|Becoming a Bully's Buddy|
|Season:||First (The Fighting)|
|Episode in Season:||12|
|Episode in Series:||12|
|Manga Chapters:||Round 24 (p.1-20) Round 25 (p.1-20) Round 26 (p.1-19)|
|←Obsession for Victory||The Eastern Japan Rookie Championship Tournament Begins→|
Becoming a Bully's Buddy is the 12th episode of the first anime season of Hajime no Ippo, and it was released in December 19, 2000.
Ippo goes to school the day after his match. His classmates are surprised as he expected, but after lunch, no one talked to him. Ippo goes upstairs to the roof to eat, when he is stopped by Umezawa and his gang. They ask Ippo how he defeated his opponent at the debut match. After Ippo tells them, they ask when his next match is, then runs away, failing to apologize as originally planned. At the gym, Fujii arrives, Takamura walks over, thinking Fujii is here to see him, but Fujii asks Yagi for Ippo. Fujii oversees Ippo and the coach mitt training, he notices Ippo is doing the Peek-a-Boo Style and biting his thumbs like Mike Tyson. After Ippo's training is over, he receives a video of Miyata's previous match from Fujii, that night, Ippo watches Miyata's previous match in his room.
The next day, Kamogawa enters the gym and announces Ippo's second match is against Fujiwara Yoshio of the Maeda Boxing Gym. The day of the match, Umezawa and gang arrives at the arena and doubts Ippo will win. Ippo and Fujiwara enters the ring, Umezawa notices Ippo's opponent looks fearsome. The bell rings and round one begins, Ippo and Fujiwara starts throwing punches at each other. Fujiwara tries to land a counter, but Ippo's strong guard made the counter have no effect. After Ippo lands multiple hits, Fujiwara steps in and intentionally headbutts him, causing Ippo to go down, he gets up at the count of five. The match continues and Ippo throws more punches at Fujiwara, the latter goes for a second headbutt. The referee stops the match and warns Fujiwara to watch his head, Ippo learns that Fujiwara is headbutting intentionally. The match continues, Ippo and Fujiwara exchange punches once again. Ippo winning the exchange and predicting a headbutt coming, unleashes an uppercut that downs Fujiwara and wins the match.
The next day at school, Umezawa forces Ippo to follow him. He is greeted by a group of delinquents, Umezawa explains to the group about Ippo's match, and calls Ippo his friend.
Ippo vs Fujiwara
Ippo and Fujiwara headbutting
Ippo and Umezawa