On this day in sport: Fight of the century falls flat, Messi breaks Muller record

By Sports Desk May 02, 2020

Massive sporting events do not always live up the occasion.

The boxing world was delivered a reminder of that five years ago as a fight a long time in the making proved a drab affair.

It is the unexpected that often produces the most excitement and that was the case during a 2015-16 Premier League campaign that stands as arguably the most memorable in the division's history.

Here we look back at May 2 in the world of sport.

2009: Pacquiao makes light work of Hatton

"From the ends of the earth to the centre of the ring" was the tagline attached to a light-welterweight title bout billed as the' Battle of East and West'.

With seven seconds left in the second round, Ricky Hatton was indeed in the centre of the ring, on his back having been dumped to the canvas by a thunderous left to the chin from Manny Pacquiao.

The fight marked the last at elite level for Hatton, who finished his career in 2012 with a loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko.

Pacquiao has gone on to secure his legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but his journey has not been without its lows, the biggest of which would come six years later at the same MGM Grand Garden Arena venue...

2009: Leinster-Munster semi-final draws record crowd

Leinster v Munster is regarded as one of the biggest provincial rivalries in world rugby, and it reached new heights as the pair met in the Heineken Cup semi-finals at Croke Park.

A crowd of 82,208, a world-record attendance for a club match, witnessed Leinster secure their place in the final with a 25-6 victory.

They would go on to lift the trophy, beating Leicester Tigers 19-16 at Murrayfield.

2012: Messi breaks European club goals record

Lionel Messi's incredible career has been defined by him shattering records and collecting medals at will.

Eight years ago he bettered a mark that had stood since the 1972-73 season with a hat-trick against Malaga.

The treble took Messi to 68 goals for the 2011-12 season, the most by a single player in a European club season.

Gerd Muller had previously held the record with 67. Messi would go on to stretch his advantage over the Germany great, finishing the campaign with a remarkable 73 goals.

2015: 'Fight of the century' fails to inspire

After years of protracted and tempestuous negotiations, Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally agreed to touch gloves in the biggest fight of the 21st century.

The contest did not match the hype surrounding it, however, Mayweather maintaining his unbeaten record in uninspiring fashion.

Pacquiao struggled to land punches on a defensive Mayweather, whose tactical acumen won the day in a fight some dubbed 'Better never than late' in the aftermath.

Mayweather followed up that win with a victory over Andre Berto in September, before coming out of retirement in 2017 to defeat UFC star Conor McGregor and improve to 50-0.

2016: Leicester achieve the impossible

The established order of the Premier League was upset in unbelievable fashion in 2015-16 as 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester City, having narrowly avoided relegation the previous season, clinched the title.

Tottenham had been the Foxes' closest challengers in a year where Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all struggled for consistency, with Liverpool and Chelsea well off the pace.

However, it was Chelsea who ended Tottenham's hopes and ensured the trophy would head to the King Power Stadium.

Spurs needed to win at Stamford Bridge to keep their hopes alive and led 2-0 thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

But Gary Cahill pulled one back and Eden Hazard levelled matters seven minutes from time to spark delirious scenes among the Leicester players watching on TV.

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  • Willian confirms Chelsea exit amid Arsenal rumours Willian confirms Chelsea exit amid Arsenal rumours

    Willian has confirmed he is leaving Chelsea after the expiration of his contract, with the Brazil international seemingly edging closer to joining Arsenal.

    The playmaker joined Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, going on to make 234 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

    However, after winning two league titles, one FA Cup, the EFL Cup and the Europa League, Willian is leaving Stamford Bridge after failing to agree to a new deal.

    In an open letter to Chelsea's fans on Sunday, Willian penned an emotional goodbye to the club.

    "They were seven wonderful years," he wrote. "In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play.

    "There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

    "I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me to Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club.

    "The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all of the staff at the club who've always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans.

    "I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and I always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!"

    Willian's agent Kia Joorabchian revealed last month that his client had offers from two Premier League clubs, with Arsenal the favourites to land the 32-year-old.

    Pedro also left Chelsea on Sunday, and is set to join Roma on a free transfer.

  • Real Madrid was not the right step - Nagelsmann Real Madrid was not the right step - Nagelsmann

    Julian Nagelsmann has revealed he turned down an offer from Real Madrid as it was not the right step for his career.

    Then at Hoffenheim, Nagelsmann was on a shortlist of candidates to replace Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018, but Julen Lopetegui was eventually appointed to the post. 

    Lopetegui's tenure ended in October that year, however, while Santiago Solari also having a brief spell in charge before Zidane returned in March 2019.

    Nagelsmann, meanwhile, opted to join RB Leipzig, taking charge in 2019 and guiding the side to a third-placed finish in the Bundesliga. The 33-year-old has confirmed he decided against joining Madrid, as he thought he was not yet ready to take on a job of such magnitude. 

    "We had phone calls, but in the end the one who decided was me," Nagelsmann told Marca ahead of Leipzig's Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.  

    "I believed that it was still not the right step to go to Real Madrid. I was one of the candidates and the list was not very long.  

    "For me, it was very important. I had a good chat with [Madrid general director] Jose Angel Sanchez and we decided that it was still not the right step.  

    "We agreed that we could talk again in the future if Real Madrid needed a coach, and if I was available." 

    Nagelsmann added that Leipzig provided the ideal platform for him to develop as a coach. 

    "I wanted the next step to be logical. I try to plan a career in football, even if it is difficult," he said. 

    "I'm a young boy, I don't have to go to the top shelf right away either. I give myself time to develop. Leipzig went to great lengths to sign me. That was the most important thing. 

    "Relatively fast I had an offer on the table. We had good conversations and I saw that it was a good next step. A bigger club, with a bigger budget than Hoffenheim, which would allow me to continue developing.  

    "They have also given me a free hand to introduce my ideas. I do not have to permanently justify what I do, but I have the possibility to evolve and transfer my ideas to the field of play.  

    "It was a good next step in my career to prepare myself and in the future, maybe."

  • Pedro says farewell to Chelsea ahead of expected Roma move Pedro says farewell to Chelsea ahead of expected Roma move

    Pedro has confirmed his departure from Chelsea after "five wonderful years" with the Premier League club.

    The Spanish forward is out of contract with the Blues and is rumoured to be heading for Italy next, reportedly to join Serie A side Roma on a two-year deal.

    His final appearance for Chelsea came to a painful end, as he suffered a dislocated shoulder during the FA Cup final loss to Arsenal. He has since undergone surgery on the injury and did not feature in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

    In an Instagram post on Sunday, Pedro reflected on his successul time at Stamford Bridge, thanking all those who helped him feel at home following his move from Barcelona in 2015.

    "After five wonderful years my stage at Chelsea comes to an end," he wrote.

    "Thanks a lot to the club's board, to the coaches and team-mates I've had, and of course to the fans: thank you for the experience of being a member of your big family. I've been very happy here, you've made me feel like home.

    "It's been a pleasure and an honour to play for this club and win the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League titles, as well as competing in one of the world's best football leagues.

    "I made the right choice, I take with me wonderful and unforgettable memories."

    Pedro was part of Antonio Conte's Chelsea squad who secured the Premier League title in the 2016-17 season, while he also won the FA Cup and the Europa League with the London club.

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