The champion, defending the belt for the second time, had promised an impressive performance in the build up to the fight and that showed here. The usually exciting and high action style of Kogawa was tamed for once as he relied more on his boxing than his warrior mentality. That boxing saw him out jab, out speed and outbox Kuroda.
The champion showed his ability early on with his jab and hook being his key weapons as he established a clear lead after 5 rounds, with the open scoring announcing Kogawa in the lead with scores of 49-46, twice, and 48-47.
In the second half of the fight Kogawa's pace dropped but he continued to dominate with his straight now landing on a regular basis. Kuroda, to his credit, refused to just give up and had some success with a straight late on but failed to follow it up and was punished in the final round with Kogawa finally letting the internal warrior come to the fore, his hunt for a late KO however was too late.
At the final bell their was no doubting the winner with Kogawa claiming the win with scores of 98-92, twice, and 97-93.
After the win Kogawa seemed to suggest that his aim now was to get a third world title fight. That could mean that we see Kogawa in the ring, later this year, with either Kazuto Ioka [井岡一翔] or Amnat Ruenroeng [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] .
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)