Tuesday, 14 September 2021

1985: Mike Tyson

The rise of Mike Tyson through the heavyweight boxing ranks from his professional debut in March 1985 to his Judgment Day meeting with Trevor Berbick in November 1986 was an exciting time for the sport. As opponents came and went - often rapidly - the hype surrounding the 19-year-old from New York started to snowball.

Timing is everything. The days of an undisputed heavyweight champion had long gone, and with belts up for grabs in the WBC, WBA and IBF divisions, the need to unify the titles led to the three organisations and the HBO television channel creating a tournament to deliver a sole claimant to the title of best heavyweight in the world.

Friday, 3 September 2021

1989: Poland v England

It is often stated that the line between success and failure is thin. On October 11, 1989, English football fans would witness a prime sporting example of this. The national football team may have qualified for the 1990 World Cup after a 0-0 draw in Chorzow, Poland. But it could have all been oh so different. As the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark and Rysard Tarasiewicz pulled back his right foot, that line between success and failure was wafer thin.

England manager Bobby Robson really didn't need one final scare. After the disastrous showing at Euro 88, the pressure placed on Robson's shoulders may even have left Titan Atlas needing a rest. "A contributing factor was that the circulation war between the Sun and the Daily Mirror was turning medieval," Robson wrote in Farewell, But Not Goodbye. "The office of England manager was one of their battlegrounds."