Dan Rafael

Inoue honored by Japan commission
The Japan Boxing Commission handed out its 2014 awards at its annual ceremony in Tokyo on Friday and the winner of the big prize was 21-year-old prodigy Naoya Inoue.

Notes: Lomachenko, Walters plans in works
A few notes from around the boxing world:• Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who hopes to match featherweight titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters in a unification fight later this year, after each has one more fight, told ESPN.

Alvarado puts distractions behind him
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Former junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado has had numerous run-ins with the police over the years and has been in and out of jail.

Lee-Quillin in the works
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A deal for middleweight titleholder Andy Lee to face former titlist "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin is in the works and close to being completed. It would be ironic if they fight.

Provodnikov eyes Pacquiao, Matthysse
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Former junior welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov is weighing his options, according to manager Vadim Kornilov.Russia’s Provodnikov (24-3, 17 KOs), who lost his belt by questionable split decision to Chris Algieri in June, rebounded to stop long-faded former lightweight titleholder Jose Luis Castillo in Moscow in November with an eye toward a bigger fight next.

Ramirez: 'I want to be a superstar'
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The next Mexican boxing superstar very well could be super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez, a charismatic 23-year-old puncher who has looked very good in recent fights.

Notes: New opponent for Mora
A few notes from around the boxing world:• The deal is not done yet but former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora (27-3-2, 9 KOs) likely will face Abie Han (23-1, 14 KOs) in a middleweight fight that will headline ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” on Feb.

Wilder-Stiverne draws strong audience
The Showtime boxing year got off to a rousing start on Saturday night with Deontay Wilder’s entertaining decision win against Bermane Stiverne to win a heavyweight world title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Barrera to face former titlist Lacy
Cuban light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera (14-0, 9 KOs) will take on faded former super middleweight titlist Jeff Lacy (27-5, 18 KOs) in an eight-rounder on Jan.

Crolla anxious to get back to ring
England’s Anthony Crolla had finally gotten the opportunity he had wanted for his entire career: a shot at a world title, and on home turf in Manchester, no less.

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