Makunouchi Io (幕之内一歩 lit. makunouchi ippo) is the eponymous protagonist of Hajime no Ippo.
He is a Featherweight boxer from the Kamogawa Boxing Gym and the former JBC Featherweight Champion. He originally started boxing to try and answer one simple question: "What does it mean to be strong?" Since then he has formed a rivalry with Miyata Ichirou, a brotherly bond with Takamura Mamoru, and a deep trust for his coach, Kamogawa, whom he now aims to become a world champion for to honor the coach's teachings. However, knowing that his fighting style is has led to him being in serious harm far too often, Ippo intends to retire if he loses his next match, a vow he has only shared with his friend and love interest Mashiba Kumi.
|Japanese Name||幕之内 一歩|
|Nickname(s)||"The Wind God"|
|Birth date||November 23, 1973|
|Family|| Hiroko (Mother)|
Kazuo (Father, Deceased)
|Occupation|| Professional boxer|
Makunouchi Fishing Boat worker
|Height||164 cm (5'5")|
|Reach||165 cm (65 in)|
|Stance|| Peek-a-Boo Style|
Brawling Style (once)
|Current Affiliation||Kamogawa Boxing Gym|
|Rank|| 8 (WBC)|
|Wins by KO||23|
|Championships|| Eastern Japan Rookie King|
All Japan Rookie King
JBC Featherweight Champion
|Manga Debut||Round 1|
|Anime Debut||Round 1 (The Fighting)|
|Voice Actor|| Kiyasu Kouhei|
Sachi Kokuryu (Young)
Miki Shinichirou (Drama CD)
Ippo was raised by his mother, Hiroko for the majority of his childhood because Ippo's father, Makunouchi Kazuo died early in his childhood when his boat crashed in a storm. Ippo was a very shy, kind and obedient boy. He was also very strong willed and stubborn. During the time when his father was missing out in the sea, Ippo went everyday to the shore to wait for his return. He believed his father's words that upon his return he will never leave Ippo and Hiroko again. Although his father never returned, Ippo was able to satisfy himself that his father fulfilled his promise by finding the cap his father wore.
After his father died, Ippo grew up assisting his mother with the family fishing boat business. He was originally supposed to take over the business from her, but she decided to postpone it until after his boxing career is over.
High School and Pro DebutEdit
During his high school days, Ippo had no social life, as he would spend all his time working with his mother at their family business, the Makunouchi Fishing Boat. Due to this, he was constantly tormented by a group of bullies made up of Umezawa Masahiko and his friends Takemura and Matsuda.
One day on his way home, he is approached by the group of bullies, who after insulting him, begin beating Ippo. Though angry at first at a disrespectful comment about his mother, Ippo's submissive attitude stops him from defending himself and keeps getting beaten by Umezawa. As he is being beaten, Ippo is saved by Takamura Mamoru (who was in the middle of his Road Work), a novice boxer who intimidates and drives the trio away.
Left unconscious, Ippo is taken to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, where he is nursed back to health by Takamura, who expresses his disliking for both bullies, and people who allow themselves to be bullied. Before letting Ippo go, Takamura gives him the opportunity to punch a heavyweight bag with a drawing of Umezawa's face on it, as a way of relieve his frustration. After a few failed attempts and following Takamura's instructions, Ippo successfully performs a straight on the sandbag, which he send flying to the ceiling. Ippo's power is such, that the skin of his hand is peeled after hitting the sandbag. Whiled bandaging Ippo's hand, Takamura notices his well built body and encourages him to defend himself from the gang. Before leaving, Takamura also gives him a video compilation of Mike Tyson's knockouts.Inspired by the events, Ippo decides to become a professional boxer and requests Takamura's help in doing so. Thinking it is impossible for someone like Ippo to become a professional, Takamura tells him that he will only agree to train him if he can catch ten leaves falling from a tree midair with his jabs within a week.
With much struggle and his mother's support, Ippo continues his training for several days before finally being able to catch the second leaf. By the end of the week, five leaves is his limit, but remembering the way Takamura demonstrated it, Ippo realizes the key to throwing jabs, and is able to catch all ten leaves on the promised day, surprising Takamura (due to the fact that he did it with only one hand) and earning his acceptance.
Disappointed at Ippo's appearance, and thinking he is not good for boxing, Kamogawa Genji (owner of the gym) has him spar with prodigy out boxer technician Miyata Ichirou, in order to see whether he can continue or not. Terrified at the idea of an actual fight, Ippo follows the advice of Takamura, who serves as his second in the match. Utilizing everything he had learned from Takamura, Ippo manages to get to the third round, surprising all witnesses. However, he falls into a trap and is caught by Miyata's Sunday punch. Despite losing the fight by knockout, Ippo's great determination earns him the coach's respect and acceptance.
Realizing Ippo's potential, Kamogawa decides to have him fight Miyata again, to see how much they can improve in three months. In order to face the counter that defeated him, Ippo learns how to perform an uppercut, and works a strategy to lure Miyata in. However, after a conversation with the Miyata about what motivated him to fight, Ippo decides that he does not want to run away from the counter. After convincing Kamogawa, he goes through intensive training in order to face the counter head-on.The day of the match, Ippo faces a once again confident Miyata, who soon becomes desperate after realizing just how much his opponent had evolved in only three months. With both fighters scoring multiple downs, and Ippo's strategy against the counter working as planned, they get to the fourth round. In this final round, Ippo throws his newly acquired uppercut in an attempt to end the fight, but misses. Despite this, Miyata falls to the floor and is unable to recover before Takamura who is refereeing the fight counts to ten. It is later revealed by Fujii Minoru, who was watching the bout and took a picture, that Ippo's uppercut, indeed landed by barely a centimeter, making Miyata lose control of his legs, despite still being conscious.
The result of the second spar, causes Miyata to leave the gym in order to be able to face Ippo as a professional in the future. Before parting ways, they each promise to make it to the East Japan Rookie King Tournament and settle the score there once and for all. However, with Miyata's departure, Ippo loses a goal to fight for and no longer shows his characteristic enthusiasm. In an attempt to solve this problem, Kamogawa orders him to follow Takamura's training routine, with hopes of him realizing just how difficult a boxer's life really is. The coach's attempts prove to be successful, as Ippo understands by watching Takamura going through his training schedule with such energy despite suffering the effects of his weight management, that all boxers struggle one way or the other.After regaining his motivation by watching Takamura's effort in his training have results in his actual match, Ippo applies for a professional licence after his seventeenth birthday. Despite easily passing the written test, Ippo is extremely nervous before the test fight. However, his opponent's level of skill, proves to be much inferior to Miyata's, (who was the only person Ippo had fought) which makes it easy for Ippo to defeat him. Applying for a licence there, another newcomer, Mashiba Ryou, (who had previously expressed his disliking for Miyata) threatens Ippo by advising him to switch weight classes, as they will face each other in the tournament otherwise. To Mashiba's statement, Ippo responds that he will not, since he has a promise to fulfill with Miyata. The next day after school, Ippo is stopped by the bullies, Ippo defends himself and earns the bullies respect.
Makunouchi Ippo vs Oda YusukeEdit
After Ippo received his boxer's license, the coach announces that his opponent for his pro debut is Oda Yusuke. Ippo is pressured by the fact that his gym mates say Oda should be easy to defeat. The day before the match, Ippo and Oda went to the weigh in, as they meet, Oda glares at Ippo, the latter not knowing the reason why. The day of the match begins, in round one, Ippo had the advantage, pressuring Oda. In round two, Ippo downed Oda by a body blow, Oda gets up and grazes Ippo near the eye and causes a cut to appear. This causes the Kourakuen Hall doctor to almost stop the match. The third round begins and Oda goes straight for the cut, trying to make it bleed again, Ippo switches to Southpaw and eventually knocks out Oda with a series of jabs, thus winning the fight. As a celebration, Kamogawa left money for Ippo and the others to celebrate, they then go to Sugar Ray.
Makunouchi Ippo vs Fujiwara YoshioEditAfter Ippo's pro debut match, the next day he goes to school, his classmates are surprised he's a pro boxer. At lunch, Ippo is approached by Umezawa and gang, who wanted to know how his pro debut match went. After Ippo tells them, they wanted to know when his next match begins. Ippo's second match is scheduled and his opponent's name is Fujiwara Yoshio. At the day of the match, Ippo and Fujiwara enter the ring and the bell rings. As round one begins, Ippo and Fujiwara throw punches, the latter notices Ippo's guard is strong and his punches are harder than he imagined. Fujiwara, after getting hit multiple times, intentionally headbutts Ippo and downs him, though Ippo gets up quickly. After the next headbutt, Ippo notices that Fujiwara is doing it on purpose. Ippo begins losing in punches because he is in middle range, the range that Fujiwara is better at, so he steps in and lands a series of punches on Fujiwara. Fujiwara then begins to headbutt Ippo again, but the latter knew it was coming and throws an uppercut that knocks out Fujiwara in one round, making Ippo the winner.
The day after the match and after school is over, Ippo is told to come with Umezawa. Ippo is greeted by a group of delinquents, he then notices that Umezawa is calling him a "friend", Umezawa introduces Ippo to them and tells the group about Ippo's win.
Rookie King Tournament - First Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Jason OzumaEdit
Ippo celebrates his first year at the gym with Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura at the Chuuka Soba. At the gym, Yagi and the coach announces the line up for the Rookie King Tournament. Ippo's first opponent will be "Jason Ozuma". Ippo and the others though "Jason" was a ring name, but in fact Ozuma is an American boxer. After hearing about Ozuma's devastating right hook, Ippo trained to dodge hooks by having Takamura throw hooks for him to dodge and Ippo using hanging bars to act as a punch to dodge. Ippo failed the training at first, but after a couple of days, he succeeded. The day of the match arrives, at the weight check, they met for the first time, to Ippo's surprise, Ozuma is a kind man and had a friendly conversation.
In the first round, both Ippo and Ozuma were on the same pace, dodging each others punches, however Ippo was hit by one of Ozuma's hooks and went down, he got up in eight seconds. In the second round, Ippo went down another time due to another hook. After exchanging punches, Ozuma threw a large hook, Ippo dodges and threw a body blow, knocking Ozuma down. After getting back up, Ozuma throws multiple punches to Ippo, winning the exchange. Ippo, running out of options near the rope, sees an opening as Ozuma throws a big hook, Ippo dodges and throws an uppercut and a couple more punches that knocks out Ozuma, winning the match.
Rookie King Tournament - Second Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Kobashi KentaEdit
After school, Ippo rushed to Takamura at Kourakuen Hall to watch Miyata's pro match against Takada Teruhiko. There, he also sees a girl who's looking for a seat and drops her ticket in front of him. After Miyata's win Ippo is surprised with how much Miyata has gotten better since the spar. Later, Ippo goes to Yamanaka Bakery and sees the same girl who he saw during Miyata's match, working at the bakery. At the gym, Fujii arrives with a tape of Ippo's next opponent, Kobashi Kenta. As Ippo watches the tape, he notices Kobashi clinches and has weak jabs. He then watches a tape of Hayami Ryuuichi, who uses his Shotgun technique to batter his opponent in punches. At his house, Ippo gets a phone call from Takamura to go to training camp and accepts. He arrives to the training camp, there, he does multiple training exercises, running in the sand, shadowboxing, sparring, dodging tennis balls. At the gym, it is revealed that Ippo's match against Kobashi is before Takamura's match. As Ippo leaves the gym, he notices someone staring through the window. The person runs and drops his journal, Ippo picks it up and catches up to him, immediately he finds out it is Kobashi. When he finds out Kobashi is observing, he starts watching videos of Kobashi's matches.
The day of the match arrives, both fighters enter the ring. In the first three rounds, Ippo has trouble with Kobashi's left arm sticking out, unable able to hit him as Kobashi keeps clinching. Ippo corners Kobashi, before getting clinched again. Ippo begins to get exhausted. In the fourth and last round, Kobashi starts to throw more punches than usual, hoping for a KO win, Ippo sees an opening and throws a clean hit to the face that downs Kobashi. As Kobashi is unable to stand, Ippo wins the match.
Japanese Middleweight Title - Takamura Mamoru vs Yajima YoshiakiEdit
Ippo attended Takamura's match against Yajima Yoshiaki. When Takamura went down, Ippo and the others cheers helped Takamura stand up.
Rookie King Tournament - Semi-final Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Hayami RyuuichiEdit
At school during a teacher's conference, Ippo states to his teacher that he doesn't want to go to college, instead wants to continue boxing. While outside, Ippo meets Kobashi, who states that he couldn't find anyway of winning against Hayami or his shotgun. At the gym Kamogawa states that Hayami's shotgun must tire himself out, that is the moment Ippo should strike. Ippo begins defensive training in order to dodge Hayami's shotgun. Ippo watches Hayami's match against Yasukawa Kazu, and Aoki's match. Ippo arrives at the gym and notices Miyata is visiting and states he will wait for Ippo at the finals. Ippo notices that Hayami will always do an uppercut at the end of the barrage, so he states that he wants to learn how to counterattack the upper. Ippo begins counter training with Aoki.
On the day of the match, Ippo and Hayami enter the ring. In the first round, Ippo started to dodge Hayami's punches perfectly, after getting hit by a barrage of punches, Ippo gets ready to counter the upcoming left uppercut, but Hayami did not throw it, much to everyone's surprise. Hayami throws a barrage of punches at close range, Ippo goes down, thinking that there's no hope. After getting back up, and gaining his fighting spirit back, Ippo starts to hit Hayami better than he did before. Ippo sees a chance for the uppercut counter punch, however, they both hit each other, with Hayami's legs damaged. Ippo starts gaining his speed and overpowers Hayami with punches, eventually Hayami goes down on the first round, with Ippo declared as the winner.
Rookie King Tournament - Semi-final Round: Miyata Ichirou vs Mashiba RyouEdit
Ippo and Takamura attends Miyata's match against Mashiba. After the outcome, Ippo receives a message from Miyata, "Forgive me.". Ippo, frustrated, punches a punching bag at the gym until he is stopped by Takamura who discovers his bloodied fist. After looking at the wounds on Ippo's fist, Kamogawa suggests he must not use his fist for two weeks, he then begins speed training.
Rookie King Tournament - Final Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Mashiba RyouEdit
Ippo goes to the Yamanaka Bakery and sees Kumi, there Ippo finds out that Ryou is Kumi's brother. Ippo discusses about the situation with Takamura, who says he will not tell anyone, then tells Aoki and Kimura. Fujii enters the gym and explains the Mashiba family background to Ippo and everyone else. Kamogawa states that he found Mashiba's weakness, his left guard is down when he uses the Hitman style, however, Ippo has to go head-on. After Kamogawa notices Ippo's fist is healed, he lets Aoki and Kimura spar with Ippo.
The day of the match, Ippo and Mashiba enter the ring. Kamogawa tells Ippo to keep it an in-fight. The bell of the first round rings, Ippo bursts out the corner and attacks Mashiba. Mashiba enters his hitman style, Ippo is surprised with the flicker jab's range. Ippo is hit with Mashiba's flickers and then a chopping right that barely grazes Ippo's cheek. At first, Ippo had trouble dodging the flickers, then he starts dodging then correctly. When Ippo was about to strike, the bell rang, and round one is over. Round two begins, with Ippo advancing towards Mashiba with punches, Ippo almost landed an uppercut when he got close. When Ippo was about to throw a punch to Mashiba's body, the latter responded with an Elbow Block. After receiving a barrage of flickers, Ippo threw another hit to the body, only to hit Mashiba's elbow. Ippo throws another right to the body that gets elbow blocked, Mashiba then lowers his left arm due to Ippo's damage. Ippo then dashes and hits Mashiba multiple times and the second round is finished. At Ippo's corner, Kamogawa notices Ippo's right fist is bleeding through the glove, Kamogawa says to use the right fist only as the finishing blow. Third round begins, both fighters throw punches at each other. After receiving multiple punches, Mashiba forces his left arm into hitman style position. Ippo, thinking it's a bluff, gets hit multiple times and goes down. After noticing Mashiba's legs are shaking, Ippo gets up. Ippo starts throwing punches, Mashiba clinches, Ippo then starts hitting Mashiba while clinched. Once he broke out, Ippo then throws combos to Mashiba until he goes down. Mashiba could not get up and Ippo is the winner. Ippo then received the most talented rookie award.
Two weeks after the match and after school is finished, Ippo meets Umezawa and gang, who saw the match. After getting asked, Ippo states that he has to withdraw from the All Japan Rookie King Tournament. Ippo goes to the Yamanaka Bakery and finds out that Kumi quit her job there.
All Japan Final Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Sendou TakeshiEditDoctor Yamaguchi which allowed him to fight with a proper hand. The match was an intense slug-fight which ended abruptly before the fourth round when Sendou turned out to be unconscious in his corner, despite still sitting upright looking ready to continue.
After winning the All Japan Rookie Tournament, Ippo attended graduation ceremony and as he walk on stage to receive his diploma, everyone applaused him for his victory in being the All-Japan Rookie King. Umezawa along with students and teachers wants to take a picture with Ippo. On his way home, Ippo encounters his friend and rival Miyata. Miyata has his diploma in his hands revealing he too had graduated. Miyata informs Ippo that he is leaving Japan for a while since Ippo has widen the gap between them by becoming the All-Japan Rookie King and will return when he closes that gap. Ippo was left with no current goal to motivate him. Rehabilitating his hand injured from his previous fight, Ippo breaks from training and starts supporting his fellow boxers at Kamogawa Gym in their fights. He then meets the current JBC Featherweight Champion Date Eiji, who hints that in the future they may face each other since Ippo is already ranked number 10 upon winning the Rookie King Tournament. Ippo realizes that he wants to fight the Champion and trains for his new challenge.
Rookie King vs. Rookie King: Okita Keigo
Okita is a kouhai (younger disciple of the same gym) of Date Eiji. He challenges Ippo to a fight because he was envious of the way Date fought against Ippo in their spar. He ends up relying too much on his corkscrew blow and trying to replicate Date's style as his own. Ippo defeats him in the 1st round and sets up his entry into the Class A tournament.
A few days after the fight, Ippo found out by Yagi, that his mother was hospitalized after collapsing from overwork, Ippo considered retiring from boxing to run the business, but Umezawa asked Ippo to let him take over so Ippo could continue boxing.
Class A Tournament Semi-Finals (1st Round): Saeki Takuma
A boxer renowned for his exceptionally fast footwork earning the nickname of "Speed Star", Saeki Takuma was then considered to be the fastest man in the featherweight class. Saeki proved to be a difficult opponent at first since Ippo had difficulty catching him, even at close range. Saeki grew to be a major problem when he cornered Ippo and then used his flicker jabs to swell Ippo's right eye (intentionally). Saeki controlled most of the match by staying in Ippo's blind spot and staying out of his line of sight using his speed. After Ippo managed to lean against Saeki by coincidence, he started to get the timing and Saeki's rhythm down, allowing Ippo to punch accurately within his blind spot and knock Saeki out of it. In one final rush, taking advantage of his slowed reactions due to the fear of feeling Ippo's punch, Saeki is knocked out cold.
Class A Tournament Finals: Alexander Volg Zangief
A russian fighter who is gentle by nature but switches into a wild beast who finishes his opponents as quickly as possible. Before the match Coach Ramuda and Kamogawa had an interview meeting, resulting in a battle between the coaches and their boxing philosophies. Ippo manages to fight Volg longer than any of his previous opponents, but starts to endure major punches since Volg had much more refined techniques. Before the final blow, Volg runs out of stamina allowing Ippo to deliver his punches with little resistance. In the final round, Ippo and Volg enter a close range high hitting infight where they are forced to battle nonstop without breathing. After Ippo manages to avoid Volg's trademark White Fang, Volg ran out of air giving Ippo the chance to Gazelle Punch Volg's face for the victory.
First JBC Featherweight Title Match: Date Eiji
After earning his right to challenge Date Eiji, one of Japan's most revered boxers Ippo went into the match bringing everything he had learned in his past 10 matches with him. For the first few rounds he succeeded in pushing the champion to his limits. However, when Eiji began using the high-level Neck Spin to negate most of the power behind Ippo's punches, Ippo becomes disoriented. Eiji gradually returns to his style of fighting from his younger days. He delivers a powerful Heart Break Shot that stuns Ippo, then prepares to deliver the finishing blow. But the referee stops the match because Kamogawa had already thrown in the towel. Victory goes to Date Eiji.
Thanks to this match, Date regains his confidence in challenging the world champion, Ricardo Martinez. He relinquishes his belt, leaving Sendou Takeshi and Alexander Volg Zangief to fight for it. Sendou wins by a controversial decision and becomes the new JBC Featherweight Champion.
Comeback Match: Ponchai Chuwatana
A Thai fighter ranked 3rd in Thailand who faces Ippo following his 5 month break against Date Eiji. Ponchai had a very well-built physique and a strong determination to win in his boxing matches. Ippo had no videos or info about his opponent so he didn't get to see who he was fighting until the day of the weigh in. Ippo's fight against Ponchai was even in the first round since Ponchai was able to use the Neck Twist to neutralize Ippo's power. However in the second round, Ippo starts to land small punches while swaying left and right, before speeding up and finishing Ponchai off with his new finishing move, the "Dempsey Roll."
After this match, Sendou, the new featherweight champion, challenged Ippo to a match personally.
Second JBC Featherweight Title Match: Sendou Takeshi
The continuation of the unfinished match between the hard punchers of East and West. Ippo and Sendou had been looking forward to a match since the All Japan Rookie Championship was unfinished in their minds. To prepare for the match they both strengthened their weaknesses through new training methods, Sendou improving his lower body and Ippo his upper body.
This match is considered to be one of the most intense since both fighters had roughly the same amount of punching power resulting in numerous slug fests and a footstomp from the audience that shook the hall. Ippo originally had problems since he had a smaller body, meaning he had a little bit less muscle and was going to lose unless he started to connect more punches than Sendou did. But with encouragement from his friends and remembering his training he managed to continue his match against Sendou. The match turned into a mix up, where both fighters drew out the others' potential and helped each other grow stronger. With one final showdown between their signature finishers, Ippo managed to pull through and finish Sendou off by inventing a combo of his 3 strongest techniques to take the belt and title. Sendou then personally congratulated Ippo.
Title Defenses as JBC ChampionEdit
After obtaining the National Japanese Feather Weight Belt from Sendou, Ippo defended the title successfully for eight consecutive times.
First Title Defense: Sanada Kazuki
The former Japan junior featherweight champion moved up a weight class in order to challenge Ippo. With Hama Dankichi in his corner, he showcased a double uppercut nicknamed the "Hien" and the "Tsubame Gaeshi". He was able to remain standing for a moment after receiving the full Dempsey roll thanks to working the whole match on slowing Ippo down, but ultimately fell to the damage caused by it.
Second Title Defense: Hammer Nao
A former member of the Kamogawa Gym and former kouhai of Ippo, he dropped down from Junior Welterweight in order to get the chance to fight Ippo. Ippo tried to end the fight as quickly as possible so that Nao would not receive much damage, but Nao was able to last until the 2nd round through a series of subtly executed fouls and even landed his signature solar plexus shot. However, Ippo's strength and experience still proved too much to Nao, causing the latter to suffer a loss.
Third Title Defense: Yi Yonsu
Yonsu is the first opponent that Ippo has defeated in the first round as the champion. Ippo promised to win this match in the first round so long as Takamura won the junior middleweight title match against Bryan Hawk later that night. He knocks Yonsu out with the Dempsey roll and afterwards gets scolded by the Coach for taking such a big risk so early in the fight.
Fourth Title Defense: Shimabukuro Iwao
Iwao is the only fighter Ippo has ever fought that was shorter (and arguably more powerful) than him. This was fight was also for the right to be called Japan's greatest infighter. In this fight Ippo uses a alot more boxing skill than usual, starting off the fight with heavy jabs and using light punches in the end to set up his strong punch which was then followed by the Dempsey roll. Iwao is the first fighter to break the dempsey roll with punches choosing to slug it out, it is successful the first time, but the Second one finishes the fight.
Fifth Title Defense: Sawamura Ryuuhei
Sawamura presented Ippo with his greatest challenge up to this point because he possessed an almost genius like sense for counterpunching. Combine that with a rugged toughness as well as a heavy jab and powerful straight right, Ippo is pushed very hard in this fight and reveals an evolved form of the Dempsey Roll, one with a sudden stop, to make the attack less predictable and more effective. It became an excellent way to fake out the counter-boxer, even though it took a large toll on Ippo's body. It should be noted that Sawamura had Ippo in serious trouble in the 4th round but instead of finishing it then he chose to do more damage to Ippo and that in turn back fired. For within the 7th Round, Ippo knocks out Sawamura Ryuuhei with the evolved Dempsey Roll causing serious and massive damage to Sawamura.
Sixth Title Defense: Karasawa Takuzou
Karasawa is a former Kouhai of Sanada, this fight showcases Ippo's growth against out boxers, he does not need to use the Dempsey roll, choosing instead to seal the technique so that he can use other methods to win matches and prolong his career. Karasawa has speed similar to Saeki and utilizes it early, but Ippo uses his experience to trap him in the corner and land punishing body blows which became even stronger due to his training of hammering logs into a hill. This is one of Ippo's cleanest fights, having not taken a single clean hit and winning the fight using mainly lefts.
Seventh Title Defense: Take Keiichi
Take is the most experienced boxer that Ippo had fought up to this point, as well as the first southpaw he ever fought in the pro ring and was someone that Date Eiji held in high regard. He uses Ippo's inexperience against southpaws to his advantage through out the fight, and fights in close so as to take away the power of Ippo's immense lower-body strength and rotations on his punches. Ippo turns the fight around by taking an even lower stance and using Take's game plan against him. The match ends in Take losing a slugfest after Take chooses not to open up a cut on Ippo's eye and choosing to go out as a proud boxer.
Eighth Title Defense: Kojima Hisato
Kojima Hisato is a boxer that is two weight classes above Ippo. He has insulted Ippo's opponents and even his coach, but later it is found out that he is a huge Ippo fan. His right arm is currently useless so he uses his left arm to gain a Japanese rank. He also claims to know Ippo's weakness. This was also a short match as Ippo knocks him out after recovering from Kojima's counter in the first round.
Survival Match of Asian ChampionsEdit
After yet another canceled fight with Ichiro Miyata, Ippo lost his drive and thought of retiring from boxing. However with the help of Iimura Mari and the words of his friends and previous opponent, he was able to find his true goal which is to become strong and went back to Kamogawa Gym to continue Boxing. Kamogawa then tells Ippo to aim for the World, but having them cut off the shortest route of getting to the top rankings by beating the OPBF Champ Miyata, Kamogawa tells Ippo that he will take a different path, which is to defeat all of the OPBF National Champions, obtaining their WBC rankings and becoming an unofficial OPBF Champion.
Against Thailand National Champion: Jimmy Sisphar
His first fight in this quest is against Sisphar, who earlier in the series was the first fighter to fall to Miyata's jolt counter. Ever since then, Sisphar had become areckless pure offense infighter with many scars from head butts and infights. Because of his many scars he earned the nickname Scratch J. He also developed a full body hook which he called his version of the jolt.
In this fight Ippo is forced to add a new element to the Dempsey roll, an uppercut, that Sisphar could not counter because his full body Jolts went from a side to side motion and it left Sisphar open to uppercuts.
Against Philippine National Champion: Malcolm Gedo
This fight is his second in the challenging the OPBF championship series. This fight is set up when the 7th ranked japanese ranker, Fukui, defeated Malcolm Gedo in his hometown, but it was revealed that Gedo had thrown the fight in order to receive money, he did so without receiving any damage. This outraged coach Kamogawa and Ippo and in turn caused them to put 2 million yen (4 million yen total from each fighter) on the line so that Gedo would fight seriously, Gedo was adept at avoiding any significant damage from Ippo early on in the fight, and because he wore his left glove loose he was able to trick Ippo's depth perception by changing hand positions to create the illusion of an extending arm. Ippo overcame Gedo because of the results of his sparring with Mashiba Ryou. He is able to avoid a very critical uppercut thrown by Gedo and also overcame the Gedo's illusion when Gedo decided to switch to heavy punches, making his reach more easily read to Ippo.
Against Indonesian National Champion: Wally
This is the third fight in Ippo's challenge of the OBPF championship. It is set up by Miguel Zail, the former trainer of Bryan Hawk and an acquantance from Genji Kamogawa's past. Wally has only 3 fights in his resume before this bout, was a very difficult opponent for Ippo, because of his great talent for boxing which was beyond genius level. Despite getting knocked down early, Wally controls most of the match with his speed and instincts and because he was most effective in the corner Ippo had little choice but to aim for very weak, fast body shots to at least be able to touch him. However, the body shots have an unforeseen cumulative effect because they had all been aimed at the exactly same spot, which not even Ippo was aware of. They took away Wally's mobility which finally led to Ippo landing cleaner shots and finally a showdown in the corner in which Ippo traps Wally in the corner with the Dempsey Roll and eventually knocks him out. But before he delivered another finishing blow to Wally, Coach Miguel saved his boxer by throwing in the towel before Ippo could do even more serious damage.
The match is considered to be one of the most intense fights for the two Oriental Pacific National boxing champions. It also showed that with enough hard work and dedication, even genius ability can be overcome. After the fight, Genji Kamogawa and Miguel Zale have a talk, and they understand that a rematch between their 2 fighters won't happen shortly, since the only reason Ippo won was because of his experience, but now there is no factor that can give him a chance for victory.
Ippo's world ranking is 13 and his OPBF ranking is 1 before he begins the OPBF conquest. After defeating the three Asian champions, his world ranking has risen to 7.
After his fight with Kojima, Ippo was told by the coach that he would be relinquishing the JBC Featherweight Title and moving up to challenging world rankers.
Against Alfredo Gonzales:
As the fight starts, Ippo takes up his usual pace, using his head slips and peek-a-boo guard to close in and fire in shots. He negates heavy punches from Alfredo by stepping in fast in order to cut off the damage of Alfredo's punches with his forehead, then starts to bring the match to an in-fight, at which he loses. He still goes in, quickly learning the rhythm of Alfredo's long blows; but as he corners Alfredo, Alfredo takes advantage of Ippo's not expecting punches from the side and lands a heavy long left hook, scoring a knockdown.
As the match progresses Ippo continues to take hits while Alfredo fights at long range. Finally Ippo brings out the Dempsey Roll. In return, Alfredo takes up a savage close range in-fighting style. The exchange ends with no clean hits, then another exchange follows and Alfredo is knocked down by a glancing uppercut which rattled his brain.
Finally, in the 7th round, the boxers enter yet another exchange which Ippo wins, but as he goes for the finishing blow, Alfredo lands a powerful right counter and sends Ippo to the canvas, where he lays motionless. Kamogawa runs into the ring to help Ippo and the referee declares a TKO.
As of this fight, Alfredo is the second person to knock Ippo unconscious.
Comeback Match Against Philippine National Champion: Antonio Guevarra
Antonio Guevarra is a Filipino fighter ranked as the Champion in Philippine who faces Ippo following his ten month break against Alfredo Gonzales.
In the first round, Antonio uses his right jab to keep Ippo out of range and prevent him from infighting. However, Ippo slowly adjusts to the new range and rhythm and is able to close in on Antonio, ducking under his left straight and hitting him with a large body blow. Ippo then punches Antonio in the face, sending him into the ropes where he bounces off and falls on his face, with the referee stepping in to send Ippo to a neutral corner. After Ippo's surprising dash downs Guevara, the audience is in an uproar. "He's national champion class!" people cheer. Even Sendo's jaw dropped. Mashiba says that Ippo's dash isn't ordinary, that to be able to knock someone back to the ropes that hard in one instant is just insane. Fuji comments that aren't big hits like that supposed to be all flash? Miyata notes that Ippo's dashing power is particularly impressive, to be able to fire in like that in just a second. Being able to stop and start on a dime like that, the launchpad for the New Dempsey Roll has been completed.
Ippo stands in the neutral corner while the count continues. Spectators are expecting Ippo's revival to be a 1-round KO; no way Guevara can stand after that! Kamogawa knows it's different; since Guevara is a southpaw, Ippo's right straight came from farther away than usual, and the hit was lighter than it should've been. He gestures to Ippo in the corner and Ippo acknowledges him. As they both expected, Guevara gets up. The audience and announcer are shocked that Guevara can still stand, but his spirit isn't broken yet.
Ippo starts warming up as Guevara steadies himself. From the waiting room, Takamura muses that it's time to try out the New Dempsey Roll. As soon as the ref signals "box!" Ippo dashes out of the corner like a bullet. Guevara's corner tells him to throw some jabs like before, but Ippo slips through. His corner then tells him to just buy some time. Expecting a body blow, Guevara lowers his guard, then guards his face with one arm. Despite the guard, Ippo's punch rocks Guevara's head back. Ippo diligently sticks to the anti-southpaw strategy he and Kamogawa had planned.
Guevara is totally on the defensive now and is once again forced to retreat right into the ropes. Kamogawa is worried that history will repeat itself and that Ippo will be on the receiving end of a KO counter from the ropes, but one look at Ippo's movements and that fear seems to fade away. Guevara throws out a counter, but Ippo avoids it and sets up for the New Dempsey Roll. Ippo begins his Diagonal Dempsey Roll by stopping the momentum of ducking to the left, immediately delivering a punch going from vertical to horizontal, he then leans to the left and swings back to punch with a left. Ippo swings to the right, delivers a right uppercut while swinging his body to the left. As Ippo is about to land a hit again, Antonio falls and a slip is declared. Sendo , Mashiba, and Miyata are impressed by Ippo's new Dempsey Roll. Reeling from the damage dealt by Ippo's new Dempsey Roll, Guevara tried to clinch but Ippo was keen on his plan and was able to release a powerful liver blow; unfortunately, the bell rings, and the referee moves in to stop Ippo, preventing what seemed to be an inevitable early KO. In the 2nd Round, Antonio Guevara's corner recalls having a conversation with Malcolm Gedo about how to beat Ippo. Although Gedo gave some hints on how to outstrike Ippo, he asked for money in exchange for more of his secrets, which prevented Guevera's corner from getting crucial insight on how to beat Ippo. Refusing to lose, Guevara starts thinking out of the box, and decides to use his range against Ippo. Despite the obvious power difference, Guevara noticed that Ippo's range is too short, and looked to to counter Ippo's jabs. As the time goes by, Sendo decides to go for a drink, thinking that the fight is done. Time and time again, however, a wounded Guevara manages to hold back Ippo's relentless assault.
How Guevara manages to do this leaves everyone shocked, as a normally durable Ippo is suddenly sent reeling to the canvas again and again by an opponent that everyone believed Ippo would steamroll over. How is this possible!? During the fight, Coach Kamogawa picked up how inconsistent Ippo's ability was to take damage from a wounded Guevara. Ippo eats Guevara's jabs like they were nothing, while Guevara's counters, despite their apparent lack of destructive power, manage to knock Ippo down repeatedly. Coach Kamogawa and Ippo consistently trade looks, as if trying to communicate with each other; Ippo asking for Coach Kamogawa to let him fight, while Coach Kamogawa clutches a towel in hand, consistently looking out for Ippo's safety. Despite his doubts, Coach Kamogawa allows the match to continue, with Ippo desperate to show Coach Kamogawa the New Dempsey Roll. The fight against Guevara leads to a back and forth war that leaves both fighters with 2 knockdowns in a fight with a 3 knockdown rule in effect. Everyone sits at the edge of their seat, awaiting the climactic outcome of this battle.
Unbeknownst to everyone except Takamura and Coach Kamogawa, Ippo no longer appears to be the fighter he once was. His fights over the years have taken their toll, and Ippo's body seems to be broken. In the heat of battle, Ippo himself realizes this, and resolves to give this fight his all, with the sole intent of showing the New Dempsey Roll to Coach Kamogawa, win or lose. After cornering Guevara, Ippo begins the New Dempsey Roll in hopes of finishing Guevara. In between his deadly combination, a desperate and embattled Antonio sees an opening in Ippo's New Dempsey, summons the memory of his family to tap his last reserves of strength, and throws a sharp left cross to counter against Ippo's momentum. The result: a devastating knockout of Ippo, and his 2nd straight loss.
|26||LOSS||23-3-0||Antonio Guevarra||KO||4(10)||1999-01||Tokyo, Japan||"10 Months In The Making"
the Wind Gods Failed Revival
|25||LOSS||23-2-0||Alfredo Gonzales||TKO||7(10), 1:17||1998-03-21||Tokyo, Japan||
"Go To The World!" WBA Featherweight Title Eliminator
|24||WIN||23-1-0||Kojima Hisato||TKO||1(10), 2:07||1997-10||Tokyo, Japan||
"Operation World Domination II" Semi-Final JBC Featherweight Title Defense #8, Retained JBC Featherweight Title, Relinquishes Title
|23||WIN||22-1-0||Wally||TKO||8(10), 1:35||1997-07||Tokyo, Japan||"In The Jungle", "Survival Match of Asian Champions"|
|22||WIN||21-1-0||Malcolm Gedo||TKO||8(10), 2:37||1997-02-15||Tokyo, Japan||"Winner Takes All", "Survival Match of Asian Champions"|
|21||WIN||20-1-0||Jimmy Sisphar||KO||4(10), 2:30||1996-08-01||Tokyo, Japan||"The Scratch", "Survival Match of Asian Champions"|
|20||WIN||19-1-0||Take Keiichi||KO||6(10), 1:00||1996-01-25||Tokyo, Japan||"The Challenge for the 7th Defense", Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|19||WIN||18-1-0||Karasawa Takuzou||TKO||2(10), 2:15||1995-10-03||Tokyo, Japan||"The Challenge for the 6th Defense", Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|18||WIN||17-1-0||Sawamura Ryuuhei||TKO||7(10), 1:15||1995-06-15||Tokyo, Japan||"Dragon Slayer" 5th Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|17||WIN||16-1-0||Shimabukuro Iwao||KO||7(10), 2:15||1995-03-21||Tokyo, Japan||"Submarine Wars" 4th Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|16||WIN||15-1-0||Yi Yonsu||TKO||1(10), 0:32||1994-12-20||Tokyo, Japan||"Battle of Hawk" Semi-Final Match, 3rd Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|15||WIN||14-1-0||Yamada Naomichi||KO||2(10), 2:42||1994-08-20||Tokyo, Japan||"Proof of Power" 2nd Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|14||WIN||13-1-0||Sanada Kazuki||TKO||5(10), 2:33||1994-04||Tokyo, Japan||"First Step" 1st Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title|
|13||WIN||12-1-0||Sendou Takeshi||KO||7(10), 1:34||1993-11-20||Tokyo, Japan||"Lallapallooza" JBC Featherweight Title Match, Attained JBC Featherweight Title|
|12||WIN||11-1-0||Ponchai Chuwatana||TKO||2(10), 2:00||1993-07-11||Tokyo, Japan||"The Road Back", Comeback Match|
|11||LOSS||10-1-0||Date Eiji||TKO||5(10), 2:32||1993-02||Tokyo, Japan||JBC Featherweight Title Match|
|10||WIN||10-0-0||Alexander Volg Zangief||KO||5(8), 1:21||1992-10||Tokyo, Japan||"The Lone Wolf" Class-A Tournament Finals, Rose to Rank #1 Contender|
|9||WIN||9-0-0||Saeki Takuma||KO||4(6), 2:12||1992-07||Tokyo, Japan||"Speed Star" Class-A Tournament Round 1|
|8||WIN||8-0-0||Okita Keigo||KO||1(10), 2:58||1992-06||Tokyo, Japan||Rose to JBC Featherweight Contender Rank #5|
|7||WIN||7-0-0||Sendou Takeshi||RTD/TKO||3(6), 3:00||1992-02||Osaka, Japan||All-Japan Rookie King Tournament, Became JBC Featherweight Contender Rank #10|
|6||WIN||6-0-0||Mashiba Ryou||KO||3(6), 2:13||1991-12-24||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals, Became Rookie King Champion of the East|
|5||WIN||5-0-0||Hayami Ryuuichi||TKO||1(4), 2:59||1991-11||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|4||WIN||4-0-0||Kobashi Kenta||KO||4(4), 2:58||1991-08||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals|
|3||WIN||3-0-0||Jason Ozuma||TKO||2(4), 2:52||1991-06||Tokyo, Japan||
East Japan Rookie King Tournament Round 1
|2||WIN||2-0-0||Fujiwara Yoshio||KO||1(4), 2:50||1991-02||Tokyo, Japan||Tournament After Pro Debut|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||Oda Yusuke||TKO||3(4), 2:35||1991-01-03||Tokyo, Japan||Pro Debut|
This list does not include the numerous spars Ippo has had with his fellow gymmates.
- VS Miyata Ichirou 3R KO Loss (Match Simulation)
- VS Miyata Ichirou 4R KO Win (Match Simulation)
- VS Ogawa Naoya 1R TKO Win (Pro Test)
- VS Omori 1R Loss (Sparring)
- VS Date Eiji 3R KO Loss (Sparring)
- VS Naomichi Yamada 1R TKO WIN (Farewell Party)
- VS Shigeta Akira 3R Decision Loss (Sparring)
- VS Ricardo Martinez 1R Loss (Sparring)
- VS Itagaki Manabu 3R KO Win (Sparring)
- VS Imai Kyousuke 3R (Sparring)
- VS Volg Zangief 3R TKO Loss (Sparring)
- VS Imai Kyousuke 2R (Sparring)
- VS Fukui 3R KO Win (Match Simulation)
- VS Mashiba Ryou 3R Loss (Sparring)
- VS Sendou Takeshi ?R KO Loss (Sparring)
- VS Nagumo Ryuji 1R Loss (Sparring)
- VS Oda Yusuke: First Pro fight
- VS Fujiwara Yoshio: First 1 round KO
- VS Mashiba Ryou: East Japan Rookie King Finals
- VS Takeshi Sendou: All Japan Rookie King and First fight outside of Tokyo
- VS Okita Keigo: Fight against former East Japan Rookie King
- VS Alexander Volg Zangief: Fight against former Amateur World Champion and Class A Championship
- VS Date Eiji: First Title Match and First loss
- VS Ponchai Chuwatana: Comeback match and first Dempsey Roll utilisation
- VS Takeshi Sendou: Fight for Japanese Title
- VS Sanada Kazuki: Fight against former Jr Featherwieght Champion and First fight as Champion
- VS Yi Yonsu: Featherweight Title record KO time
- VS Shimabukuro Iwao: Fight for title of Japan's Strongest Infighter
- VS Sawamura Ryuuhei: First fight with a counter specialist
- VS Karasawa Takuzou: First fight with no injuries
- VS Wally: First victory with the second throwing in the towel
- VS Kojima Hisato: First KO victory won by a single blow
- VS Alfredo Gonzales: First match as a world contender and Second loss
- VS Antonio Guevarra: Comeback Match after loss against Alfredo
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Sendou Takeshi||JBC Featherweight Champion|
November 20, 1993-1997
|Okita Keigo||All Japan Featherweight Rookie King||Shigeta Akira|
|Okita Keigo||East Japan Featherweight Rookie King||Shigeta Akira|
Ippo is relatively short, even by Japanese standards. He has black, shaggy hair, and his body, while being in the featherweight division, is stressed as extremely muscular. In terms of skin tone, Ippo is tanned. His eye color dark brown in the manga, a mix of green and yellow in the anime. It should be noted that Ippo has a larger than average penis.
At the start of the series Ippo is a 16-year-old high school student. He is usually a kind and reserved person who dislikes fighting, and because of that he had been bullied since grade school. He possesses great courage against all enemies.
Despite his strength and courage, Ippo still behaves rather meek out of the ring and often humbles himself around his rivals. For example, even though he has defeated both Mashiba Ryou and Sendou Takeshi, he fears Mashiba and tries to avoid discussing a second rematch with Sendou whenever he is around. He also continued to be intimidated by Umezawa Masahiko, his former bully, long after he began boxing. He has a great deal of respect for his gymmate Takamura Mamoru and former Japanese Featherweight Champion Date Eiji and he was completely shocked when World Featherweight Champion Ricardo Martinez requested a spar with him.
His dream is to one day face Miyata Ichirou in the pro ring, and the two of them view each other as eternal rivals. Despite these feelings towards each other, they appear to also view each other as friends and Ippo even refers to Miyata as "Miyata-kun". Because Ippo tends to know a lot about Miyata, people tend to call him a Miyata Otaku, while his gym mates jokingly imply that he must be "gay for Miyata". At the same time, Ippo aims to become equal to Takamura in terms of strength.
Coach Kamogawa puts him through strict training and the two of them have a strong teacher-student bond. Ippo trusts the coach and has faith in his teachings, while Kamogawa believes that Ippo may be the one who will eventually realize his World Championship dream. Takamura has said that Kamogawa seem more like Ippo's father than his coach, and because Ippo's father died when he was young he begins to view Kamogawa in that way.
Ippo is quite friendly, and many of his rivals have become friends of his, most notably are Miyata, Sendou, Date, Sanada Kazuki, Volg, and Kobashi Kenta, whom all still keep in touch with him from time to time. He is well liked by his gymmates, especially Takamura, Aoki Masaru, and Kimura Tatsuya. Even though he still has the personality of a young boy, he still manages to serve as a good senpai for his kouhai Itagaki Manabu.
When it comes to love, Ippo is definitely a late bloomer, he is naive, pure-hearted, and awkward. He is in love with Mashiba Kumi whom he dates frequently, and she feels the same for him, but because of the silent pressure of Kumi's older brother Ryou, the "attacks" of reporter Iimura Mari and Itagaki Nanako, and the meddling of Takamura and the others, their relationship has yet to progress much. The one time Ippo confessed to her, Kumi had fallen asleep after drinking too much alcohol, and unfortunately she didn't hear it.
Because of his personality, Ippo is seldom seen as being angry before a fight, even if his opponent insults him or his boxing skills. However, it has been shown on rare occasions that he is capable of displaying anger whenever an opponent says or does something to look down on the sport of boxing, which he loves. Such occasions have been when he saw Sawamura Ryuuhei intentionally commit fouls in his previous matches, despite having the upperhand, and then later on when he struck Kumi with a sharp jab, cutting her face. Another occasion has been most recently, when his opponent, Kojima, insulted his previous opponents, both in person and publicly in a magazine, and also insulting Coach Kamogawa teaching methods as they were fault. This resulted in Ippo displaying a new attitude, even going so far as to calmly state to Takamura, when asked if he would have any problems, that "this won't take long", referring to the match.
|Miyata Otaku||宮田オタク||Miyata Fanboy|
|Aoki (once)||Freddy Ippo||フレディ一歩||Ringname ideas meant|
to counter Jason Ozuma
(see Round 27
|Takamura (once)||Big Mara Ippo||ビッグまら一歩||Big Penis Ippo|
(see Round 27)
|Tama Aru Ippo||玉ある一歩||With Balls Ippo|
(see Round 27)
Mother (Makunouchi Hiroko)Edit
Ever since the death of Ippo's father Hiroko has been the only parental figure in his life. Ippo deeply loves her. He is willing to do anything from quitting school to quitting boxing to help Hiroko when she becomes too overworked. Hiroko greatly supports her son in anything that makes him happy, especially his boxing career (even though she doesn't watch any of his matches because she doesn't want to watch her son get beaten).
Father (Makunouchi Kazuo)Edit
Ippo as a boy had looked up to his dad. Ippo saw his father as a truly strong man and also as the reason why he searches for the answer to what it means to be strong. For finding the answer will help to understand his father.
Takamura Mamoru was the very first boxer Ippo had ever met and also the person that had introduced him to the world of boxing. The relationship between the two can be described as a brotherly relationship. Takamura at time gives Ippo some advise to improve his boxing, for example it was thanks to Takamura's advice that Ippo developed the Dempsey Roll. He also often acts as the one that gives Ippo moral support when Ippo questions himself. It is shown before his match with Karasawa that Ippo's confidence depends on Takamura as well (At the weigh-ins when Takamura wasn't there Sanada described Ippo as "incomplete"). Takamura tells Itagaki that he sees Ippo as a little brother who he looks out for.
Kimura Tatsuya also one of the first boxers that Ippo meets and also one of his closest friends. Kimura in the beginning of the series gives Ippo advice on his boxing such as teaching him how to do weight shifting so to keep up with out-boxers with good foot work. Kimura often times could be considered the more ideal senpai out of the group to Ippo- though he will at times still act jealous to his kouhai since he surpassed him, and will often join in on jokes at Ippo's expense.
Aoki Masaru is also one of the first boxers Ippo meets at the Kamogawa gym and also one of his closest friends. Aoki in the beginning of the series gives advice to Ippo and also often time is the one that spars with him during his training. Aoki is often the one that tries to help out the most in Ippo's relationship with Kumi. For example reassuring Ippo that Kumi likes him, and also getting the two in the same room while they stay at the beach.
When Coach Kamogawa first met Ippo he didn't think he was cut out to be a boxer, but that all changed after witnessing Ippo's will to be a boxer in his first spar against Miyata. Kamogawa only once calls Ippo by his name but most times refers to him as "kid" or "brat". Kamogawa has since taught and trained Ippo throughout the whole series. Coach is shown to be very extremely tough on Ippo very rarely giving him praise even after he wins. The bond between the two is described to be incredibly strong trust, with Ippo trusting the coach's guidelines, while the coach trusts that Ippo will follow them through. Miyata states that Ippo follows his coach's guidelines like a religion. Nekota states that Ippo is the one that will inherit Kamogawa's will, Miguel also describes Ippo to be Kamogawa's "last son".
Umezawa was the leader of the gang that bullied Ippo. After watching one of Ippo's matches he becomes a fan of Ippo (who holds no grudge against him) and, over time, a friend. When Ippo considers giving up professional boxing to help his mother with their fishing business, Umezawa goes to work for them so Ippo could keep on boxing, and he also becomes the head cheerleader for Ippo. When he decides to leave to pursue his manga career, Ippo assures him that they are best friends.
Mashiba Kumi has been Ippo's love interest ever since the Rookie Kings. Ippo first met Kumi when he accidentallly wound up at her store. After Ippo's match with Kumi's brother Ryo, the two did not see each other for over a year till Ippo was hospitalized after the match with Volg Zangief, where it is shown that she had the same feelings for him. It was from then that the two would hang out and go on occasional dates. But Ippo's shyness and interference from Mashiba Ryou prevent their romantic relationship from growing. Kumi also has not said whether she likes Ippo, though she implies it.
A sports writer for the same magazine as Fujii. She shows no interest in Japanese boxers, but was interested in Ippo immediately. She often covers Ippo's matches and the boxers he is going to fight against. Over time she grows romantic feelings for Ippo. Iimura also give moral support to Ippo especially when he was considering to retire after he considers quiting boxing when the match with Miyata doesn't come through.
Fuji Minoru can be considered to be the first fan of Ippo. When he first met Ippo Fuji did not think much of him. After he witnessed Ippo's spar with Miyata, however, he has kept a close eye on him. He helped give Ippo info on several of his opponents.
Ippo's first boxing spar was against Miyata, who was already well known as a promising rookie. Miyata was surprised by Ippo's strong will and states after the fight that "boxing has become more interesting". In their second spar, Miyata lost to Ippo and began to regard him more seriously as a rival. They planned to settle the score in the rookie kings final, but Miyata lost to Mashiba and their promised fight went unfulfilled. After the rookie king tournament, Miyata and Ippo promised again to meet in the ring, but many say the match is not meant to happen. However, with this goal in mind, both of them have been using each other as motivation to become stronger over the course of their boxing careers.
Although many consider Miyata to be Ippo's rival, including Miyata himself, he is actually Ippo's idol. Ever since their first spar, Ippo has always idolized Miyata to the point the Kamogawa gang calls him Miyata's biggest fan. Ippo has kept track of all Miyata's fights and has always studied him (and Miyata in turn keeps track of Ippo's fights and growth). A fight with Miyata has been Ippo's goal since he started boxing. Many speculated and it was later confirmed that Ippo would retire after his promised fight with Miyata (Coach Kamogawa considers it a blessing that the fight didn't happen).
Sendou Takeshi is considered to be Ippo's chief rival seeing as they fought twice already. Even though their fighting styles, family life (both of their parental figures are women, and lost their fathers at a young age), and their goals in boxing (both seek the answer to what does it mean to be strong to understand each others fathers) are very similar their personalities couldn't be more opposite. While Ippo is timid, and passive. Sendou is aggressive. While Ippo is humble, Sendou is found to be over confident.
Even though they have fought twice against each other, and consider each other to be rivals, the two are actually friends. The two can talk with each other, go out to eat, and watch Volg's match (though this doesn't stop Sendou from stating they will fight each other). The Kamogawa gang call Sendou Ippo's best friend, which Sendou denies.
Mashiba Ryou was the main antagonist during the Rookie King tournament . He and Ippo initially got off to a bad start when they met at the license gathering, where he brutally knocked out a friendly boxer. During the Rookie King tournament, he ruined Ippo's chance of meeting Miyata like they had agreed when he cheated during the match, breaking Miyata's foot. Upon Ippo and Mashiba meeting in the East Rookie King finals Mashiba landed pretty decent blows and had Ippo on the ropes, but Ippo showed a determination that Mashiba felt fear from and Ippo ultimately won.
After moving up to Jr. Lightweight, he now views Ippo as his rival. Mashiba is overprotective of his little sister Kumi, and has been seen stalking Ippo and Kumi when they go out on dates. Despite Ippo's efforts, Mashiba is very unsociable towards him. However, Kumi has claimed on certain occasions that Mashiba was happy with Ippo around.
Boxing styleEditIppo's boxing style is said to be modeled after Mike Tyson and Hamada Tsuyoshi. He is a natural In Fighter, a great Hard Puncher with an impressive KO rate of 100%. His punching power, durability, and fighting spirit are considered to be his greatest attributes; each is unparalleled in Japan. His punching power in particular is said to be among the world's best, with the implication that Ippo's punches are comparable to World Champion Ricardo Martinez. His style has had vast improvements throughout the series, and now consist of sways, liver blows, and a Sunday Punch: the Dempsey Roll. His strong flurry of blows have earned him the title Wind God (while Ichirou Miyata has the title Lightning God due to his fast blows and incredible reflexes and movement speeds). He is the number one In-Fighter in Japan.
One of the main reasons for Ippo's success as a boxer is his willingness to train. To his surprise Ippo had already developed a physical base that would help him in boxing--and particularly in his own fighting style. Years of helping his mother carrying the fishing coolers to and from the boat helped develop his muscles and also constantly moving around on the fishing boat helped him develop a good lower body as well as good balance. To train for his fight with Jason Ozuma, he ran full speed at bars at the park in order to speed up his ducking so as to avoid Ozuma's powerful hooks. Before the rest of the Rookie King Tournament, he embarks on his first training camp with the Kamogawa gym, the camp was held at the beach and it improved Ippo's lower body strength and endurance due to all the running on the sand. To prepare for the Volg Zangief fight, Coach Kamogawa had Ippo build up his lower body with many hill runs and squats in order to build the strength needed to throw the Gazelle Punch. In Ippo's return fight after the loss to Date, he trained his lower body even more with harsh sprints, he also decided to improve his bobbing and weaving and unknowingly used a not so polished version of the Dempsey roll. To prepare for his second fight with Sendou, he had a training camp in the mountains. There, Nekota introduced Ippo to the method of chopping wood to help back strength, and further utilized running in the mountains to add more leg strength. Ippo's sheer physicality coupled with his indomitable fighting spirit, enables him to endure tremendous physical damage and continue fighting.
Ultimately, even though Ippo doesn't have the natural instincts of boxers like Sendou and Takamura, he has, as Coach Kamogawa puts it, "developed something just as good: experience".
- Peek-a-Boo Style - Ippo's most commonly used boxing stance. After the match with Oda, Kamogawa noticed Ippo's weak defense and taught him the Peek-A-Boo. Ippo continues to use this style as it allows for a strong defense while allowing him to attack without giving up any power.
- One-step Straight Punch - Ippo's First Punching technique taught by Takamura.
- Weaving - In order to prepare to avoid Mashiba's flicker jabs, Ippo worked on his lower body by running and sprinting. This allowed Ippo to bob and weave his head around, making it difficult for the opponent to make a clean hit.
- Turtle Strategy - In Ippo's first spar (against Miyata) while he didn't know any techniques, Takamura taught him the Turtle strategy (or "Operation Turtle"). After the spar against him, Ippo used it just once more during his sixth title defense.
- Counter - Even though Ippo is not a counter-user he has trained to use ones such as using a uppercut counter against Jason Ozuma's hook and using a cross hook to counter Hayami Ryuuichi's uppercut.
- Liver Blow - A body blow aimed directly under the right side of the ribs. Ippo uses it constantly since it is very effective against Out-boxers. It was first used against Mashiba Ryou.
- One Centimeter Punch- "Motionless Short Uppercut" Ippo, during his second spar with Miyata threw an uppercut directly upward instead of with a curve, due to Miyata's reflexes, the punch only hit the tip of his chin and ended up doing more damage than if the blow wasn't dodged. This "Uppercut" was revived by Ippo against Sendou in the All-Japan Rookie Finals as a different type of Smash (which it was originally). Ippo used it to counter Sendou's own smash successfully. It is noted that despite the technique being faster, it sacrificed some power to attain that speed.
- Gazelle Punch - A punch where Ippo springs downwards and then launches himself forward using the momentum of that motion into an uppercut. It was first used on Volg Zangief.
- Dempsey Roll - Ippo's Sunday Punch. After Ippo recovered from his match against Date, he had a comeback match with the 3rd ranked seed in Thailand. The nervous Ippo trained on dodging and punching, and while doing so thought up a way to punch and dodge in the same time. When the opponent was trapped by the ropes, Ippo started a combination of dodging and punching in a form of the figure eight, a combination that was completely identical to the Dempsey roll, a technique that the world heavyweight champion of 1920, Jack Dempsey had used. Ippo relies on this technique quite a bit, although it has many weaknesses. The Dempsey Roll itself is a technique that relies on moving in the shape of a figure eight while attacking the opponent with hooks (later Ippo discovers a way to use uppercuts as well), thus allowing the user to attack from a blind side, and then switch to the other using the centrifugal force built up. As the speed increases with the number of rotations the user's power increases along with it.
- Sakki - Before the match against Sendou (the second), Ippo learned about the sakki feint. He managed to use this to his advantage when using the Ultimate Dempsey Roll Combo. It's important to note however as stated by both Coach Kamogawa and Takamura, Ippo doesn't specifically use Sakki but instead uses his own version of it; Courage.
- New Dempsey Roll - Before his fight with Sawamura Ryuuhei Ippo realizes the flaws of the Dempsey roll and comes up with this solution: to include a series of start/stop motions which make the pattern of the technique unpredictable to counter punchers. Ippo seals the move after the match due to the inherent risk it carries- with a dangerous strain on his body, it can cut short his boxing career.
- Shoulder Block - A simple technique used to dampen punches by using the shoulder to guard the chin and arm to guard the liver. Since Ippo's a pure in-fighter he had to face Jimmy Sisphar jolt blow without retreating; to lessen the damage, Ippo blocked the blow with his shoulder.
- Cross Arm Block- In the match against Sanada, Ippo used this to protect himself from the Tsubame Gaeshi. He had also used it against other opponents such as Shimabukuro, Sawamura and Wally and many others. He used this technique after remembering his fight with Kobashi Kenta.
- Heart Break Shot (first used in fight with Gedo) - A technique learned from Date, Ippo does not have much control over it. Against Gedo, Ippo had a problem of getting close to him. When he got close he didn't know where to punch, so in spontaneous way he just decided to punch the heart. He evolved it into his own by using it as a kind of feint and using raw power to achieve the blow instead of a corkscrew blow.
- Tornado Jolt - Ippo learned the Tornado Jolt in the match against Jimmy. When Ippo faced Jimmy's jolt blows he understood that he will lose if he faced those punches with regular blows. So in order to create punches with the same effect, Ippo himself used the blow. It was after this match that Ippo's nickname, "Wind God", first arose.
- Southpaw Stance- During his debut match against Oda Yusuke, Ippo sustains a cut over his left eye that threatens to end the bout. Though initially awkward for him to use, he instinctively adopts this style in order to protect the cut, resulting in a KO win by way of overwhelming right jabs which had the power of straights. Ippo also appears to switch from a Brawling Stance to a southpaw stance before delivering the finishing blow to Kojima Hisato.
- Tekken- Miguel Zale stated that Ippo took after Kamogawa with the "Iron Fist" aka Tekken right before his boxer Wally was defeated. Although Ippo achieved this in an albeit safer way than Kamogawa, by using a hammer to knock the logs into the hill instead of his fists. Ippo managed to use this without breaking his fists or ending his career.
- Brawling Stance - For the first time in the series, Ippo becomes genuinely angry enough to want to brawl in the ring when his opponent, Kojima Hisato, insults all of Ippo's previous opponents. He adopts a stance very similar to Takamura's during the Bryan Hawk match; his guard is down, his stance is low and he gathers power in his fist to unleash a full-force punch. The result of this stance is that Ippo completely ignores defense--he is easily hit with a counter from Kojima--but becomes so offense-oriented that he not only resists a down, he retaliates with a punch that sends a man from two weight classes higher than him literally flying backward. Ippo's potential with this stance is yet unknown, but there is evidence that his notorious "fighting spirit" is fully activated in this stance. There is little evidence that he will be using it again any time soon.
- Diagonal Dempsey Roll/Free Form Dempsey Roll - This is considered (by Takamura Mamoru) to be the ultimate progression of the Dempsey Roll. The only variation to it from the New/Dempsey Roll is the addition of an extremely low sway which allows Ippo to throw uppercuts. In this "free form" Dempsey Roll, Ippo can perform hooks, uppercuts, and potentially overhands (if he reverses the motion of the sway) while weaving his head at full speed in unpredictable directions. In the words of Takamura: "It would become an unlimited, free form, high-speed combination... You wouldn't be able to aim a counter against it." Numerous characters, including Coach Kamogawa and Takamura, have stated that this move pushes the limits of the lower human body and would quickly shorten Ippo's boxing career if he performed it repeatedly. He has only used it during the Jimmy Sisphar match. However, following Ippo's eighth title defense, Kamogawa hinted at Yagi that he was preparing Ippo's lower body to handle repeated uses of the move. The Diagonal Dempsey Roll proved to be effective against Antonio Guevarra.
- Headslip - A technique used to avoid punches aimed for the head by swaying it to either the left or right of the oncoming blow. It has been used by several boxers in the series and was showcased as a way to neutralize "head-hunters". Ippo used this technique in his match with Alfredo Gonzales with an peek-a-boo style, relying on his body to dodge the punches.
Ippo is notoriously simple-minded. In nearly all of his matches, difficulties arose when his opponent did something he had not prepared for, such as Malcolm Gedo's Magic Punch and Woli's Corner Work. In fact, he lost the championship match with Date Eiji entirely because he failed to grasp how the champ was negating the power behind his punches. Interestingly, the few times Ippo did something his opponents didn't expect, he won the match (such as his southpaw stance in his first fight, or his brawling stance in his match with Kojima). Another weakness of Ippo's is the fact that he is mildly predictable. As explained by OPBF champion Miyata Ichiro, Ippo always steps forward and attacks head on, a trait that a cautious boxer could easily take advantage of.
Because of his height, Ippo is at a perpetual disadvantage outside of close-range. He has no options but to move forward in every one of his fights. His short reach is arguably the main reason he lost to Alfredo Gonzales.
It is stated by the coach that his signature move Dempsey Roll was not only a strength, but also a weakness. The Dempsey Roll is weak against counters.
It should be noted since his defeat against Gonzales, Ippo has begun to show symptoms attributed towards Punch-Drunk syndrome, as presented after his fight where he was unable to draw in a straight line, with his hands shaking uncontrollably. However, after he was forced to take a month off from the gym he later returned without any symptoms. The coach and his gymmates still caution that his fighting style involves taking too many hits; to deal with this, he has developed a more evasive version of the Dempsey Roll.
- "What does it mean to be strong?" - Signature quote
- "How can he still retaliate? ...Is he invulnerable?" - Jason Ozuma, while fighting Ippo in Episode 15
- "M-my legs are completely swollen. But I'll press on. I'm going to overcome my weakness!" - Episode 17, while training at the Training Camp
- "The reason we train so hard in the first place is so we can make it home in one piece." - Round 1011, to Kumi while over at her and Mashiba Ryou's place
- Ippo's boxing trunks were handmade by his mother.
- His given name Ippo means "one step", creating a pun in the series' title (as Hajime means "first", therefore "The First Step").
- He apparently has a very large penis (in relative to his height), a fact for which he is constantly teased about- oftentimes, the sound of a trumpeting elephant is used to emphasize this for comedic effect.
- Very few women have actually seen it, the only ones being Mari and three workers at the Sugar Ray. Being his mother, Hiroko may have also seen it a couple of times.
- He once practiced outboxing with his kouhai Naomichi. Though he was good at dodging and had rhythm, he found it difficult to throw punches and keep his concentration. The coach told him never to do it again and he has yet to.
- Ippo is a terrible driver, though he can steer a boat just fine. He's also awful at baseball and editing manga, and has never been shown catching a fish, though he has been shown fishing numerous times.
- In round 1158, it's revealed that Ippo is an expert at bowling. The Kamogawa crew believe this is because "bowling" and "boxing" are just a few letters apart.
- In a real-life simulated fight between Ippo and Joe from Ashita no Joe, Ippo won in the fifth round by knockout. He was knocked down several times during the fight and had trouble keeping up with Joe's speed, but, in true Ippo fashion, he got back up each time and kept trying, until he finally scored his signature liver blow.
- Ippo also appeared in the season 2 finale of One Minute Melee, a fanimation series created by the YouTube channel ScrewAttack!. His opponent was Little Mac. The Screwattack version lasts only one minute with Little Mac as the victor; the longer Hyper Gauge version lasts three "rounds" with both of them going down once, before simultaneously knocking each other out.
- Ippo also appeared in youtube: andyseanblanco channel. He use his Free Form Dempsey Roll to beat Ichiro Miyata.
- Although numerous characters displayed the show's trademark "fighting spirit" (characterized by a glowing light in their eyes), Ippo didn't "activate" his spirit until his title match with Sendou Takeshi in the season finale of the anime.
- Ippo's boxing style is said to be modeled after Mike Tyson and Hamada Tsuyoshi. His Dempsey Roll is named after the technique used by World Champion Jack Dempsey (ca. 1920s).
- Though he is a 126 lb. featherweight, Ippo once knocked out someone from two weight classes higher than him with a single punch (making him flip backward through the air, no less), and can give Takamura, then a middleweight, trouble in an arm wrestling match.
- As of volume 99, Ippo can catch an estimated 23 leaves with both hands, with at least 11 being caught with his left. He can also carry 8 boxes full of fish.
- He hadn't received a single down since his fight with Sanada Kazuki, until his fight against Alfredo Gonzales. (A total of 10 matches in a row.)
- Ippo's favorite fighter is Mike Tyson.
- It was stated that while in high school, Ippo could have gotten into any college, implying that his grades were good.
- Boxing is the first and only sport Ippo has practiced.
- From the moment he started boxing, Ippo's goal has been to find out "how it feels to be strong".
- Ippo's perfect uppercut is identical to that of Éder Jofre's.
- The only two opponents Ippo has lost to, have been defeated by Ricardo Martinez twice.
- The only two opponents (Date Eiji, Alfredo Gonzales) who won against Ippo have both already faced Ricardo Martinez in pass, and after their victory against Ippo, he once again faced Ricardo.