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- Characters Introduced: Itagaki Manabu
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: None
- Title Page Character(s): None
While mitt-hitting, Kamogawa notes how Ippo is rushing slightly, but states he is in good spirits. Ippo says it is due to watching Date trying so hard. Kamogawa tells him that his retirement is regrettable, but he will leave a strong impact on younger generations.
When the new gym member Itagaki Manabu arrives, he immediately clashes with Aoki and Kimura who are upset about Itagaki's arrogance, but are stopped by Yagi, who introduces him as an elite amateur ranked second. Itagaki then reveals that despite being an elite who could have gotten to any other place, chose the Kamogawa Gym, as there is someone there he admires. Believing he is the one admired by Itagaki, Takamura immediately approves of the gym's new addition, but is shocked upon hearing that the person Itagaki really admires is the champion of his own division; Ippo.
As it is customary of the gym, they take Itagaki for his first road work in an attempt to break him, but to their surprise, Itagaki takes it way better than even Aoki and Kimura do. As Itagaki struggles to catch up to Ippo, Takamura and the other two boxers see Itagaki and remember how Yamada was. They notice that Ippo has the ability to attract people, and he might have already taken Date's place. However Takamura says Ippo still has one weakness; he is too kind as a boxer and allowa the pace to be set by his opponents in most fights. He states that Ippo takes too much damage and no matter who your opponent is, in boxing you must always fight to win.
Once they return from road work, Yagi brings a tape of Ippo's upcoming opponent, who debuted three weight classes above, and then began making his way don in order to fight him. Upon seeing the tape, Ippo is shocked when he recognizes the person fighting. Kamogawa then reveals to the group that the challenger is indeed someone they know; now with his head shaved, no eyebrows, and a completely different body, the fighter is non other than their former team mate Yamada.