THE WEEK AHEAD: MAIN EVENTS

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TODAY

Boxing: Luton's Billy Schwer fights the WBC lightweight title-holder Stevie Johnston from Denver, Colorado, in what looks a tasty contest. Schwer's presence has sold almost pounds 100,000 of tickets from his home town, which virtually guarantees a 5,500 sell-out at the London Arena. Undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and the new IBF featherweight holder Paul Ingle will both be ringside to support Schwer. In attendance will be his manager, the ebullient Mickey Duff, who has handled 19 world champions during his colourful career.

TOMORROW

Football: Intercontinental Cup, Tokyo. The globetrotting Manchester United play the Brazilian side Palmeiras in a meaningless match they could probably do without, bearing in mind their upcoming visit to Brazil for the much- publicised World Club Championship. Pick of the Worthington Cup fourth round is Arsenal's trek to Middlesbrough, where the home side will be out to avenge their recent 5-1 Premiership hammering at Highbury. In the First Division, high-flying Charlton welcome beleaguered Blackburn Rovers to The Valley.

WEDNESDAY

Football: More Worthington Cup action with Fulham and Tottenham providing a London derby at Craven Cottage while perennial Premiership strugglers Southampton travel to Birmingham to face Aston Villa.

Tennis: Honda Challenge, Royal Albert Hall. The ATP Senior Tour pays its third visit to London for what should be a hugely entertaining five days featuring great names from the not-so-distant past. Jimmy Connors is the new face this year - he joins Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and others who were brilliant players while still finding time to have personalities as well.

THURSDAY

Golf: Million Dollar Classic, Sun City, South Africa. With million dollar prizes popping up all over the place, this event does not have the glamorous appeal of days gone by. Tiger Woods, who would probably win the Lottery if he bought a ticket, gives this tournament a miss so someone else gets a chance. Europe is represented by Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia and Jose-Maria Olazabal.

Football: Leeds United continue their travels, this time to Sofia, Bulgaria, to play their postponed Uefa Cup tie against Spartak Moscow on neutral ground after last week's freezing temperatures forced a retreat from Moscow.

FRIDAY

Football: Pacesetting Manchester City visit Wolves for a First Division encounter between two sides who should be up among the big boys. City look to be on their way but Wolves never seem quite able to make the leap. This match should tell us much.

SATURDAY

Racing: A top-class day's sport in prospect with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner See More Business aiming to win the prestigious Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow for the third year in a row, while at Sandown the high-class two-mile chaser Direct Route travels from Howard Johnson's County Durham stable to attempt a repeat win in the scintillating Tingle Creek Trophy at Sandown.

SUNDAY

Football: Gerard Houllier's Liverpool, who are beginning to show signs of an overdue revival, entertain Sheffield Wednesday, a team who appear to have one boot in the Nationwide League already. If Liverpool are to become serious contenders, this calibre of opposition has to be seen off convincingly.

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