Makunouchi Ippo (幕之内一歩 makunouchi ippo) is a retired 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 Genji, whom he now aims to become a world champion for to honor Kamogawa's teachings.
Ippo was raised by his mother, Makunouchi 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. 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. During his school days, when ever something happened at school, he would come home, hiding his feelings by saying that he was okay.
After being bullied by Umezawa Masahiko, Takemura and Matsuda, Ippo was saved by novice boxer,Takamura Mamoru, who drives the trio away. An unconscious Ippo is then taken to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, where he is nursed back to health by Takamura. Before letting Ippo go, Takamura gave him the opportunity to punch a heavyweight bag with a drawing of Umezawa's face on it. After following Takamura's instructions, Ippo successfully performed a straight on the sandbag. Ippo's power is such, that the skin on his hand is peeled after hitting the sandbag. While bandaging Ippo's hand, Takamura noticed his well-built body and encourages him to defend himself from the gang. Before leaving, Takamura gives him a video compilation of Mike Tyson's knockouts.
Inspired by the videos, Ippo decided 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 told him that he will only agree to train him if he catches ten leaves falling from a tree midair with his jabs within a week. With much struggle, Ippo successfully catches ten leaves on the promised day with one hand, surprising Takamura and earning his acceptance.
Believing Ippo to not be boxing material, Kamogawa Genji has him spar against prodigy out boxer Miyata Ichirou, in order to see whether he can be accepted or not. Terrified at the idea of an actual fight, Ippo followed the advice of Takamura, who served as his second in the match. Utilising everything he had learned from Takamura, Ippo managed to get to the third round, surprising all witnesses. However, he fell into a trap and was caught by Miyata's counter. Despite losing the spar by knockout, Ippo's great determination earned him Kamogawa's respect and acceptance.
Realising Ippo's potential, Kamogawa decided 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 learned how to perform an uppercut, and worked on a strategy to lure Miyata in. However, after a conversation with Miyata about what motivated him to fight, Ippo decided 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.
Ippo faces Miyata, who, unlike before, became desperate after realising just how much Ippo had evolved in 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 threw his newly acquired uppercut in an attempt to end the fight, but seemingly missed. It is this uppercut that causes Miyata to go down and unable to get up, making Ippo the winner. Fujii Minoru reveals, 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, caused Miyata to leave the gym in order to be able to face Ippo as a professional in the future. Before parting ways, they each promised to make it to the East Japan Rookie King Tournament and settle the score. However, with Miyata's departure, Ippo loses a goal to fight for and no longer showed his characteristic enthusiasm. In an attempt to solve this problem, Kamogawa ordered him to follow Takamura's training routine, with hopes of him realising just how difficult a boxer's life really is. Kamogawa's attempts prove to be successful, as Ippo understood by watching Takamura going through his training schedule with such energy despite suffering the effects of his weight management.
After regaining his motivation, Ippo applied for a professional boxing licence. Despite easily passing the written test, Ippo was extremely nervous before the test fight. However, his opponent's level of skill, proved to be much inferior to Miyata's, which made it easy for Ippo to defeat him. Also applying for a licence there, another newcomer, Mashiba Ryou, threatened Ippo by advising him to switch weight classes, as they would face each other in the tournament otherwise. Ippo vowed that he will not, as he has a promise to fulfil with Miyata. After Umezawa takes Ippo's boxing license, Ippo defends himself and takes it back, earning the bullies respect.
After Ippo received his boxer's license, Kamogawa announced that his opponent for his pro debut will be Oda Yusuke. When the match begins, Ippo has the advantage until in round two, when Oda grazed Ippo near the eye and causes a cut to appear. This caused the Kourakuen Hall doctor to almost stop the match. The third round, Oda goes straight for the cut, trying to make it bleed again, Ippo switched to Southpaw and eventually knocks out Oda with a series of jabs, thus winning the fight. As a celebration, Kamogawa left money, which Ippo and the others used to celebrate at the Sugar Ray.
Ippo's second match is scheduled and his opponent's name is Fujiwara Yoshio. When the match begins, in round one, Fujiwara intentionally headbutted Ippo. After the next headbutt, Ippo noticed that Fujiwara was doing it on purpose. Fujiwara then began to headbutt Ippo again, but the latter knew it was coming and threw an uppercut that knocks out Fujiwara, making Ippo the winner. After school, Umezawa introduces Ippo to a group of delinquents, Umezawa then started calling Ippo his friend.
Ippo celebrated his first year at the gym at the Chuuka Soba. At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Yagi and Kamogawa announced the line up for the Rookie King Tournament. Ippo's first opponent would be Jason Ozuma. 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. At the weigh-in, they met for the first time, to Ippo's surprise, Ozuma was a kind man.
The match begins, and 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 due to a 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, saw an opening as Ozuma throws a hook, Ippo dodged and threw an uppercut and a combo that knocked out Ozuma, winning the match.
After school, Ippo watches Miyata's match against Takada Teruhiko. There, he also saw a girl who's looking for a seat and dropped her ticket in front of him. After Miyata's win, Ippo was surprised with how much Miyata has gotten better since their spar. Later, Ippo went to Yamanaka Bakery and saw the same girl who he saw during Miyata's match, working at the bakery. At Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Fujii arrived with a tape of Ippo's next opponent, Kobashi Kenta. As Ippo watched the tape, he notices Kobashi clinches and has weak jabs. He then watched a tape of Hayami Ryuuichi, who uses his Shotgun technique to batter his opponent in punches. Later, Ippo got an invitation to go to a training camp from Takamura, after accepting, he arrived at the training camp. There, he did multiple training exercises, running in the sand, shadowboxing, sparring, dodging tennis balls. After the training camp, at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, it is revealed that Ippo's match against Kobashi is before Takamura's match. As Ippo leaves the gym, he noticed someone staring through the window. The person ran and dropped his journal, Ippo picked it up and caught up to him, immediately he found out it is Kobashi. When he finds out Kobashi is observing, he started watching videos of Kobashi's matches.
The match commences, in the first three rounds, Ippo had trouble with Kobashi's left arm sticking out. Ippo was unable to hit him and getting exhausted, as Kobashi kept clinching. In the fourth and last round, Kobashi began to throw more punches than usual, hoping for a KO win, Ippo saw an opening and threw a clean hit to the face that downed Kobashi. As Kobashi was unable to stand, Ippo won the match. Ippo then watched Takamura's match against Yajima Yoshiaki. When Takamura went down, Ippo and the others cheers helped Takamura stand up.
At school during a teacher's conference, Ippo stated to his teacher that he doesn't want to go to college, instead wants to continue boxing. While outside, Ippo met Kobashi, who stated that he couldn't find anyway of winning against Hayami or his shotgun. At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Kamogawa stated that Hayami's shotgun must tire himself out, that is the moment Ippo should strike. Ippo began defensive training in order to dodge Hayami's shotgun. At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Miyata stated to Ippo he will wait for him at the finals. Ippo noticed that Hayami will always do an uppercut at the end of the barrage, so he stated that he wants to learn how to counterattack the upper. Ippo then began counter training with Aoki.
The match commenced, in the first round, Ippo started to dodge Hayami's punches perfectly, after getting hit by a barrage of punches, Ippo got ready to counter the expected left uppercut, but Hayami did not throw it, much to everyone's surprise. Hayami thrrew 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 began to hit Hayami better than he did before. Ippo saw a chance for the uppercut counter punch, however, they both hit each other, with Hayami's legs damaged. Ippo began gaining his speed and overpowered Hayami with punches, eventually Hayami went down on the first round, with Ippo declared as the winner.
After watching the match between Miyata and Masiba, Ippo received a message from Miyata, "Forgive me.". Ippo, frustrated, punches a punching bag at the gym until he is stopped by Takamura who discovered his bloodied fist. After looking at the wounds on Ippo's fist, Kamogawa suggested he must not use his fist for two weeks, he then began speed training.
Ippo went to the Yamanaka Bakery and saw Kumi, there, Ippo found out that Ryou is Kumi's brother. Then, at the gym, Fujii explained the Mashiba family background to Ippo and everyone else. Kamogawa stated 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 noticed Ippo's fist is healed, he let Aoki and Kimura spar with Ippo.
The match commenced, in the first round, Ippo had trouble with the Flicker Jab's range at first, but adapted. In round two, Ippo was on the offensive, however, he hit Mashiba's elbow with his Elbow Block three times. Due to Ippo's punching power, Mashiba's left arm fell, due to his elbow being bruised. Before round three began, Kamogawa noticed Ippo's right hand is bleeding through the glove, Kamogawa stated to only use his right hand as the finishing blow. In the third round, after receiving multiple punches, Mashiba forced his left arm into hitman style position. Ippo, thinking it's a bluff, got hit multiple times and went down. After noticing Mashiba's legs are shaking, Ippo gets up. Ippo began throwing punches, Mashiba clinched, Ippo then began hitting Mashiba while clinched. Once he broke out, Ippo then threw combos to Mashiba until he went down. As Mashiba is unable to get up and Ippo is the winner. Ippo then received the most talented rookie award.All Japan Rookie King Tournament. Ippo went to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, there, he saw Sendou Takeshi, the West Japan Rookie King, who told him not to withdraw. When Sendou departs for Osaka, he stated that he will be waiting there, resulting in Ippo wanting to fight him. Ippo then went to Yamaguchi Tomoko, who stated that he can fight. During a spar two days before the match, Ippo noticed he's automatically stopping his right, to not break his fist. To prevent this, Yamaguchi injected pain killers to his right hand.
The match commenced, in the first round, Ippo struggled against Sendou's intense pressure, but finnally overcame it as they both slugged it out. In round two and three, Sendou used many Smashes and was an all-around intense slug fight. Before the fourth round began, Sendou turned out to be unconscious in his corner, despite still sitting upright looking ready to continue, resulting in Ippo winning.
Ippo attended the graduation ceremony as he walks on stage to receive his diploma, everyone applauded him for his victory in being the All-Japan Rookie King. On his way home, he walked with Umezawa, who tried to apologise for what he did in the past, but couldn't after Ippo stated he will call him when his next match is announced. Ippo then encountered Miyata, who had also graduated. Miyata informed Ippo that he is leaving Japan for a while since Ippo had widen the gap between them by becoming the All-Japan Rookie King and will return when he closes that gap. At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, a group of newcomers appeared, after roadwork, only one stuck with the team, Naomichi Yamada, who was a fan of Ippo. Ippo went to Kourakuen Hall to watch Takamura, Kimura and Aoki's matches, there, he met the JBC Featherweight champion Date Eiji, who hinted that in the future they may face each other since Ippo is already ranked number 10 upon winning the Rookie King Tournament.
Ippo's fist was healed and three days later, Ippo went to Nakadai Boxing Gym to spar with Date. During the spar in the first round, Ippo noticed the overwhelming pressure from the champion, as he was hit multiple times. In the second round, Date used his Corkscrew Blow at Ippo's heart, which downed Ippo as he was unable to lift his guard up for the follow-up. The two then continued their spar until the third round. At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, the Nakadai Boxing Gym sent a request for Ippo to fight Okita Keigo, who is ranked fifth. The match commenced and in the first round, Okita used many corkscrew blows and feints which gave Ippo trouble, but Ippo defeated him in the first round after countering a corkscrew blow.
Ippo found out about Miyata's latest match against Rusak Paddy resulting in a draw. Ippo saw Alexander Volg Zangief on TV, who wants to take Date's belt. Ippo went with Yamada for his pro test, there he cheered up Yamada and saw him win his pro test. At the gym, Kamogawa and Yagi announced that the Class A Tournament is beginning. With Ippo fighting 2nd rank Saeki Takuma, Takamura then announced that the whole crew will go to a training camp. The next day at the gym, Yagi announced to Ippo, that his mother was hospitalised after collapsing from overwork. Ippo rushed to the hospital, there he noticed his mother has done everything at work alone ever since he started boxing, he then began working at the fishing boat. Fujii tried to get Ippo back into boxing, but he refused. Then one day, Umezawa visited Ippo and asked Ippo to let him take over so Ippo could continue boxing. As he is able to box again, Ippo waited at the gym as the group returned from the training camp. Ippo sparred with Takamura which ended in Ippo crying tears of joy that he's back.
After training with Kamogawa, Ippo explains his battle strategy against Saeki which is to attack to stop the clockwise motion he does with body blows. Having second thoughts about his strategy, he asks Kimura what he would do against infighters as an out-boxer. Ippo then decides to work on his footwork to outpace Saeki. Ippo meets his mother in the hospital after recovering, there, he receives new boxing trunks made by his mother and designed by Umezawa, and boxing shoes by Umezawa. Back at his house Ippo states to Umezawa he will win against Saeki. At the day of the match, Ippo meets Saeki at the weigh-in, where the latter wants Ippo to give him everything he has at the match.
The match then begins, 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. With Ippo as the winner, he can progress into the next round of the Class A tournament. While recovering, Saeki asks Ippo how he found him, which Ippo replies that his rhythm was so precise that he knew where Saeki would go next. Umezawa then asked how Ippo didn't fall, Ippo states that if he fell, he wouldn't be able to advertise the store. Ippo then watches the match, Suzuki vs. Volg. After witnessing Volg's White Fang, he realises that his next opponent will be tough. Ippo then finds out that Yamada is moving out in two days, Takamura then plans to throw a traditional Kamogawa gym farewell party. When the farewell party begins, Ippo is his last opponent, he uses a liver blow on Yamada that makes him throw up, after the farewell party, Ippo sees Yamada off.
For Aoki and Kimura's match in the semi-finals, Ippo studied their opponents and then mimicked their fighting styles while sparing with Aoki and Kimura. He then watches their fights, after they both lose, Ippo is disappointed that they lost after training so hard, he is then told by Takamura that is what boxing is, a cruel world. At the gym, after Kamogawa got back from a heated meeting with Ramuda, he has Ippo training to use the Gazelle Punch by doing 200 squats in a pool. After a week, Ippo successfully does the Gazelle Punch. Ippo is told by Kamogawa that he will launch the Gazelle Punch when Volg runs out of breath from continuous punches. Ippo then does endurance training with Kamogawa so he's not the one who runs out of breath first. After watching Date's title defence match, Ippo meets Volg and has a conversation about Russia's winter and why he boxes.
The day of the match, the fight began. The match was mostly an in-fight brawl, Ippo used the Gazelle Punch multiple times. It was a battle of endurance, 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 in-fight 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, ending the match at round 5, 1 minute, 21 seconds. With Ippo the winner, he's the Class A Tournament winner and the most talented boxer prize holder.
After waking up in the hospital, he finds Kumi working there and Ippo finds out that Mashiba has also won the Class A tournament. Ippo goes to his celebration party where Takamura, Kimura and Aoki gathered four girls from the hospital to party with them. The group then played a game of bowling, with the first winner getting to pick first which girl they want to go out with, at the end of the game, Ippo goes out with Kumi. After escorting her home, he to her house, they have a short conversation before Ippo gets scared of Mashiba and leaves. When Ippo returns to the gym, Kamogawa announces that the Champion Carnival has been scheduled with Ippo fighting the current JBC featherweight champion, Date Eiji. Ippo, having trouble finding an plan against Date, goes to Takamura's house to find magazines to help him, but comes to a conclusion that he has no plan and will throw everything he learned at him as the challenger.
Ippo then goes with Takamura for his match against Tamaki Atsushi, there he meets Date who shocks Ippo when he tells him his punches are light. After Takamura's match, the former says to Ippo that Date's punches are heavy because of people's feelings are connected to his fists. After finding out Mashiba is a Junior lightweight champion now, Ippo gets a call from Kumi asking him to come over for the celebration party. At the Kamogawa gym, Ippo is requested to spar for the press with a Philippines Junior Featherweight 4th seed boxer. After defeating the boxer, he spars with Kimura with a strategy to defeat Date.
Both fighters enter the ring and the match begins and for the first few rounds he succeeded in pushing the champion to his limits. However, when Date began using the high-level Neck Spin to negate most of the power behind Ippo's punches, Ippo becomes disoriented. Date 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. With this, Ippo loses the match.
After waking up, he finds out that Date relinquished the belt and Sendou and Volg are going to have a match for it. After being told to take a break from boxing for three months, seeing Kourakuen Hall during a date with Kumi, and watching a replay of his match, he starts feeling the effects of losing. Ippo goes to Osaka where he meets Miyata, who just came back to Japan. The two watch Sendou and Volg fight for the JBC featherweight belt, which ended in a controversial win for Sendou. After the fight, Ippo finds out from Fujii, that the Otowa Boxing Gym is cutting ties with Volg. who is leaving Japan that evening. Ippo takes a taxi to the airport where Volg is leaving. There, Volg gives Ippo his old boxing gloves and says his last Japanese word, "Sayonara", leaving Ippo in tears as he sees Volg walking away.
After watching Miyata fight against Li Chon Pir, Ippo meets Date, who's about to fight the 5th rank WBA American boxer, he tells Ippo to not idle or he will be forgotten. Ippo goes to the gym and finds out that him, Aoki and Kimura have matches coming up. With Ippo only knowing the name of his opponent, Ponchai Chuwatana and record, he doesn't know what he looks like or what his fighting style is. Kamogawa has Ippo training more on defence than offence. During training, Kamogawa collapses and is sent to the hospital. At the hospital, Kamogawa says the goal for his match is to hit before getting hit. Ippo begins watching tapes of Mike Tyson and notes how he bobs his head for defence. Kamogawa recovers from the hospital and Ippo goes to the weigh-in, where he meets Ponchai.
The time for the match arrives and the match begins. After witnessing Ponchai aggressive punching, Ippo begins hitting back, he then realises Ponchai can use the neck spin like Date. After the first round, Ippo declares to Kamogawa that he will win in the second round. 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". As Ponchai can't get up, Ippo wins the match. When Ippo has his mic interview, champion Sendou walks over to the side of the ring and receives the mic. He requests a rematch against Ippo as the champion, Ippo then accepts the request.
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.
Sanada Kazuki is 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.
Proof of PowerEdit
Hammer Nao is 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.
Battle of HawksEdit
Yi Yon Su 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 Kamogawa for taking such a big risk so early in the fight.
Shimabukuro 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.
Sawamura Ryuuhei 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.
The Challenge for the 6th DefenseEdit
Karasawa Takuzou 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.
The Challenge for the 7th DefenseEdit
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.
After yet another canceled fight with 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.
His first fight in this quest is against Jimmy Sisphar, who earlier in the series was the first fighter to fall to Miyata's jolt counter. Ever since then, Sisphar had become a reckless 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.
Winner Takes AllEdit
Malcolm Gedo is his next challenge 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 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.
In The JungleEdit
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, 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, Kamogawa and Miguel have a talk, and they understand that a rematch between their two 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.
Operation World Domination IIEdit
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.
After his fight with Kojima, Ippo was told by Kamogawa that he would be relinquishing the JBC Featherweight Title and moving up to challenging world rankers.
Go To The World!Edit
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.
10 Months In The MakingEdit
Ippo, following his ten month break against Alfredo, watches as his next opponent, Antonio Guevarra from the Philippine, become the new Filipino Featherweight Champion after he wins against Ippo's previous opponent, Malcolm Gedo. Ippo, after finding out Antonio is a southpaw, asks Itagaki how to fight southpaws and comes to a conclusion to use his right more than his left and to keep moving left with his foot on the outside. After winning in a spar with three southpaws, Ippo goes training with Kamogawa, who lectures Ippo on his New Dempsey Roll's timing. Shinoda explains to Ippo, that it takes a great amount of determination to catch his punches and it's hard for Kamogawa to lecture him. Ippo and Antonio meet at the signing ceremony and shake hands. Ippo notices Antonio's natural instinct to use his left hand.
Night of the match arrives and first round begins. Antonio keeps Ippo out of range for a while, however, Ippo slowly is able to close in on Antonio, punching him in the face with a right, causing him to fall, however, he negated the power by swaying back. As the fight continues, Antonio goes on the defensive as Ippo attacks. After dodging a right straight, Ippo begins his New Dempsey Roll, but Antonio falls after a couple hits before it started and a slip is declared. The fight continues as Ippo gets clinched by Antonio, but not until Ippo releases a liver blow to get out of the clinch, ending the first round.
The second round begins, Ippo gets out-ranged and then his body starts visibly steaming and he starts feeling lighter than usual, he jets towards Antonio too hard and loses balance when the latter touches him. Ippo goes on the offensive with punches that draw blood even when blocked, he downs Antonio once, before the round ends. After Ippo declares a win to Kamogawa, the third round begins. Ippo steps into range as practiced, but trips over Antonio's foot in the process and is sent rolling on the ground, a slip is declared. After getting up, both fighters exchange hits, until Ippo is at his perfect in-fight range, Antonio does a slight hook that makes Ippo fall and roll over, with the referee declaring a down. Ippo gets up and angrily throws a flurry of punches toward Antonio as he blocks, third round ends.
Round four begins, Ippo manages to step in, but is caught by Antonio's foot, with the latter hitting Ippo with a right to the head, causing a down. The fight continues with Ippo on the offense, as Ippo dodges, he attempts to use the New Dempsey Roll, but touches the mat with his knee, a down is declared. The fight continues, Ippo and Antonio exchange punches with Antonio going down two times.
On Antonio's second down, Ippo gives a look to Kamogawa as if he wanted to say something. Ippo rushes Antonio to a corner, Ippo then weaves in ready with the New Dempsey Roll, with thoughts in his head knowing that his body changed and might not be able to go with Kamogawa anymore despite wanting to continue with him. In position with the New Dempsey Roll, Ippo throws a left uppercut that gets countered by Antonio's right. Ippo then hopelessly falls, ending the fight. Ippo sits up with Kamogawa at his side, telling him it's over now. Ippo bows to the crowd as he leaves the ring with a second straight lost.
Makunouchi Ippo's Retirement - Second StepEdit
After the match, Ippo walks home with Kamogawa while talking about his favorite parts of his boxing history. Days later, Kumi recommends a doctor to examine Ippo for punch drunk syndrome, he then goes to the doctor and tests reveal Ippo is healthy and could return to the ring after time off. Ippo goes to Kamogawa and Yagi to announce the test results, Kamogawa asks for Ippo's conclusion, the latter announces that he will retire because of the risk of being punch drunk if he continues and will instead help with his family business. With the announcement of his retiring, Ippo says his farewells to Aoki, Kimura, Itagaki and Takamura. Takamura asks of Ippo's treasure in his adventure, he replies that there are too many treasures that he can't hold them all.
Two months later, Shinoda visits Ippo's house and asks Ippo to become a second because of the numbers of seconds at the gym has fallen and Kamogawa is hospitalized, Ippo tells Shinoda to let him think about it. Later, while Ippo is fishing, he announces to Kumi he will return to the ring as a second to help the gym and because he didn't know he could be helpful again. The next day, as Ippo is now Kimura's second, he meets up with Aoki, Itagaki and Kimura to train Kimura. Back at his house, Ippo begins having second thoughts about retiring, missing boxing and wants to start boxing again. After days of training Kimura and nights of going to a shrine to pray, the night of Kimura's match arrives. Near Kourakuen Hall, Ippo is greeted by Takamura, he announces to the latter that he's a second, which angers Takamura. As Kimura's match is about to begin, Ippo goes to scout on Kimura's opponent, however, he see's Hayami getting ready for his match. Hayami states to Ippo he will create a legend. Ippo watches Hayami's match and is shocked when he loses. Kimura is up next, Ippo gets ready for his debut as a second, believing his chair-moving skills will be faster than the other seconds, he takes his wrist weights off, then announces "This isu is naisu!". Kimura's match begins, after the first round, Ippo's inexperience as a second shows, as he accidentally throws a chair into the crowd, then the next round, he places the chair sideways. However, Ippo gives Kimura the advice he needed, resulting in Kimura and Ippo winning the match.
|26||LOSS||23-3-0||Antonio Guevarra||KO||4(10), 2:45||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 Featherweight 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 and third loss
|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|
Striking a resemblance to his father, he has black, shaggy hair and thick eyebrows. His body, while being in the featherweight division, is stressed as extremely muscular. In terms of skin tone, Ippo is tanned. His eye color is dark brown in the manga, and a mix of green and yellow in the anime. It should be noted that Ippo has a larger than average penis, a quality apparently not uncommon amongst featherweights as Sendou has one as well, according to Takamura.
As a child, Ippo was a very shy, kind and obedient boy who was also very strong-willed and stubborn. He carries most of these personality traits as he got older. He is usually a kind and reserved person who dislikes fighting, and because of that he had been bullied since grade school. He would also come home after school, holding back his tears and try to convince his mother that everything was alright after being bullied.
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 and Sendou, 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, his former bully, long after he began boxing. He has a great deal of respect for his gymmate Takamura and former Japanese Featherweight Champion Date and he was completely shocked when World Featherweight Champion Ricardo requested a spar with him.
His dream is to one day face Miyata in the pro ring, and the two of them view each other as eternal rivals. They both also influence each other to keep on boxing. 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". Miyata is a person Ippo will never forget. At the same time, Ippo aims to become equal to Takamura in terms of strength.
Kamogawa puts him through strict training and the two of them have a strong teacher-student bond. Ippo trusts Kamogawa and has faith in his teachings, while Kamogawa believes that Ippo may be the one who will eventually realise his World Championship dream. Takamura has said that Kamogawa seems 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. When Ippo decided to be a second, he wanted to raise boxers alongside Kamogawa, as he believed he left a bad taste in his mouth when he retired.
Ippo can also be fixated on a certain thing, specifically the Diagonal Dempsey Roll, being so single-minded that he gets overheated, frustrated and loses his boxing style.
Ippo is quite friendly, and many of his rivals have become friends of his, most notably are Miyata, Sendou, Date, Sanada, Volg, and Kobashi, whom all still keep in touch with him from time to time. He is well liked by his gymmates, especially Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura. Even though he still has the personality of a young boy, he still manages to serve as a good senpai for his kouhai Itagaki.
When it comes to love, Ippo is definitely a late bloomer, he is naive, pure-hearted, and awkward. He is in love with 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 and 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 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 hurts someone close to him, or does something to look down on the sport of boxing, which he loves. Such occasions have been when he saw Sawamura 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 when his opponent, Kojima, insulted his previous opponents, both in person and publicly in a magazine, and also insulting Kamogawa's 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. Ippo's anger side also shows when he sees someone getting bullied, confronting the bullies.
As an In Fighter, having one of the best punches in Japan, he has any noteworthy milestones such as fighting in the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, winning in the A Class Boxer Tournament, and once crowned as the Featherweight JBC champion 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. 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. Even before he started boxing, he had a good muscle build. 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 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 fight, 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 Kamogawa puts it, "developed something just as good: experience".
Over the course of his boxing career, Ippo has learned many boxing techniques, even learning techniques during a match, such as the Tornado Jolt and the Southpaw stance. He picked up Kamogawa's technique, the Tekken by digging logs into the ground using a hammer and also picked up the Heart Break Shot from Date. He even came up with one of his own, the Dempsey Roll, later on improving it to the New Dempsey Roll, and even more, the Diagonal Dempsey Roll.
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, 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 Kamogawa 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. Kamogawa 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.
Another weakness is his inexperience with southpaws, as seen when he fought Antonio. As the southpaws leg and hand are in reverse, Ippo had trouble seeing how far away Antonio was and kept tripping over his leg.
- "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
- "This isu is naisu!" - Chapter 1221
- His given name Ippo means "one step", creating a pun in the series' title (as Hajime means "first", therefore "The First Step").
- The fights Ippo will never forget are, his fight against Date, Gonzales, and Antonio.
- 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 Chapter 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'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 real life boxer is Mike Tyson.
- Boxing is the first and only sport Ippo has practiced.
- The first two opponents Ippo has lost to (Date Eiji, Alfredo Gonzales), have been defeated by Ricardo Martinez twice.
- They also have both already faced Ricardo Martinez in the past, and after Date's victory against Ippo, he once again faced Ricardo.
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1, page 25
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 8
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 9
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 9
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 10
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 10
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1206, page 10
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 1, page 28