|The Eastern Japan Rookie Championship Tournament Begins|
|Romaji:||Kaimaku, higashi nippon shinjin Ō sen|
|Season:||First (The Fighting)|
|Episode in Season:||13|
|Episode in Series:||13|
|Manga Chapters:||Round 27 (p.1-20)|
|←Becoming a Bully's Buddy||Powerful Arms! Hook vs. Uppercut!→|
The Eastern Japan Rookie Championship Tournament Begins is the 13th episode of the first anime season of Hajime no Ippo, and it was released in December 26, 2000.
Ippo, Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura celebrates Ippo's one year anniversary at the gym by eating at Chuuka Soba. Ippo asks Aoki and Kimura how their All Japan Rookie King Tournament went, Takamura commented on how they failed. At the gym, while Ippo is sparring, Yagi and Kamogawa Genji comes in and announces that Mashiba and Miyata is in a separate block in the tournament and that Ippo's first opponent will be Jason Ozuma. Kimura and Aoki comments that "Jason" is a bold and gruesome ring name. Takamura teases Ippo that the latter needs a new ring name, he then gives suggestions titled "Big Mutha' Ippo" and "Big Daddy Third Leg". Fujii enters the gym and gives details about Ozuma, showing he's from America and Jason is not a ring name.
At the Hachinohe Boxing Group, Ozuma downs a sparring partner, the coach comments on his powerful hook. After training, he sees the coach's wife sewing a punching bag, Ozuma says that he will use his money to buy gloves and punching bags, so that she doesn't have to keep fixing them. Ozuma prepares to leave for Nerima, he receives money and words of encouragement. At the gym, Ippo worries about fighting Ozuma, but then remembers that after winning a lot, he will eventually face a strong opponent, he regains his fighting spirit with Miyata in his mind. At Nerima Boxing Group, while Ozuma is training with a punching bag, Ohta invites him to a sparring match. Ohta refuses to put on headgear as he rushes to punch Ozuma. After a couple exchanges, Ohta begins to throw a huge punch, he misses, Ozuma delivers a right hook that knocks Ohta out and sends him to the hospital.
At the gym, Yagi and Kamogawa discuss about Ozuma's hook, realizing that Ippo needs to train to dodge the hook, the coach calls for Takamura and Ippo into the ring. The coach explains how powerful and fast Ozuma's hook is and how Ippo needs to dodge it. He fails to dodge Takamura's hooks and he starts training with hanging bars outside for days until finally he dodges Takamura's hook.
Ozuma downs Ohta
Ozuma's fighting spirit
Ippo dodges Takamura's hook