On this day in sport: Tyson floors Biggs as Lakers retire Abdul-Jabbar jersey

By Sports Desk March 20, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, chances are you need to look back over the archives if you want to get your daily sporting fix.

Well, we've got you covered for Friday.

March 20 boasts a few notable events throughout sporting history, including a number of Grand Nationals, a heavyweight title fight and the retiring of one of basketball's most famous jerseys.

Here are five of the biggest things to happen in sport on this day...

 

1948 - 50/1 shot mare wins Grand National to end 

The 102nd edition of one of the world's most famous horse races saw Sheila's Cottage, ridden by Arthur Thompson, defy odds of 50/1 to win. She was also the first mare to triumph at Aintree in 46 years and only the 12th in the long and storied history of the steeplechase. Thompson and trainer Neville Trump would record a second win together four years later.

1988 - Mike Tyson knocks out Tyrell Biggs

In Atlantic City, Tyson took on 1984 Olympic gold medallist Tyrell Biggs, who was 15-0 since turning professional and was literally head and shoulders above his opponent, standing at 6 foot 5 compared to Tyson at 5 foot 10.

Still, he was no match for the defending WBA, WBC and IBF champion, who left Biggs bloodied and bruised before sending him crashing to the canvas in round seven. The fight continued but Biggs was knocked down again, leading the referee to halt proceedings and ensure Tyson stretched his record to 32 wins from 32.

1990 - Lakers retire Abdul-Jabbar's jersey

Thirty years ago, the LA Lakers retired the number 33 jersey of Karim Abdul-Jabbar, the man still considered by some to be basketball's greatest.

A six-time NBA champion with the Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks, a winner of six MVP and two Finals MVP awards and 19 times on the All-Star roster, nobody has worn his number 33 for the Lakers since 1990.

2010 - France clinch grand slam

France won their 17th Five/Six Nations title and completed a ninth grand slam after battling to victory over England in Paris.

Les Bleus had powered through the earlier rounds but were made to work hard by England, who dominated the second half after ending the first 12-7 down but could only earn three more points via the boot of Jonny Wilkinson.

They have not won the championship since.

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    Cousins, 30, has played just 78 regular-season and eight playoff games since the start of 2017-18 following numerous injuries.

    The center ruptured his left Achilles in early 2018 while with the New Orleans Pelicans before joining the Golden State Warriors later that year.

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    He signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers last year, but tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in August and was waived in February 2020.

    The Lakers went on to win the NBA championship last month.

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    Houston have made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, but are seemingly set for a rebuild with James Harden and Russell Westbrook reportedly seeking trades.

  • Watson and Cowan-Dickie return to England squad for Wales clash Watson and Cowan-Dickie return to England squad for Wales clash

    Anthony Watson and Luke Cowan-Dickie have returned to the England squad for the Autumn Nations Cup clash with Wales on Saturday after recovering from injury. 

    Bath back Watson sustained an ankle injury in the Six Nations win over Italy last month, while Exeter Chiefs hooker Cowan-Dickie is back to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery. 

    Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga and Northampton full-back George Furbank, meanwhile, have withdrawn from the 35-man squad due to injury.

    Eddie Jones' side beat Ireland 18-7 on Sunday and another victory in Llanelli on Saturday will see them compete against the winners of Group B on December 6 to decide who lifts the trophy.

     

    England squad:

    Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell (captain), George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

    Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis.

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    The South Africa squad are staying in carefully controlled accommodation ahead of their Twenty20 international series against England amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

    While Rabada admits it has proved challenging, he says he is constantly reminding himself of the fortunate position he and his team-mates find themselves in. 

    "It can be quite tough," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You can't interact. You've basically lost your freedom. 

    "It's almost like luxury prisons we are in. But we have to remind ourselves that we are fortunate.

    "People have lost their jobs, people are struggling at the moment, so we must be grateful for the opportunity we have been given to make some money and to do what we love.

    "And we don't get treated too badly. We stay in great hotels. We get the best food. It's like a spoilt kid not getting what they want at the candy store. It can be quite tough because you are surrounded by four walls the whole time and that can be a factor mentally.

    "But just remind yourself of all the good things that are happening and once we start playing, it will take away from the desolate times."

    Rabada has recently returned to South Africa after an impressive stint in the Indian Premier League, where he finished as the top wicket-taker. 

    That followed a long period in his home country without playing cricket, having spent most of 2020 in some form of lockdown imposed by the South African government. 

    Rabada says the break helped him reset both physically and mentally but does not expect to have similar periods off in the future. 

    "The break helped to refresh the body and to take the mind off of a lot of things," he added. "But I don't know if long extended breaks will happen in future because cricket is getting more and more. 

    "I'm not sure how much of it is due to a long break, but I don't think it will happen a lot in the future. I don't think we will get breaks that long unless we get Covid-20."

    The three-match Twenty20 series starts in Cape Town on Friday, while the Proteas and England will also contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

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