Kogawa, a former Japanese Flyweight champion and former world title challenger, has been helping Matsumoto prepare ahead of the youngster's OPBF Super Flyweight title fight against Thailand's Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11). From looking on the outside this actually seems an incredibly smart move from the folks at Ohashi gym who have gotten someone similar to Samor in to spar with their young prospect.
Like Samor, Kogawa is an offensively minded and busy fighter. Although not the same in style they have enough similarities to make the sparring similar to what Matsumoto should expect. Both Samor and Kogawa are very busy, physically strong, with great stamina, fantastic work rates and stinging but not concussive power.
Although a fringe world class talent himself Kogawa appears to have been getting a lot of good work as a sparring partner having also sparred with Naoya Inoue earlier this year and it seems that his experience, which includes a WBC world title fight against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and a WBA interim world title fight against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, is helping to make him such a popular partner. Saying that however we are looking forward to seeing him in the ring again as he is always worth a watch.
(Image courtesy of Ryo Matsumoto's blog)