|Episodes:||Round 12 (p.1-20)|
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- Characters Introduced: None
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: Mike Tyson, Cus D'Amato
- Title Page Character(s): Makunouchi Ippo, Umezawa Masahiko, Takemura, Matsuda
As Ippo expects, his classmates are surprised and excited about his becoming a boxer and ask him a bunch of questions, but at lunchtime nobody wants to talk to him anymore. He heads to the lunchroom reminding himself that he didn't start boxing to be popular.
He goes to the roof to eat lunch alone but is soon approached by Umezawa and his goons. The gang wants to know about Ippo's debut match, much to his surprise since he thought they were going to bully him. They admit liking boxing but clarify they do not admire him. They ask when the next match is and leave. As they run away, it is revealed their original intention was to apologize and they decide to attend his next match.
A week later, Fujii is looking over the records of newcomers including Ippo, which surprises his partner, who asks why he is interested in a boxer like Ippo who had to struggle to win his debut match, but Fujii says that Ippo is interesting because he grows with every match.
Arriving at the gym, Takamura assumes Fujii is there to do story on him, but they walk past him looking for Ippo. They notice that some of the gloves hanging on the wall have tears on the thumbs and realize after watching Ippo in training and biting his thumbs to keep up the guard (Peek-a-Boo Style), the reason for to gloves' appearance. After the spar, Fujii tells Ippo about Miyata and Mashiba's perfect records with the latter ending his opponents career. He wishes Ippo luck on the upcoming East Japan Rookie King Tournament, causing Ippo to worry severely.