Since their first bout Ogawa has again failed to really shine. He's defended the title twice since beating Sugita but those defenses were a very late stoppage win against against Kento Matsushita, in what was a very close bout, and a narrow decision win over Rikki Naito. Neither of those bouts showed that Ogawa could become a world champion, and perhaps they both showed that Ogawa is actually on the slide.
At his best the 29 year old Ogawa is a solid boxer-puncher. He's not the quickest but he can move, he can box and he can certainly punch, and he has also shown he carries his power late, with 10th round stoppages over Matsushita and Deivi Julio Bassa. Those stoppages have been part of a 12 fight unbeaten run from Ogawa, who scored 10 stoppages in those 12 bouts. Unfortunately his flaws have become more apparent in recent bouts and he does leave openings opponents to counter, his punchers are relatively slow and he's not the quickest on his feet, giving opponents a lot of chances to get him out of position.
For Ogawa the bout could be his final stepping stone before a potential world, or OPBF, title fight but he will need to impress here. Just winning won't be enough and hopefully that sort of potential reward will get the best out of the champion.
Sugita has been frustrating inactive since losing to Ogawa last April, with just a single bout since then. That sole contest saw Sugita claim an 8 round decision win over Tsuyoshi Tojo to earn himself a second title fight. In the ring Sugita is a well school boxer, more technically able than Ogawa, but he's lacking in terms of big wins and his notable victory to date is a split decision over Ryota Kajiki. That win is over-shadowed however by losses to Ryuto Kyoguchi and Kosuke Saka, which sort of suggest that Sugita is only in the middle of the domestic mix, as opposed to being one of the top domestic fighters in the division.
With good skills Sugita's major problems aren't actually his abilities. Instead he has serious question marks about his durability, with 2 stoppage loses, his work rate and his stamina. To date he has never never completed a 10 round, and has only gone 8 or more rounds 4 times, winning 3 of those bouts including 2 split decisions. It's fair to say that whilst he can box he has shown his flaws and those flaws will likely be openings for Ogawa, who will try to make Sugita work at a high pace and take advantage of his lacking durability.
Although Ogawa hasn't looked great recently it's hard to see him losing here, in fact we're expecting the champion to see off Sugita in the middle rounds, and really look like a totally different fighter to the one who struggled with Sugita 11 months ago. Sugita will show up some of Ogawa's flaws, again, but in the end the power and physicality of Ogawa will be too much for the challenger.