Ichirou Miyata (宮田 一郎, lit. Miyata Ichirō) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
His surname is Miyata. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
At the age of sixteen and under his father's coaching, Miyata was already considered a prodigy at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. Said to be even better than a four round boxer and having more experience than anyone of the other members, Miyata was only waiting to turn seventeen, in order to apply for his professional licence.
When new member Makunouchi Ippo arrives at the gym, Miyata is chosen to spar against Ippo in order to decide if the newcomer can become a professional boxer or not. With his father in his corner, and pro boxer Takamura Mamoru in his opponent's, Miyata largely underestimates Ippo's skills. However, as the fight goes on, not only Miyata, but everyone present is surprised at Ippo's durability, stamina and determination, which take the fight to the third round. After much struggle, Miyata is finally able to defeat Ippo with his signature counter, and realizes just how interesting boxing really is.
Shortly after the spar, a rematch is scheduled by Kamogawa, who is clearly trying to create a rivalry between both aspiring boxers. Despite Ippo's growth, Miyata is so sure that in the upcoming months his growth will be such that the outcome will be the same, that he even tells Ippo that he will win in the first round.
When the day of the sparring session arrives, the confident Miyata is more than surprised to see Ippo's evolution. The latter had not only perfected the techniques displayed in the first fight, but also acquired new moves and a strategy to neutralize the counter that defeated him before. The seemingly even match (refereed by Takamura), is ended in the fourth round when Miyata is unable to get up from a down, despite having full consciousness. It is later revealed by reporter Fujii Minoru (through a photograph taken by him), that Ippo threw an uppercut that landed by roughly a centimeter, making Miyata lose control of his legs, thus making him unable to stand up.
After these events, Miyata quits the gym, in order to be able to officially settle the score with Ippo in the professional ring. Before leaving, he makes a promise with his new-found rival to have a third and final match in the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. Knowing that members of the same gym cannot fight each other, he joins with his father, at the Kawahara Boxing Gym where he prepares himself for the upcoming tournament. After watching Takamura's match, he meets Ippo again talking about Miyata's debut win. Fujii then introduces Miyata and Ippo to Mashiba Ryō, who irritates Miyata.
In the first round of the tournament, Takada Teruhiko was his opponent despite being his opponents specialty, Miyata chose to in-fight, in order to prepare himself for Ippo . In the match that only lasted one round, Miyata dominated from the beginning and finished his opponent with a devastating counter. Miyata visits the Kamogawa Boxing Gym and states to Ippo that he would counter Hayami Ryūichi's Shotgun. He then leaves saying he will wait for Ippo at the finals.
Miyata hears about Ippo's win against Hayami he then gets fired up to fight Mashiba. On the day of his match, Miyata and Mashiba goes into the ring. The match begins with Miyata having the advantage as he knocks Mashiba down. However, on the second round, Mashiba purposely stepped on Miyata's foot, making Miyata have a huge disadvantage. After taking a bunch of hits, Miyata sees a counter chance, however he couldn't due to his injured foot. Mashiba delivered a huge punch and knocked down Miyata, ending the match and losing the tournament.
Class A Tournament
After leaving from his high school gradation, he meets Ippo, who had just done the same. He states that he is leaving Japan and going to Korea and Thai to train. In Thailand, he fought Rusak Paddy, who he downed two times and ended in a draw. Two months later, his next opponent in Thailand is Jimmy Sisphar, who Miyata's father doesn't want his son fighting. After hearing his father trying to back out from fighting Jimmy, and hearing his father say his punches are light, Miyata demands that he fights Jimmy anyway. He trains his new counter, the Jolt Counter until the match arrives. The match against Jimmy begins, Miyata survives without falling down until the third round where he goes down. In the same third round he attempts to use the Jolt Counter, however he fails and gets hit, making him have a bad fall, he gets up and the round ends. Round four begins, Jimmy goes on the offensive, until Miyata see's a chance to use the Jolt Counter, the counter is a success and Miyata wins the match. With the win in Thailand, he flies to Korea next.
Miyata took the OPBF Championship from Arnie Gregory and proceeded to defend it five times.
OPBF Featherweight Title Unification Match
He was supposed to fight Ippo as promised at that point, but due to a series of events that would come to be called fate, the match didn't happen. Miyata broke his fists in the fight preceding his match with Ippo and took three months off to recover. During that interval, Randy Boy Junior became the Interim Champion. Miyata then cancelled his match with Ippo, much to everyone's confusion.
The reason was Randy: Randy's father, Racoon Boy, was the man who ended Miyata's father's boxing career, and somehow, like Ichirou, Randy had inherited his father's boxing style. Miyata saw the fight as an opportunity to avenge his father and prove once and for all that his father's boxing was superior.
The match pushed Miyata to limits previously unseen in the series, taking him into the 7th round -- the longest he had ever gone in the ring -- with seemingly no chance of winning. However, thanks to his father's clever coaching in uppercuts, Miyata managed to defeat the switch hitter with a comeback KO.
The actual KO punch was not a move Miyata had learned or practiced. Randy calls it "Red Lightning", and his father says it heralds the emergence of Ichirou's own unique style.
Miyata has his eighth title defence as the OPBF Featherweight champion. When the match starts, Miyata quickly got his opponent to go down two times. However, his punches were not sharp enough, and by round eight he begins to get visibly exhausted. Miyata struggles to gather energy for a full-powered punch and receives multiple body blows. Miyata then wonders what he's suppose to do if he can never cross Ippo's path again, and is angry he never got to experience Ippo's punches as a pro. Despite the attempts to knock his opponent down, the match ends on the twelfth round with Miyata winning by decision.
|WIN||25-1-1||Unknown||Decision||12(12), 3:00||1999||Tokyo, Japan||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||24-1-1||Luisito Ico||TKO||1(12)||1998||Tokyo, Japan||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||23-1-1||Randy Boy Junior||KO||7(12), 2:05||1997-04-15||Yokohama, Japan||OPBF Unification Match|
|WIN||21-1-1||KO||5(12)||1996-01-27||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title; breaks hand and takes three-month hiatus afterward|
|WIN||19-1-1||Unknown||KO||6(10),||1995||Tokyo, Japan||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||18-1-1||Unknown||TKO||1(12),||1994||Tokyo, Japan||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||N/A||Unknown||Decision||12(12), 3:00||N/A||N/A||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||N/A||TKO||N/A||N/A||N/A||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||N/A||Unknown||KO||N/A||N/A||N/A||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||11-1-1||Unknown||KO||1(12)||N/A||N/A||Retains OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||10-1-1||Arnie Gregory||KO||4(12), 1:34||1994-04||Tokyo, Japan||Wins OPBF Featherweight Title|
|WIN||9-1-1||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 4:00||1993||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||7-1-1||Li Chon Pir||KO||3(10)||1993||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||6-1-1||Unknown||KO||N/A||1992||Tokyo, Japan||Come-back in Japan|
|WIN||5-1-1||Jimmy Sisphar||TKO||4(10)||1992||Bangkok, Thailand|
|DRAW||4-1-1||Rusak Paddy||Decision||6(6), 3:00||1992||Samut Prakan, Thailand||Come-back Match|
|LOSS||4-1-0||Mashiba Ryō||KO||3(4), 2:22||1991||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament (Semi-Finals)|
|WIN||4-0-0||Takada Teruhiko||TKO||1(4)||1991||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament (First Round)|
|WIN||2-0-0||Unknown||KO||N/A||1991||N/A||Opponent was a southpaw boxer|
|WIN||1-0-0||Unknown||KO||1(4), 1:33||1991||Tokyo, Japan||Pro Debut|
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Arnie Gregory||OPBF Featherweight Champion|
AppearancePhysically resembling Kimura Tatsuya, Miyata is a tall and fit boxer with jet-black hair. His eyes are dark red in color and he is also said to be handsome, with most of his matches garnering female spectators who encourage him to "not get hit in the face".
As a child, Miyata was extremely cheerful. He set his father as a role model and went to many of his matches, but after his father's defeat at the hands of Randy Boy Senior and subsequent retirement from boxing, Miyata became calm and serious. There are few instances in which he is seen smiling in the series (such as after defeating Jimmy Sisphar and Randy Boy Junior, as well as when Mr. Sakaguchi's assault was posted in the newspaper).
He is very stubborn, as evident in his refusal to move up to another weight class to ease the severity of his weight control, and when he didn't want to learn uppercuts to defeat Randy Boy Junior. However, he has his reasons for being stubborn, namely his promise to Ippo and his pride in his father's boxing. Miyata is also prideful and dislikes being disrespected. Sendō Takeshi playfully slaps him in the back of the head, he throws a glove at him and tells him to get in the ring.
He is particularly close to Takamura Mamoru, Kimura Tatsuya and Makunouchi Ippo, but doesn't have many friends outside of his former gym mates. Miyata is also among the characters in the series with no love interests.
Miyata is an out boxer cut of the same cloth as his father. He possesses extraordinary speed, courage and timing; throughout the series, his speed has evolved to the point where he now disappears from his opponent's sight. Since he doesn't have much innate power, his primary weapons are counter punches, because they rely on the opponent's momentum to deal damage. He could win many matches on points, but aims for KO wins to prove the supremacy of his style. He is also able to memorize his opponent's attacks with his body, so no single punch can work on him twice.
He starts out almost all matches the same way, by throwing a large number of only small jabs and circling the opponent as much as possible. This is actually a trick as Miyata will pretend he's going at his full speed to make his opponent over-confident about catching him. When a big punch is thrown he will speed up and counter. Miyata will repeat this pattern, speeding up gradually throughout the fight, though he rarely has to as he continues to master it.
Sawamura Ryūhei's and Miyata's counters have been compared numerous times. The difference is that Sawamura strikes his opponent whenever he sees an opening; Miyata only steps into his opponent's punches when they are fully in motion. The result can be seen in Miyata's KO ratio, which even rivals Ippo's.
Miyata is regarded as the third most talented boxer in the series, behind Ricardo Martinez and Takamura Mamoru.
Since Miyata is a counter specialist, all of his punches are potential Sunday punches.
- Detroit Style
- Jolt Counter
- Cross Counter
- Flicker Jab
- Motionless Jab
- Pin-Point Counter
- Corkscrew Counter
- Speed Hell - The moment in which Miyata decides to go full speed. He can launch a flurry of different punches from many different angles, and advances so quickly that to his opponent it looks as if they're staring down several Miyata's at once. It was first shown during his fight with Randy Boy Jr. when Miyata felt like he had to compensate for Randy Boy's constant switch hitting with more speed. Takamura (as well as his then opponent Bryan Hawk) also used this move, but since Miyata is a Featherweight his Speed Hell is much faster. Speed Hell drains Miyata of his already low energy reserves.
- Southpaw Hitman Style - used during his match with Mashiba as a feint. Miyata performed a shoulder block to deflect one of Mashiba's flicker jabs, then closed in and performed a cross counter to Mashiba's jaw.
- Flicker Jab - to be demonstrate and used for his sparring against Kimura. However Miyata used it for once so that Kimura could learned on how to evade Flicker Jabs against Mashiba for the Champion Carnival Junior Lightweight.
Miyata's father has pointed out that his regular punches lack power, and Sawamura has said that although his counters are powerful, they are also predictable. Sendō Takeshi also made this apparent by dodging every punch Miyata threw at him during a spar, having realized that he was always aiming for the head. He went as far to say that his fighting style is far too simple for the world stage. Miyata's maybe biggest problem is his stubbornness to use counter-boxing, having no other big punches in his repertoire. Takamura helps to improve Miyata's counters by informing him of his tendency to just use his arms with no rotation, rather than putting his entire back into it.
Like Takamura, Miyata often has problems with cutting weight. In addition to this, and possibly as a result of it, he is very susceptible to body blows. It has been stated that Miyata's build should be limited at the Jr. Lightweight and Lightweight divisions. As such he kept up a brutal pace of one match a month to keep himself at the maximum allowed weight for the Featherweight Division.
- Miyata learned to speak Thai while training in Thailand. His level of proficiency is unknown.
- When he encountered Randy Boy Junior, he also spoke in English.
- The most panels that Miyata has smiled in in the manga is when he sparred with Sendou before OPBF unification title match.
- His character design, boxing style, and personality are based on author George Morikawa's best friend.
- According to the Japanese Wiki, Miyata's fighting style is modeled after Sugar Ray Leonard, and his appear is modeled after Takahashi Naoto (who also runs Morikawa's boxing gym J B Sports.)