|← Previous||Next →|
- Characters Introduced: Iimura Mari
- Locations Introduced: None
- Techniques Introduced: None
- Mentioned Boxers: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Durán, Marvin Hagler
- Title Page Character(s): Umezawa Masahiko, Makunouchi Hiroko
While working, Umezawa sees Ippo's new wood-chopping training routine and asks if he feels any improvements. Ippo answers that he does not, but Umezawa notices the increased muscle volume on Ippo's back before leaving. Before leaving for the gym, Ippo reflects on the idea of having to face Shigeta instead of Sendou.
At the gym, Ippo notices all the reporters interviewing Takamura about the fight with the Bear. With much pleasure, Takamura arrogantly tells the story for over an hour and a half (according to Aoki) until Kamogawa finally chases the reporters away.
When Fujii, the last reporter there asks Takamura if he is not nervous about his upcoming title match, it causes confusion in the gym, as even the middleweight champion himself was not aware of a title match. Upset about Fujii revealing the information too soon, Kamogawa explains that it is not a certain deal and that Takamura must first beat his upcoming opponent and then fight the second ranked. Attempting to get Takamura to focus, Kamogawa realizes there is no need as the former wastes no time and begins to train.
Fujii then introduces Aoki and Kimura to his new partner Iimura Mari but warns them about how "cheeky" she is. Both boxers are ready to stand whatever attitude she may have, as they find her attractive and state that her cheekiness is within tolerable levels. However after talking to her for a while, they realize that just like Fujii, they can not tolerate her. She states that despite the low level of popularity and the lack of fighters in upper classes, Takamura is a promising boxer. She also notes to herself that Ippo's body has improved since losing to Date, and might become something greater.