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- Characters Introduced: None
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: None
- Title Page Character(s): Makunouchi Ippo
Ippo wakes up to a nightmare of his unknown opponent and has trouble keeping up with the training menu, as he believes he lacks not only the physical skills but also the level of concentration to succeed.
While mitt-hitting with Ippo, Kamogawa suddenly collapses and is taken to the hospital. There they are told by the doctor that it was due to overwork and he is in no danger. Ippo, Aoki and Kimura are told to go back with Shinoda while Yagi and Takamura take care of Kamogawa. Before they leave, both Kamogawa and Ippo admit their regrets about the match with Date but Kamogawa tells Ippo that he has the potential to overcome all his flaws. He also informs Ippo that "hitting without being hit" will not work for him and that the objective of training his defense is to achieve a more aggressive style in order to "hit before being hit".
Now knowing that he must not neglect his offense in favor of his defense, Ippo concludes that the only way to do what his coach expects is to be the first to hit every time. With this in mind, he resumes his training in order to find a style that perfectly suits him.