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- Characters Introduced: None
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: None
- Title Page Character(s): Date Eiji, Ricardo Martinez
At the conference for the title fight, Date raises his fist when told to shake hands with Martinez, to which the latter replies by doing the same. The audience begins to panic as it seems the boxers are getting ready to fight, but the eventually shake hands, bringing the event to an end.
The next morning, Ippo asks Takamura why they are so far away from the usual course, but his question is answered when Date appears, revealing that they are in his usual roadwork-path. They join Date in his routine, and the former champion reveals that even though he was in part acting to make it more exiting, he really is grateful to Martinez for staying undefeated for seven years. He tells them that everything he has done, has been with Ricardo as his goal and without him in mind, he would have never made it so far. When Ippo asks if he can win, Date says he would not be doing it if he did not think he could win, but admits Martinez has no weakness. Takamura then explains that at the world level, boxing's common knowledge becomes useless, so the only way to beat the strongest is to simply be stronger. Date agrees with that statement and leaves the pair after saying that even though Martinez has evolved as a boxer, he is not the same he was back then either.
The night before the match, Date tells his wife to bring their son into the ring once he becomes the champion. She tells him to return safe, and he recalls how seven years prior she told him the same thing before his life crumbled. He explains how after losing the match, his son, his job and even his life, Martinez is like a demon who had caused all his misery, but at the same time he is the god whose light gives him strength. He ends by saying that he will regain his life, and in order to do so he must defeat Martinez.