For those who haven't seen Kogawa he's really a fight fans dream. He's an all-action fighter who throws an insane amount of leather and is teak tough. There are plenty of flaws in his boxing, particularly his defense, but the reality is that he's so much fun to watch that those flaws are easy to forgive.
The 30 year old champion, from the Miyata gym, has been a professional since 2005 and has shared the ring with a number of notable opponents. This has seen Kogawa over-come Xiong Zhao Zhong, Shigetaka Ikehara, twice, Tetsuma Hayashi, twice, and Hiroyuki Hisataka. It has also seen him come up short against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Suguru Muranaka and Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep. In those losses only Wonjongkam managed to take a clear win over Kogawa.
Kogawa can certainly be out boxed, and he can be hurt, and perhaps lacks real power, but with his toughness, work rate, aggression, and will to win he's a genuine handful and a joy to watch.
Kuroda, the younger man at 29, is another exciting fighter though one who has seen better days. In fact much of Kuroda's most notable success came in the Light Flyweight division. He won the Japanese national title in 2011 and recorded 4 defenses of the title, included defenses against Yuki Sano and Ryoichi Taguchi. He only gave that title up in 2013 when he moved up to Flyweight to challenge Juan Carlos Reveco, the then WBA Flyweight champion.
Sadly since the loss to Reveco we've not seen Kuroda really shine, in fact he has since gone 3-2-1, and suffered his first stoppage loss to the aforementioned Suguru Muranaka in a Japanese Flyweight title bout.
At his best Kuroda was a gutsy fighter at 108lbs where he had enough power to keep opponents honest, enough skill to push them technically and the physical strength to engage in a war if needed. At 112lbs he's not had notable success, but he may well have grown into the weight now, with his last bout being a win over Yusuku Sakashita, a decent Japanese level contender.
Coming in to this one we are expecting a lot of intense action, we're expecting a fan friendly bout and one that could be described as a war. Sadly for Kuroda we don't see that style of fight doing him many favours here with Kogawa likely to be too strong and too powerful for Kuroda, who may have the edge in speed but won't be able to avoid a tear up.
Kuroda is tough be we suspect he'll be worn down in the later rounds with Kogawa scoring a very late stoppage of Kuroda in a brilliant fight.
For those who haven't seen the two men in action, we have featured both of their bouts with Muranaka below.
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