|Romanized Title:||Higeki-tekina batontatchi|
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- Characters Introduced: None
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: None
- Title Page Character(s): Ricardo Martinez, Date Eiji, Bill Martin, Nakadai Coach
After being defeated, Date lies motionless on the floor worrying the spectators as Nakadai calls for a stretcher. On the other end of the ring, Martinez's corner celebrates the victory, and Date is taken away still unconscious.
Sometime later, at the gym Aoki and Kimura read an article about the fight, Martinez's praise on Date, and the latter's condition at the hospital. They think that if Date had enough power in his broken hand, he would have won, but Takamura stops them and says there is no point in discussing it further. He states that there has never been anyone stronger than Martinez is right now and that until he retires, no one will ever have the WBA featherweight belt. He ends by saying Date will retire, but Ippo begs him to not say that. Fujii lets them know that Date is awake and the exams reveal there are no life-threatening injuries. Takamura convinces Ippo to go talk to Date, and Fujii offers to drive him.
In the hospital, Aiko admits that she recognized Date returning to is old energetic self after his match with Ippo, which is why his nose did not hurt prior to the Martinez match. Upon seeing Ippo arrive, Date struggles to get his hand up, and asks Ippo to do the same. When Ippo raises his hand, Date gives him a "baton pass" and tells him it is up to him now. Before Ippo leaves, Yuuji asks him if he will be the one to avenge his father, but Ippo tells him that as he is now, he stands no chance against the champion. Upset about this, Yuuji calls him a weak coward, but his mother reaffirms that Ippo said "as I am now...".