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Date Eiji

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Date Eiji (伊達 英二, lit. date eiji) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo. He played the initial antagonist during the events of championship road until his Japanese Title defense against Ippo.

He is a retired Featherweight boxer and boxing trainer affiliated with the Nakadai Boxing Gym. He was frequently referred to as the second best featherweight boxer in the world behind the series' super champion Ricardo Martinez before his second loss against the latter ended his career.

His surname is Date. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.

Date Eiji
DateEiji
Biography
Japanese Name 伊達 英二
Gender Male
Birth date July 3, 1964
Homeland Japan Tokyo, Japan
Family Aiko (wife)
Yuji (son)
Occupation Trainer
Boxer Info
Weight Class Featherweight
Height 168.5 cm (5'6")
Reach 169.5 cm (66")
Style Hybrid
Stance Orthodox boxing stance
Current Affiliation Nakadai Boxing Gym (as coach)
Trainer N/A
Previous Trainer(s) Nakadai Coach
Date(s) Retired February 1988
June 1994
Boxing Record
Total fights 23
Wins 21
Wins by KO 17
Losses 2
Championships Eastern Japan Rookie King
All Japan Rookie King
Japanese Featherweight Champion
OPBF Featherweight Champion
Appearances
Manga Debut Round 111
Manga Final Recurring
Anime Debut Round 32 (The Fighting)
Anime Final Round 21 (Rising)
Voice Actor Aizawa Masaki

HistoryEdit

Former WBA World Featherweight #1 contender, two-time JBC Featherweight Champion and previous OPBF Featherweight Champion, Date remained the Japanese Champion when Makunouchi Ippo challenged him and is the first individual to defeat Ippo in the pro ring. He is Japan's cleverest technician and possesses an incredibly sharp boxer's eye. He retired from boxing once after losing to Ricardo Martinez before the start of the series.

IMG 0002

Date's broken jaw after the match with Ricardo.

He is married to Date Aiko, a daughter of a wealthy family. Together they have a son named Date Yuji. After his first retirement his brother found a job for him at his business company. It is made known that Date succeeded at his business career before resuming boxing in the events of New Challenger. Consequent to his second match against Ricardo Martinez (during which Date unknowingly reminded Ricardo of the latter's old feral style) Date sustained terrible injuries (a shattered jaw, fist and multiple broken ribs) and retired as a boxer for good. He then passes "the baton" to Makunouchi Ippo in the hospital.

After his recovery Date is known to have become a boxing trainer, and it has become a running gag in the series for his boxers to lose all their shown fights.

Match HistoryEdit

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
LOSS Ricardo Martinez KO 10(12), 2:14 1994-06-27 Tokyo, Japan "REVENGE" WBA Featherweight Title Match
WIN Jeff Brooks(citation needed) KO N/A 19- N/A
WIN Makunouchi Ippo KO 5(10), 2:32 1993-02 Tokyo, Japan Retained Japanese Featherweight Title, Relinquishes Title
WIN Unknown KO 7(10) 1992 Tokyo, Japan Retained Japanese Featherweight Title
WIN Suzuki Toshio KO 1(10), 1:20 1991 Tokyo, Japan Retained Japanese Featherweight Title
WIN Hashiguchi Takeshi KO 5(10) N/A Japan
WIN Uetani Akira KO 7(10) N/A Japan Japanese Featherweight Title Match
WIN Samuel Alesto KO 3(10) N/A N/A
WIN Sai Atetsu KO 7(10) N/A Japan
LOSS Ricardo Martinez TKO 2(12), 1:12 1988-02 Mexico WBA World Featherweight Title Match
WIN Kue Valdez KO 9(10) N/A N/A Retained OPBF Featherweight Title, Relinquishes Title
WIN Kinji Genji KO 3(10) N/A Japan Retained OPBF Featherweight Title
WIN Thompson Penyalous Decision 10(10) N/A N/A OPBF Featherweight Title Match
WIN Yamaguchi Shirou KO 1(10) N/A Japan Retained Japanese Featherweight Title, Relinquishes Title
WIN Arai Seizou KO 7(10) N/A Japan Retained Japanese Featherweight Title
WIN Imanashi Satoshi KO 3(10) N/A Japan Retains Japanese Featherweight Title
WIN Furukawa Hideshi Decision 10(10) N/A Japan Retains Japanese Featherweight Title
WIN Otomo Koushi KO 9(10) N/A Japan Japanese Featherweight Title Match
WIN Alan Garcia KO 3(?) N/A N/A N/A
WIN Roland Hiyas KO 3(?) N/A N/A N/A
WIN Kinji Jinshoku Decision 8(?) N/A Japan N/A
WIN Gotou Masahiro Decision 8(?) N/A Japan N/A
WIN Tomonaga Akira KO 1(4) N/A Japan Pro Debut

SuccessionsEdit

Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Uetani Akira JBC Featherweight Champion
Unknown - February, 1993
Sendou Takeshi
Randy Boy Senior OPBF Featherweight Champion Unknown (eventually Arnie Gregory)
Otomo Koushi JBC Featherweight Champion Unknown (eventually Uetani Akira)
Unknown All Japan Featherweight Rookie King Unknown (eventually Okita Keigo)
Unknown East Japan Featherweight Rookie King Unknown (eventually Okita Keigo)

AppearanceEdit

During the Events of Hajime no Ippo: The FightingEdit

Date first appears to be the average middle-aged man with a tall, well built body and tanned complexion despite his previous retirement from boxing. His black hair is grown short and styled neatly save for a few stray strands sticking out in several places. Date's iconic scar on the bridge of his nose is present, along with his ever present stubble. His eyes are black in color.

During the Events of Hajime no Ippo: New ChallengerEdit

Prior to and during his second challenge against Ricardo Martinez, Date has messily grown his hair shoulder-length, his stubble having visibly thickened since the events of The Fighting. After his second retirement however Date is shown to have shortened his hair once again, recovering his original appearance.

PersonalityEdit

Date shows the determination to go through great lengths to accomplish his goals and depicts the ideal image of a strong-willed man. However he is no where near stoic or serious, and has been shown to openly express his hearty and humorous spirit. He is good friends with Takamura Mamoru and close to fellow featherweight Makunouchi Ippo, encouraging both to do well in their boxing careers after his second retirement.

DateEijiBefore

Date's first appearance during his introduction in Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting.

In the ring Date is shown to be serious, especially during his match against Ricardo Martinez during the second season. A flashback concludes that Date used to be naive and overconfident to a certain extent in the ring until his first defeat at the hands of Martinez. Though he states that his second match against Martinez had nothing to do with revenge Date is shown to be competitive and vindictive to a certain extent, determined to give Ricardo "one hell of a nostalgic greeting".

At home he is a family man who cares for both his wife and son, who in turn supported him fully through his boxing career.

Fighting StyleEdit

At his peak, Date was far and away, the second best featherweight in the world only behind Ricardo Martinez. He is a very well rounded fighter, his speed and power are just above average but his durability and skill are some of the best in the sport. Utilizing his high level of skill, Date is adept at turning his head at the moment of impact reducing the amount of damage taken, a move that he used effectively to hand Makunouchi Ippo his only pro defeat. His finisher is the Heart Break Shot, a powerful corkscrew blow aimed at the heart which momentarily stunned opponents and leaving them open to punches.

Date corkscrew

Date throwing his corkscrew blow.

Unofficially, there are two versions of Date Eiji throughout the series. The version Ippo fought was an Eiji who had lost his confidence and had become cynical about taking on the world a second time. While he was able to deal with Ippo for most of the match in this mindset, it was only until he began looking at the match as a brawl in the later rounds that he won. This version of Date harkens back to his younger days when he challenged the world. Though he does not brawl outright, he becomes almost entirely offense-oriented and focuses on overwhelming his opponent with combinations. This version of Date was able to easily defeat Miyata Ichirou, the current OPBF champ, in a spar, and gave Ricardo Martinez trouble in the early rounds of their second championship bout.

TechniquesEdit

WeaknessesEdit

Date shares the same weakness as other well-rounded boxers in the series: he has no particular strengths. Most of his opponents are stronger or faster than him, some even both. As a result he is forced to rely on the corkscrew blow often. This reliance led to his loss against Ricardo and subsequent retirement from boxing.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Morikawa Jyoji stated in an interview that Date was modeled after former real life boxer and OPBF Champion Ozaki Fujio.
  • Date has either attended, participated in, or provided commentary for matches involving the Kamogawa crew more than any other supporting character in the series, lagging behind only Iimura Mari and Fujii Minoru.
    • He has also been in attendance for all of Takamura's world championship bouts.

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