,052 points for England, overtaking the total Neil Jenkins set for Wales ( November 1, 2002). In a really dismal performance, England were held 9-9 until nine minutes from time, when giant winger Matt Banahan scored a try. Including points for the Lions, Wilkinson had broken Jenkins's record in his comeback against Scotland the year before ( March 8).
Five years after a successful start to his career as England coach, Andy Robinson took charge of Scotland for the first time today. They won only 23-10 at Murrayfield against a Fijian team cobbled together at the last moment: nine new caps, including five in the starting line-up.
At the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, 81,000 turned up to watch Italy play...rugby. Perhaps inspired by such an unusually huge crowd, they lost only 20-6 to the All Blacks, who scored only one try.
At Elland Road in Leeds, Australia beat England 46-16 in the Final of rugby league's Four Nations tournament despite trailing 16-14 soon after half-time. Sam Burgess scored two of GB's three tries - but in the last 27 minutes, Australia scored six tries and 32 unanswered points. Impressive full-back Billy Slater scored three of their eight tries, the last with two minutes left, while Johnathan Thurston kicked seven goals.
The same day saw the youngest basketball player to score 50 points in an NBA game. Brandon Jennings was 20 years 52 days old when he made 55 for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Golden State Warriors - after failing to score in the first quarter! He scored 29 in the third. It was only his seventh game in the NBA, so he was the quickest as well as the youngest.
Having won a world title in the first round, Al Singer lost it in the first. In July he'd flattened Sammy Mandell in less than two minutes to become world lightweight champion. Today Singer defended the title against another Italian American but a much greater one - and lost faster than he won. Former world featherweight champion Tony Canzoneri had lost his last fight before this, on points to famous big puncher Billy Petrolle. But now his left hook almost knocked Singer out of the ring after only 66 seconds. It was Singer's last title fight, while Canzoneri went on to become champion at light-welterweight.
One of the iconic boxing photos - though Cleveland Williams probably didn't appreciate it. A big-punching heavyweight, he was 33 by then and past his best. Sonny Liston had knocked him out twice, and now Liston's successor did the same, and just as quickly. Williams lasted only a minute into the third round before Muhammad Ali knocked him down for the fourth time. A photo taken from above shows Ali arriving in the opposite corner with Williams impersonating a starfish in the other. In his next fight, Ali had a word with Ernie Terrell ( February 6).
The first time England scored 100 points in a rugby union match. Forced to qualify for the 1999 World Cup, they took part in a meaningless mismatch against Holland in Huddersfield. Paul Grayson converted 15 of their 16 tries in a 110-0 win which was England's record win until 2001 ( November 17). Jeremy Guscott scored four tries, and so did Neil Back, who equalled the world record for a forward first set by England's GW Burton in 1881 ( February 19) and matched by England's Nick Easter in 2007 ( August 4). Back's selflessness cost him the record outright. After scoring his four, he had the try line open in front of him when he passed for Dan Luger to score on his England debut. Scrum-half and captain Mats Marcker was one of four brothers capped by Holland.
In Dublin, Ireland also won an easy World Cup qualifier, beating Georgia 70-0. Girvan Dempsey scored two tries after coming on as a replacement, and Eric Elwood was on target with all ten conversion attempts.
Against infinitely stronger opposition, Wales held South Africa 14-14 at half-time. Playing at Wembley while waiting for the Millennium Stadium to be built in Cardiff, Gareth Thomas scored a try and Neil Jenkins kicked his usual quota of penalty goals. But the Springboks scored three tries and won 28-20.
A move which changed a rule in snooker. In a match against Tom Newman, Alec Brown found the white ball obstructed by a pack of reds. So he pulled out a cue no longer than a pen! The referee called a foul, citing the spirit of the game, and the governing body introduced a new rule limiting the minimum length of a cue to three feet.
The NFL record for most touchdowns scored from passes by a quarterback in a single game is seven, first achieved today by Chicago Bears icon Sid Luckman against the New York Giants, when he became the first to throw 400 yards in an NFL game. The Bears won 56-7 away from home.
American golfers Fred Couples and Davis Love retained the World Cup. They finished five shots clear of Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty and Nick Price, with Scotland third through Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance. The individual title went to Bernhard Langer, who shot under 69 for all four rounds. But Germany never had a chance of the team title: Langer's partner Sven Struver took 27 shots more. Couples and Love went on to win the Cup four years in a row ( November 12).
Twickenham was at the end of the international road for two of South Africa's top players. Kicking fly-half Naas Botha and dynamic centre Danie Gerber won their first caps in 1980, but South Africa's relative isolation during Apartheid limited them to less than 30 caps each. Gerber scored 19 tries, including three in a match against England ( June 8, 1984) and the last against France on this same tour ( October 24). Botha scored 312 points (worth 314 now). Both were national records at the time. Today Botha contributed a conversion, drop goal, and two penalties to give the Springboks a 16-11 lead at half-time. But they didn't score any points in the second half against a very strong England team who won 33-16. Jeremy Guscott and captain Will Carling were both superb in defence as well as scoring a try apiece. The Underwood brothers were in the same England team for the first time, and Tony scored one of the other two tries, while South Africa's came from flanker Tiaan Strauss, who later played for Australia.