ON THIS DAY — March 27
March 27, 1999
BOXING – Johnny Nelson beats Carl Thompson to win the WBO world cruiserweight championship in a fight that was controversially stopped by referee Paul Thomas.
Nelson, who retained the title a record 13 times in his career, had initially dropped Thompson in the fourth round before Thomas brought the fight to an end halfway through the fifth when he decided Thompson was unfit to continue.
The decision saw a stunned Thompson initially refuse to hand over the belt, with his trainer Billy Graham saying: “I’m not one for letting fights go on too long… But Carl was never hurt in there. His eyes were totally clear.”
March 27, 2000
GOLF – Tiger Woods celebrates an eagle on the 16th hole during the final round of the Players Championship, the richest event in golf at the time with $6 million in total prize money and $1.08 million awarded to the winner.
Woods had won 11 of his previous 15 events heading into the Players Championship but he was defeated by Hal Sutton, who won the tournament for the second time by a single stroke — 17 years after his first victory.
However, Woods recovered from his loss and went on to win the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship later that year before completing the ‘Tiger Slam’ by winning the 2001 Masters.
March 27, 2002
SOCCER – Zinedine Zidane celebrates with team mates Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira after scoring a goal in a friendly against Scotland where France won 5-0 at the Stade de France.
Zidane opened the scoring for the defending world champions after which a David Trezeguet brace and a goal apiece from Patrick Vieira and Steve Marlet sealed the win.
The game was part of France’s preparations for their World Cup title defense two months later, but they spectacularly exited the tournament in the group stage after defeats by Senegal and Denmark and a draw with Uruguay.
March 27, 2003
FIGURE SKATING – Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko performs during the men’s free skating event, en route to winning the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships in Washington.
Plushenko won the gold medal in the men’s singles event, while American Timothy Goebel and Japan’s Takeshi Honda completed the podium.
The win in Washington was one of three World Championship victories for Plushenko, who also won two Olympic and seven European Championships gold medals.
March 27, 2004
RUGBY UNION – Gareth Thomas celebrates his try with Colin Charvis during Wales’ 44-10 Six Nations victory over Italy at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Wales ended their Six Nations campaign in front of a record number of fans who had turned up to watch coach Steve Hansen take charge of his side one final time.
Yet three prior defeats meant Wales were never in contention to win the trophy, which a dominant France took home by winning all their matches to secure a Grand Slam.
March 27, 2004
FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS – Nick Franklin of New Zealand executes the ‘Holy Grab’ trick with his motorbike during the “Night of the Jumps” event in Vienna.
During the trick, the rider assumes a Superman position and lets go of the handlebars in mid-air, floating away from the motorbike and then grabbing hold to remount before landing.
The show, which started in Germany in 2001, has since spread to 22 countries and riders are judged on the difficulty of the tricks they perform.
March 27, 2005
SOCCER – Brazil’s Kaka celebrates after scoring a goal against Peru in a 1-0 win during their World Cup qualifier in Goiania. It was the first time the defending champions were required to go through qualification.
The winner was Brazil’s first competitive goal in four-and-a-half hours after they failed to score in their two previous qualifiers against Colombia and Ecuador.
Ronaldo had missed an open goal in the first half but made amends when he set up Kaka in the 74th minute with a through-ball that unlocked the Peru defense. Brazil would go on to top the South American standings and qualify.
March 27, 2007
SWIMMING – Michael Phelps swims to victory in the semi-finals of the men’s 200m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships.
Phelps would go on to win the gold medal with a world-record time of 1:52.09, shaving 1.62 seconds off the previous record he had set in the Missouri Grand Prix a month before.
Phelps won seven gold medals in the 2007 World Championships but missed out on an eighth after the United States were disqualified from the medley relay due to Ian Crocker’s false start in the heats.
March 27, 2008
SURFING – USA’s Kelly Slater is in action during the quarter-finals of the Rip Curl Pro in Bells Beach, Melbourne.
Slater defeated Bede Durbidge in the final to win the event for the second time despite trailing for 27 minutes of the 30-minute contest, emerging victorious thanks to a late double grab that earned him 8.83 points out of a possible 10.
Slater would go on to win the title again in 2010 for the third time.
March 27, 2011
FORMULA ONE – Second placed McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton sprays champagne on Sebastian Vettel after the Red Bull driver won the Australian Grand Prix.
After qualifying in pole position, Vettel maintained his advantage throughout, finishing the 58-lap race more than 22 seconds ahead of second-placed Hamilton.
The victory was Vettel’s first at Albert Park and he would go on to win 10 more races that season, sealing his second drivers championship. (Compiled by Arvind Sriram, Rohith Nair and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)