Sport in brief: 13/02/2010

Cleverly ready to step up with win over Brancalion

Boxing: Nathan Cleverly is the latest in a long line of British boxers to arrive at the very edge of world-class a virtual unknown, but all that is likely to change after tonight's vacant European light-heavyweight title fight at Wembley.

Cleverly, 22, is the British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion and, during the last 13 months has stopped all five of his opponents. Tonight he is set to add Italy's Antonio Brancalion to that list.

Brancalion, 34, who has lost seven times in 41 fights, is competent but Cleverly is more than that and the years spent as Joe Calzaghe's sparring partner have stood him in good stead. This will be an overdue test of his progress and anything other than a flawless display will show he still has some way to go before being considered world-class. Steve Bunce

Recuperating Murray to skip Marseilles event

Tennis: Andy Murray has withdrawn from next week's Open 13 tournament in Marseilles. The Scot, 22, has decided to give himself an extra week to recuperate after his recent five-week stint in Australia. He will next play at the Barclays Dubai Championships, which begins for the men in nine days' time. A statement said: "After playing in Australia for five weeks, Andy has taken an extra week off to recuperate and recover for the long season ahead." Paul Newman

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