Ryuuichi Hayami (速水 龍一, lit. Hayami Ryūichi) is semi-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
His surname is Hayami. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Hayami had an impressive record as an amateur (56 matches-56 wins-43 KOs). During his high school days he won the Inter-High Championship three times in a row, beating Yoshida Mitsuo, a fellow genius, twice. As a result, he earned the attention of the press and gained a lot of fans, who mostly were females.
After easily winning his Pro Debut and a second bout, he signed up for the East Japan Rookie King tournament. Among the four best prospects (including Miyata Ichirō, Mashiba Ryō and Yoshida), he was the favorite to win the tournament.
He faced Iwakawa in the first round of the tournament. After soundly beating him, he proceeded to do the same with Yasukawa Kazu in the quarter finals, despite the latter's attempts to wear Hayami down by picking him off with counter strikes, the same strategy that Kamogawa Genji had in mind for Makunouchi Ippo's match against Hayami. This is the first time Hayami is seen in action in the series--thrashing Kazu with his signature move, the Shotgun.
When Fujii approached Hayami to take his comments for the upcoming match against Ippo, Hayami stated that after seeing Ippo's match against Kobashi Kenta on a video tape, he was very disappointed in him. Since Ippo got his hands full with an opponent of Kobashi's caliber, Hayami considered him nothing of a threat, and thought that the semi-finals would be an easy pass. Fujii warned him that he should take Ippo seriously since his punch is powerful, and if the match went to an in fight, Hayami would face a lot of problems.
The day of the bout came, and despite being a 4-rounder match it had air commentaries due to Hayami's popularity. Hayami purposely took the match into an in fight in order to show his superiority by beating the hard-puncher in his specialty. He was quickly overwhelmed. While attempting to get some distance, he used a short uppercut, but Ippo countered with a hook that cut off his footwork. Hayami used the Shotgun as a last resort. However, due to being unable to put his waist into it, Ippo read its rhythm, and took full advantage of the situation. Hayami was KO'ed with an uppercut square in the jaw, just before the closing of the first round.
Everyone in the stadium was shocked, most of all Hayami's cheering squad, who had never seen him lose, and the reporters who were planning on making an article about him. When Hayami came to and realized that he lost, he said to his coach that it was alright since great boxers like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard lost as well. He walked away from the ring with his head up, and received cheers from his fans despite his loss.
Junior Featherweight Title Match and Retirement
Hayami made a comeback in the Junior Featherweight division, where he became the 1st seed. After Sanada Kazuki relinquished his belt to move up a class, Hayami faced the second seed of the Junior Featherweight class, Kobashi, for the vacant title. He had the lead in the judges's scorecard until the 8th round, where they started exchanging blows and Hayami was KO'ed with a one-two to the jaw. Otowa Coach noted that since his fight with Ippo, Hayami's jaw has been his Achilles' heel. Hayami retires for a year after this match.
Comeback as Legendary Junker
He continued his career after coming back from retirement. After his title match against Kobashi, he had a comeback match in which he won by decision, then after that it went downhill, they were all losses. He refuses to give up, until he gets the belt, as the one person who believes, is himself.
At Kourakuen Hall, as Hayami gets ready for his match, he meets Ippo and claims he has high expectations of himself and no matter how many times he loses, he will go on, then one day he will create a legend. His match begins, despite doing well in the first round, Hayami's weak jaw causes him to go down two times in the second round, ending with Hayami losing. After he deliberates to win his next match, he comments that he will become a legend as everyone's waiting for him. He then asks Ippo if he is okay with being a 'support role' since he retired, after hearing his answer, Hayami leaves.
|21||LOSS||10-11-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1999||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|12||WIN||10-2-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1995||Tokyo, Japan||Comeback Match|
|11||LOSS||9-2-0||Kobashi Kenta||KO||8(10)||1994||Tokyo, Japan||JBC Junior Featherweight Title Match, Retired for a year after match|
|10||WIN||9-1-0||Unknown||KO||?(10)||1994||Tokyo, Japan||Last match win by KO|
|6||LOSS||5-1-0||Makunouchi Ippo||KO||1(4), 2:59||1991-11||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|5||WIN||5-0-0||Yasukawa Kazu||KO||1(4)||1991||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals|
|4||WIN||4-0-0||Seiki Iwakawa||TKO||1(4)||1991||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Round 1|
|3||WIN||3-0-0||Yoshida Mitsuo||KO||3(4), 1:26||1991||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||Unknown||KO||?(4)||1990||Tokyo, Japan||Pro Debut|
Amateur Matches: 56-56-0-0 (43 KO)
VS Yoshida Mitsuo 3R Win by KO (Inter-High Tournaments Finals)
VS Yoshida Mitsuo 3R Win by KO (Inter-High Tournaments Finals)
VS Unknown 3R Win by KO (Inter-High Tournaments Finals)
Hayami is a handsome young man of average height with lightly tanned skin, black eyes, and short, curly brown hair with a few bangs. His body is toned and muscular, like most boxers in the series.
Flamboyant and overconfident, Hayami displays little sense of sportsmanship inside the ring when he is first introduced. He tends to think of some of his opponents as being worthless. He is adored by many female fans, and likewise, he is something of a pretty boy himself. Despite his attitude, he is hard-working and talented.
Hayami genuinely loves boxing, as he explained during his interview with Fujii. He was planning to be the charismatic hero like Muhammad Ali so that all of Japan would love boxing.
Hayami is an Out Boxer possessing great punch speed and footwork. He is very skilled, with talent comparable to that of Miyata. Despite being talented, Hayami doesn't slack off and trains very hard, doing even basic training that most boxers with his talent would ignore.
Hayami's strongest weapon is a barrage of high-speed punches called the Shotgun. He also possesses a Short Uppercut that he uses specifically against In-Fighters, often for making an opening for his Shotgun.
Hayami's primary weakness is his glass jaw. After his fight with Ippo, his jaw had received massive damage, turning into a "glass jaw" which ultimately brings his defeat. As seen later, during his 20th match, he falls after being slightly grazed by a punch on his chin. Hayami is also weaker to punches, as all the damage accumulated up throughout his career, it may take a year or two of retirement to recover from the damage.
Another weakness is his cockiness. He lost to Ippo because he tried to challenge Ippo in an in fight, rather than out box him from the start. He changed this attitude during his fight with Kobashi.
- Before his match with Ippo, Hayami didn't utter a single line of dialogue in the anime. That means he went 5 episodes taking up considerable screen time (including having three different matches from start to finish) without talking.
- Two of Hayami's losses are against the only two opponents he badmouthed.
- He shares many similarities with Juza, from Fist of the North Star.
- According to the Japanese Wiki, Hayami's was modeled after real life boxer Hector Camacho.
- In the weekly magazine, Chapter 1219, his record was 19 matches, 8 wins and 11 losses. But by the release of Volume 122, it changed to 21 matches, 10 wins and 11 losses, with unknown number of knockouts.