Thursday, June 4, 2020

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May 23 is a date in which Milan earned a measure of Champions League revenge on Liverpool and Ayrton Senna continued his majestic Monaco run.

The Rossoneri became champions of Europe for the seventh time on this day 13 years ago against familiar opponents.

It was also a notable date for Senna, who made history on the street circuit of Monaco, a track no one in Formua One has celebrated success at more.

Here’s a look back at the sporting archives from this day in years gone by. 

1981 – Benitez becomes youngest three-weight world champ

Considered one of the best Puerto Rican boxers of all time, the American-born Wilfred Benitez was already the sport’s youngest world champion when he won the WBA light-welterweight strap from Antonio Cervantes as a 17-year-old.

A little under three years later he defeated Carlos Palomino to become WBC world welterweight champion.

On May 23, 1981, the brilliant Benitez stepped up a category once again to take on WBC world little-middleweight champion Maurice Hope in Las Vegas.

Still only aged 22, Benitez knocked out Hope with an overhand right to become the youngest three-weight world champion in history.

Benitez was the first man in 43 years to win belts in three divisions and was inducted into boxing’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

1993 – Senna makes Monaco history

The legendary Senna mastered Monaco like no other driver has ever managed.

In 1993, the Brazilian great was top of the podium for a fifth straight year – no F1 driver has won as many in succession at a single track – and sixth time overall, which saw him break clear of the record for Monaco wins he held with Graham Hill.

There was some fortune on this particular occasion. Pole-sitter Alain Prost was pinged for a jump-start and had to fight through the field at a track where it is notoriously difficult to pass, while Michael Schumacher was well clear before retiring with hydraulic trouble.

Sadly, Senna was unable to go for a sixth in a row as he tragically died at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

2007 – Inzaghi helps Milan exorcise Istanbul demons

Two years prior, Milan suffered a Champions League final collapse as Liverpool fought back from a 3-0 half-time deficit in Istanbul to triumph in a penalty shoot-out.

There was to be no Greek tragedy for the Rossoneri in Athens, though, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side gained revenge in the 2007 showpiece of Europe’s premier competition.

Filippo Inzaghi scored on the stroke of half-time and again eight minutes from the end as the game slipped away from Rafael Benitez’s Reds.

Dirk Kuyt scored in the last minute of normal time to give Liverpool hope, but Milan were not to be denied a seventh European crown.

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