Characters / Hajime No Ippo

This is a list of the characters featured in Hajime No Ippo. Very incomplete, so please help?

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Kamogawa Gym

    Ippo Makunouchi
Voiced by: Kohei Kiyasu (JP), Steve Staley (EN)

A shy, humble boy, Ippo lost his father Kazuo at a very young age and now spends his free time helping his mother run their fishing boat business. His introverted nature naturally attracts bullies who like to beat him up.

During one of those beating-up sessions, he is saved by Mamoru Takamura, who takes him to the Kamogawa boxing gym where he also discovers his powerful punch. Turns out working your life long lifting extremely heavy stuff builds a muscle or two. Ippo joins the Kamogawa gym and begins his boxing career to find out the meaning of strength.

Ippo is truly an unwritten paper of a student, closely following what he is taught to the best of his ability. He is famous for his ridiculously powerful punching power and endurance, often giving him spectacular comeback K.O.s. His defense isn't bad either, as he uses the peek-a-boo style of Mike Tyson. Despite his shy behaviour outside the ring, he shows remarkable courage and determination inside it. He is the current Japanese featherweight champion and ranked 7th in the WBC rankings.
  • Adorkable: Shy, awkward, and a late bloomer in love.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Was bullied at school because of his sort-of part time work as a fisherman.
  • Animal Motifs: Gazelles, given one of his signature punches is named after them.
  • Badass: Rather unusually for a Shonen protagonist, Subverted. Even after all this time, no matter how fierce he gets in the ring, he still finds it hard to consistently maintain a badass image even as he defeats tougher and tougher opponents. Still, Subverted Tropes Are Not Bad either; he makes up for his lack of natural outward confidence and machismo with hard work and an intense inner spirit.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not insult his Fire-Forged Friends. Never ever! To put this into perspective, this is what Ippo did to a guy (Kojima Hisato) that did exactly that and took it WAY too far! The Beginning. Middle. End. And the Aftermath. To be more precise, Ippo punched a man so hard, he doesn't even remember FIGHTING him, so yeah. Again. Do. Not. Fuck. With Ippo's Fire-Forged Friends!
    • He does not like boxers that cheat in boxing.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Double Subverted. Even after becoming a boxer, he remains meek in his day to day life and practically allows himself to be scared by anybody who wants to scare him. However, if you're a boxer set to fight him, it's dangerous to assume he'd be the same way on the clock. In the ring, he seems to think of his opponents differently than he does in social situations; the same men that could easily intimidate him on the street simply become obstacles to punch into oblivion when the bell sounds. Also, pushing his Berserk Buttons is a bad idea.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy And His Dog. Eventually becomes the owner of a dog, Wanpo.
  • Brainy Brunette: It was stated that while in high school, Ippo could have gotten into any college, implying that his grades were good.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Chick Magnet: Has three girls fighting over him.
    • Clueless Chick Magnet: However, he's far too shy and reserved to fully grasp and take advantage of the situation.
  • Covert Pervert: Was caught peeking at Takamura's porno magazines and was okay with the idea of Takamura lending him porno videos. Secretly, of course. He also jumped at Dr.Yamaguchi's "invitation". Oddly enough he rarely has any these thoughts around the girl he likes, Kumi. It's mainly just modest male urges, and even then nothing too perverted.
    • Special mention goes to when a popular reporter came to visit the gym, asked to spar with him, and he allowed her to hit him for a better *cough*view*cough*.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ippo is a shy, awkward, overly-polite mama's boy...but once he steps into the boxing-ring, he becomes an intense and unstoppable fighter with a Dynamite Punch that can shatter bones, and an invincible stamina that allows him to keep coming back no matter how many times he's knocked down. It's not uncommon for people who've seen him in the ring, to completely fail to recognize him outside of it. Several times, this has worked to his advantage, since any opponent who've met him outside the ring is bound to underestimate the level of brutality he can unleash inside of it.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The New Dempsey Roll and the (currently not yet perfected) Free Form Dempsey Roll, the two evolutions of his Signature Move. The New Dempsey Roll requires stopping in the middle of the weaving in order to make the rhythm less predictable (and thus make it more difficult to counter), but suddenly stopping such high momentum places a huge strain on his muscles and ligaments and he runs the risk of tearing something and cutting his career short. The Free Form Dempsey Roll strains the body even worse, as it effectively involves weaving the body full speed in any and all directions and throwing not just hooks, but any kind of punch desired with the momentum (IE an even more effective form of Bryan Hawk's swayback dodge and Infinity Punch combo) while also stopping and starting on a dime at will.
  • Determinator: While normally a required trait for his combat style, it is starting to cost him dearly in a Deconstruction after his second loss. The severe accumulated damage he has taken to his body over all his matches including his second loss are causing issues with his eye-sight and possibly other health issues that might hinder or even end his career/life.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father Kazuo died when he was a child, and we don't know about his relatives aside of his mother Hiroko.
  • The Dutiful Son: He is willing to do anything from quitting school to quitting boxing to help Hiroko when she becomes too overworked.
  • Extreme Doormat. At first. His dislike of fighting made him a target for bullying.
  • Fanboy: Ippo's favorite fighter is Mike Tyson.
  • Gag Penis: He is very well endowed.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: His vision and hand-eye coordination has suffered since his second loss and it remains to be seen if there are other effects from his accumulated damage.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Wanpo.
  • Humble Hero: Despite his strength and courage, Ippo still behaves rather meek out of the ring and often humbles himself around his rivals. For example, even though he has defeated both Mashiba Ryou and Sendou Takeshi, he fears Mashiba and tries to avoid discussing a second rematch with Sendou whenever he is around. He also continued to be intimidated by Umezawa Masahiko, his former bully, long after he began boxing. He has a great deal of respect for his gymmate Takamura Mamoru and former Japanese Featherweight Champion Date Eiji and he was completely shocked when World Featherweight Champion Ricardo Martinez requested a spar with him.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: "What does it mean to be strong?"
  • Invincible Hero: He wins almost all of his fights. And always by KO. Somewhat justified as he literally can't win in any other way, due to his boxing style.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Early on in the series, after he accidentally trips into Miyata's butt, Takamura jokes that he had suspicions about Ippo's sexuality from the beginning and says that he "really must be a homo". Ippo's usual mellow Nice Guy reaction to this, of course, then gets him funny looks from all of the other boxers. Keep in mind that Takamura already knows Ippo is straight at this point; he's just a Jerkass.
  • Modesty Towel: Tries to wear one around his waist when he first showers with the guys simply because, well... he's a modest person. Takamura mistakes this for size insecurity and removes it for giggles- which is how he discovered Ippo's a "heavyweight".
  • Nice Guy: Ippo is a friendly and kind young man.
  • Otaku: This guy probably knows more about Miyata's matches than Miyata's own father, to the point of being able to reenact the whole thing. Actually, he was the first one to figure out the reason behind Miyata cancelling his match against Ippo.
  • Power of Trust: Has this going on with coach Kamogawa and his training. Much of his determination comes from the fact that he refuses to give up unless he has put everything he was taught to use. He comes back from the brink of a K.O. multiple times simply because he felt like hadn't used everything he learned yet.
  • Red Baron: God of Wind.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's basically the sensitive guy to any of the other boxer's manly-men attitudes, but he fits this dynamic best in scenes with Takamura. In a funny twist, he himself comes off as the "manly man" in comparison to Naomichi when they're together.
  • Shonen Hair: It refuses to stay down too, always snapping back into it's usual messy look when he tries to keep it down.
  • Shrinking Violet: He is usually a kind and reserved person who dislikes conflict, and because of that he had been bullied since grade school.
  • Signature Move: Gazelle Punch, Liver Blow, Dempsey Roll, and the Tekken.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Ippo is notoriously simple-minded. In nearly all of his matches, difficulties arose when his opponent did something he had not prepared for, such as Malcolm Gedo's Magic Punch and Woli's Corner Work. In fact, he lost the championship match with Date Eiji entirely because he failed to grasp how the champ was negating the power behind his punches. Interestingly, the few times Ippo did something his opponents didn't expect, he won the match (such as his southpaw stance in his first fight, or his brawling stance in his match with Kojima).
  • Submissive Badass: Might as well be the king of this trope. He comes off as very threatening to his enemies and is able to put considerable pressure on them - that doesn't stop him from being a meek and shy person outside the ring. It's also why he never goes into the ring with the mentality of defending his title, because he dislikes thinking of himself as stronger than his opponents.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Transforms from a wimpy, doormat to a one of the top boxers of Japan.
  • Twice Shy: With Kumi.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: His Dempsey Roll.

    Mamoru Takamura
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Eddie Frierson (EN)

Big, loud-mouthed, perverted and mean, Takamura is a jerk. He is also undefeated two-time world champion and the idol of everyone at the Kamogawa gym. Because despite his bullying behaviour, he is something of a big brother to the other boxers: he is the one that got all of them into boxing and occasionally uses his vast knowledge to give them advice. Due to his status as the golden champion, he's also their idol. As much as he looks like someone with a giant ego and nothing to back it up, Takamura is something of a Guile Hero, rarely being defeated in anything even unrelated to boxing. He used to be a delinquent feared by everyone on the streets, until coach Kamogawa discovered him and got him into boxing, for which Takamura is very thankful. And despite his normally dirty behaviour, he is honest and serious about boxing. Despite being a natural genius, he is also a hard worker.

We first meet Takamura as he saves Ippo from bullies and takes him to the boxing gym. He has a troubled (due to his jerkass personality) but nontheless close relationship to coach Kamogawa. Kamogawa notes that he loves to see Takamura fight in the ring. Takamura is actually the disinherited middle son of the Takamura Development company. He was kicked out after starting a huge fight during one of his older brother Suguru's rugby matches. (Despite that, his sister and little brother still support him.)

Takamura gains his first title in an epic fight against Bryan Hawk, WBC Junior Middleweight Champion. He later climbs up a weight class and fights against David Eagle for the next title. Another one of his most notable feats is beating a bear in a fight. The story even made it into the local news, which resulted in the temporary nickname Bearslayer. It also gave him three huge scars on his chest, but those only make him look even manlier.

Word of God has it that he's the best boxer in the series. He's described in-story as the ideal boxer, combining athleticism and skill as well as intelligence and instincts. His strength and stamina are almost superhuman and his instincts border on the supernatural. Upon their first meeting, Kamogawa described him as a "diamond that didn't need to be polished", easily able to take the Japanese title at that point already. Kamogawa also believes that Takamura has completely surpassed his teachings and thus often lets him fight however he wants in the ring. He's only had real trouble in two fights so far (his two matches for the world title) and often knocks out his opponent in the first round in showy fashion. Due to his boxing insight, he often serves as the Mr. Exposition during matches of other people.
  • The Ace: Takamura is one of the most invincible characters in the series along with Ricardo Martinez. Not only is he undefeated with every win a KO (despite his weight management handicap), he has accomplished feats such as KOing a bear, lifting a truck and defeating a troupe of wild monkeys.
    • However, it's Subverted in the sense that he's not The Ace at anything aside from fighting. He was quite aimless in life before being found by Kamogawa. He's also laughably bad at most other activities aside from boxing, including fishing, singing, and picking up girls.
  • Animal Motifs: Multiple, actually. The hawk, the bear and the rhinoceros beetle. Every fighter he has fought since winning the WBC Jr. Middleweight Championship has been named after an animal (Rickey Mouse, David "Golden" Eagle, Ronald Duck, Richard Bison)
  • Badass: And HOW.
  • Badass Boast: Pulls one on Hawk, although he only thinks it.
    "That cocky little mug. I bet you never lost a fight before, have you...? But that's because...I've never been...TO AMERICA!!!"
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: It's Takamura going berserk that ultimately and finally turns the tides against the unorthodox Hawk at the darkest moment of the fight. Against the by-the-books Eagle, it's remembering his boxing training with Kamogawa to guide his hands when he couldn't see any more.
  • Bears Are Bad News: He has to box with a Mama Bear. He lives to tell. And gains the scars to prove it.
  • Big Brother Bully: Pretty much has this relationship with Aoki, Kimura, and Ippo most of the time (despite not being blood related, of course). Although he bullies them, it's relatively harmless in the sense that Aoki and Kimura are also scrappy fighters who aren't too afraid to argue and fight with him; in fact, they typically join him in teasing Ippo, who takes it in stride.
  • Big Brother Mentor: In an, uhm, special way.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Absolutely Bad Ass as a boxer. Almost absolutely Jerk Ass when not at work or at training.
  • Casanova Wannabe
  • Cherry Tapping: Beating an opponent with just his left.
  • Combat Commentator: He gives excellent and accurate commentary while sitting in the stands, and his comments usually serve to educate Aoki, Kimura, and whoever else (including the viewer) when they give an inaccurate assessment of a fight. Ironically though, when he actually gets the chance to do official commentary for a fight on the mic, he usually messes it up by saying something crazy or, in one case, choosing to focus on pestering Date instead of commenting.
  • Determinator
  • Deuteragonist
  • Fallen Prince
  • Finishing Move: Averted. Takamura does not have a Sunday Punch.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His are good. And very Badass.
  • Guile Hero: A master of the Indy Ploy when in the ring.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's good. And he knows it. And he'll make sure everyone around him knows it.
    • Thought it's balanced by him being a Butt Monkey outside the ring, especially when it comes to his terrible luck with women.
  • Japanese Delinquents: What he used to be in the past.
  • Jerkass: oh, boooooy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He certainly is a jerkass without remorse in every circumstance but one: Boxing. He not only swore that he would never be dishonest about boxing, it is the only time he will act genuinely helpful to his gym mates, adopting a kind of big brother relationship with Ippo. He was even protective of Aoki despite bullying him almost daily otherwise, simply because he felt that the sport itself was tainted by Aoki's opponent and his coach.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Meaningful Name: Taka means hawk. Thus, his nickname in the ring is The Japanese Hawk.
  • Mr. Exposition: Usually serves as this during the matches of other people
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His skills and fighting style as well as attitude were based on Sugar Ray Robinson, the man who has been cited as the greatest boxer who ever lived.
  • Power Limiter: In a way, his weight management. Because Japan lacks boxers in higher weight classes, Takamura needs to lose a lot of weight in order to fight in the lighter weight classes. Because of that he never really fought a boxing match being at Full Power.
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Red Baron: Japanese Hawk, Bear Slayer.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: "I've won against a bear! I'll tear you to to shreds!"
  • Scars Are Forever: Three scars on his chest from a fight with a bear.
  • Sempai/Kohai
  • Shonen Hair: When it's not styled with hair gel into his usual pompadour.
  • Showy Invincible Hero
  • Sir Swearsalot
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In everything BUT Boxing.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Teeny Weenie: Subverted and Played for Laughs. Though it looks small when we first see it flaccid, judging by his therapy session with Yamaguchi hundreds of chapters later, Takamura's Raging Stiffie actually seems fairly average and maybe even on the bigger side; however, he's still apparently nothing compared to Ippo, and he instantly gets both insecure and enraged whenever Ippo gets positive attention from women.
  • Testosterone Poisoning
  • Training from Hell: He subjects others and himself to this. In his case, he has to forcibly keep himself five classes underweight for a title match since there's a general lack of credibility in the Pacific Heavyweight scene.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Minor but still significant, he loses his trademark hairstyle after a severe beating by Hawk. Inversion occurs as every fan will tell you he looks downright beautiful that way. Happens again during his match against Bison.
  • Trickster Archetype
  • The Unfavourite: He was disinherited for crying out loud!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Against Hawk. Big fucking time.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • Volleying Insults: With Date.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Deals these to Ippo twice: once when he thinks he's not serious enough as a boxer, later when he almost falls victim to Kobashi's tactics.
  • World's Best Warrior: Word of God calls him the best fighter in the series.
  • Wrestler in All of Us

    Masaru Aoki
Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (JP), Jim Taggert (EN)

Ippo's senpai and Kimura's best friend. Aoki provides much of the gym's comic relief and exercises one of the world's most unusual fighting styles. A few of his signature techniques include the fan-favorite Frog Punch, double punch, an untorqued (ineffective) corkscrew punch, and the utterly ridiculous Lookaway (which has also been adopted by Takamura). In the past, he and Kimura were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Aoki's real job is at a ramen restaurant. Due to the numerous times being dumped by the pretty girls in high school, he's developed a taste for women with unattractive faces. He has fought for the Japanese lightweight championship, losing in a draw, and shares an apartment with his girlfriend, Tomiko, a friend of Kumi Mashiba whose nice personality and good body more than compensate for her less-than-stellar face. Aoki seems to be based on either former world champion Jorge Páez, or hardcore fight fan hero Emanuel Augustus for their offbeat fighting styles and records. His current record stands at 20 Matches 11-6-4 (W-L-D), with 6 KOs, and the best rank he reached is 1st in Lightweight. His signature "Look Away" technique is based on a skill former World Middleweight Champion Jake LaMotta had used in his career and his signature move the "Frog Punch" is based on real-life former world champion Koichi Wajima whose signature move was called the "Frog Jump".

Aoki is ranked 7th in JBC Lightweight rankings.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Sort of. Before he became a boxer, he burned off some his restless energy by constantly having his hands down his pants and fiddling around with himself. In public.
  • Animal Motifs: The frog.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His Frog Punch. It is an upper thrown with his entire body in order to amplify its power. It is a high-risk, high-reward move suitable for someone who lacks raw brute strength.
  • The Ace: Subverted with Boxing, but played straight with everything else. Aoki is good at baseball (people from his high school team say that if he and Kimura kept playing, they would have went to Koshien), bowling, and his ramen shop is extremely successful. He's also the only one of the main characters with a girlfriend.
  • Can't Catch Up: Inverted, and Played for Laughs. He and Kimura get picked on by Takamura constantly for allowing Ippo to catch up to and then surpass them in both skill and in terms of career success within just a few years.
  • The Chew Toy: Even more unlucky than Ippo, and that's something.
  • Confusion Fu: His fighting style is rather unorthodox.
  • Delinquents: He and Kimura, in their Back Story.
  • Signature Move: Frog Punch and Look Away.
  • Team Chef: Justified, he has a part-time work in a ramen restaurant.
  • Those Two Guys: With Kimura.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Played it straight in his backstory, then inverted it when he became the only Kamogawa boxer with a girlfriend - and Tomiko is a Genki Girl as well as a borderline female Gonk.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Aoki lacks the brute strength that most of the series' boxers posses, and his stamina isn't particularly great either. He makes up for this by employing a very unorthodox fighting style, and making use of intricate tactics and mind-games during his matches. Most who see it end up thinking he's just a clown fooling around, but there's much more to it than that.

    Tatsuya Kimura
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (JP), Grant George (EN)

Ippo's senpai and Aoki's best friend. He is the smooth, collected type and a romantic at heart, but trains as hard as anyone. His style incorporates a fast left and faster footwork and is considered by Miyata to have "no weaknesses" yet, it also doesn't have strengths either which creates Kimura's weakness. In the OVA, which was dedicated to Kimura, he is in training for his bid for the Japanese junior lightweight championship against Ryo Mashiba, he developed a devastating vertical combination known as the Dragon Fish Blow, which Kimura learned while watching his pet fish jump up and eat his meal in front of him. Another interesting fact is that, out of all the opponents that had fought Ryo Mashiba, Kimura is the only one Ryo had feared during a match. In the past, he and Aoki were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Tatsuya's real job is at his family's flower shop. His current record stands at 24 Matches 17-5-3 (W-L-D), with 8 KOs, and the best rank he reach is 3rd in Jr. Lightweight. However, this rank was enough for him to get a title match, because the 1st & 2nd resigned from fear of Mashiba.

Kimura is ranked 7th in the JBC Jr. Lightweight rankings. After losing to Ryo Mashiba, he announced his retirement from boxing. Shortly after, unable to stay away from boxing, he returned saying he'd spell his name in katakana (タツヤ, Tatsuya) instead of kanji (達也,, Tatsuya). Kimura's character seems to be at least partially based on former world champion "Fearless" Freddie Pendleton, who had been a journeyman fighter his entire career, yet was still able to fight on even terms with some of the best in the world with his high level of skill.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Has his moments, being more down-to-earth than Aoki and Takamura.
  • Can't Catch Up: Inverted, and Played for Laughs. He and Aoki get picked on by Takamura constantly for allowing Ippo to catch up to and then surpass them in both skill and in terms of career success within just a few years.
  • Delinquents: He and Aoki, in their Back Story.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: During Kimura's spar against Miyata in preparation for his match against Mashiba, Miyata tells Kimura that he has no weaknesses, but he doesn't have any strengths either. This comment is what led to Kimura developing a Sunday punch.
  • Only Sane Man: Sometimes.
  • Signature Move: Dragon Fish Blow
  • Those Two Guys: With Aoki.

    Manabu Itagaki
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (JP)

The most recent addition to the roster, the charming Manabu has a prodigy's talent and was the captain of his high school's boxing team. Cheerful and a lover of bad puns (as are the rest of his family), Manabu is a fierce outboxer with extremely high speed and reflexes and whose fighting style is uncanny in its resemblance to Miyata's. His most powerful technique is a furious hail of mid-power blows known as the Hedgehog or Porcupine, which was employed in an East Japan Rookie Kings showdown with his longtime nemesis, Kyosuke Imai. Outside of boxing, Manabu is employed as an assistant at the Makounouchi family's fishing business. He has a big crush on Kumi but prefers to keep his feelings for himself because of his respect for his Idol Ippo. Itagaki's character is based on retired world champion Oscar de La Hoya for his prodigy-like natural ability and good looks, whom Itagaki has admitted to idolizing in the manga. His current record as the Rookie King of his class stands at 14 Matches 12-2-0 (W-L-D), with 10 KOs.

Itagaki is currently listed as 1st in JBC Featherweight rankings and 4th in the OPBF after winning the Class A Tournament. Itagaki is one of the speed square which consists of 3rd Saeki, 5th Karasawa, 7th Fukui.

Recently, It's been shown that Itagaki has become quite smitten for Kumi, but realizes feeling is not mutual.

    Genji Kamogawa
Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (JP), Richard Epcar (EN)

Head coach and founder of the Kamogawa gym. He fought as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of the Second World War. Along with his friends, Ginpachi Nekota and Dankichi Hama, Kamogawa developed a style of fighting that both presumably became the forerunner of boxing in Japan and emphasized scientific theory in its techniques. In his prime, Kamogawa's talents included the fearsome, yet self-destructive, Tekken (Iron Fist) blow which is a left hook body blow enough to knock someone down and an unyielding spirit which has been passed onto his students. As a coach, Kamogawa's wealth of knowledge and experience has been tapped into on multiple occasions during training as well as in matches. He may seem to be a bit gruff towards his boxers, but maintains very strong relationships based on trust and spirit; i.e., he rescued Takamura from his life as a thug by introducing him to boxing. Although he rarely admits it aloud, he is extremely proud of his two best reliable straight-forward boxers, Takamura and Ippo.

During Ippo's comeback fight, Coach Kamogoawa was hospitalized due to over fatigue. Therefore not being able to teach Ippo a technique that would utilize both attacking and defending simultaneously. He was shocked during Ippo's match with Ponchai when, during the timeout after the first round, Ippo declares a Knock Out within the Second Round. Coach Kamogawa's pride was lifted up, however, when Ippo did the Dempsey Roll for the first time, not even knowing what it was called.

Ippo's matches with Volg and Sanada proved how tight the bond between the Coach and his athlete is. During Ippo's fight with Volg, Ippo made a remark to Kamogawa: "Amazing". Kamogawa thought that Ippo was referring to Volg's Power. Ippo stated "I followed everything you taught me during training and it's working.". During the end of the fight with Sanada, Ippo was sitting on the neutral corner due to the damage he sustained from the fight. Kamogawa reached out a hand to Ippo to let him up and Ippo stared in amazement at his Coach's hand, referring to it as "The hand that pushed me to exceed my limit".

    Haruhiko Yagi
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima (JP), Paul St Peter (EN)

Manager and Assistant Trainer of Kamogawa Boxing Gym, he also acts as a cutman during matches. Called "Yagi-chan" by his pupils, he is the one responsible for the gym's finances, equipment maintenance, promoting matches and acquiring and selling tickets. He knows a great deal about boxing himself, having been a boxer at Kamogawa Gym once.

    Tomoyuki Shinoda
Voiced by: Seiji Sasaki (JP)

Best known as the primary trainer of Aokimura and Itagaki.
  • Eyes Always Shut
  • Heroic BSOD: Considers retiring after he lets Aoki and Kimura's teasing get to him and starts thinking that his training methods are dragging them down. Has another when Aoki and Kimura lose badly in the Class A Tournament, with Aoki ending up hospitalized.


    Ichirou Miyata
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Jason Palmer (EN)

Miyata is a very skilled outboxer specializing in counters. As a rookie, he was recognized as a genius, although his great abilities stem more from hard work than one might initially believe. He's a very cool-headed and intelligent person. Despite his somewhat cold demeanor, he has a great fighting spirit and is nicer than one might think at first.

He's Ippo's main rival but also idol, as the two constantly try to top each other and grow as boxer with the other one as their goal. He's the current reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion, which he won from Arnie Gregory. Miyata has a deep relationship with his father and trainer, who was the reason Miyata got into boxing in the first place, to prove that his fathers way of boxing isn't wrong. This is why he got into boxing much earlier than any of the other boxers, long before he could even become pro boxer.

Miyata is a Fragile Speedster and very skilled counter-puncher. He loves high-risk, high-reward counters. He has very low punching power and a "glass jaw", which are significant weaknesses. He attempts to overcome these with technique and speed. He has a remarkably great fighting spirit, probably on par with Ippo's. Somewhat surprisingly, Word of God says he's the third best pound-for-pound boxer in the series.
  • The Ace: To a slight degree.
  • Achilles' Heel: His lack of physical strength and his "glass jaw" the second is inherited from his dad.
  • Bishōnen: And how.
  • Chick Magnet
  • Counter Attack: His main boxing philosophy passed down from his father and to make up for his weak punches. This is why his fights often start with him using his speed to run around the opponent or alternatively get pounded one-sidedly until he lands a One-Hit Kill counter.
  • Cross Counter: The main user of this type of counter in the series, but usually connects as a full on counter rather than an exchange of hits.
  • Dramatic Wind: His tie loves flapping.
  • Determinator: Yeah, really. In fact, the "green eyes of determination" that are sometimes seen first appeared in him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ippo

    Takeshi Sendo
Voiced by: Masaya Onosaka (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN)

Nicknamed the Naniwa Tiger in his hometown where he is quite a popular figure, Takeshi Sendo is a brash and hotblooded boxer. He has an elaborate backstory, so much that he had is own gaiden chapter focusing on his past. His mother died few after he was born, his dad was a firefighter who died while rescuing a boy during a blaze when Sendo was very little. Sendo continued to follow his father's advice by trying to help others. One day he and his friends got beaten up by bullies. Frustrated of being unable to protect them, he swore to do it by any means - and the next day, he grabbed his baseball bat and ambushed said bullies, beating them up as punishment. By high-school Sendo had become very extreme with his protection - he was leader of a gang of delinquents and quite possibly the most feared street fighter in Osaka. Despite that, he never attacked people but rather defended the weak. His absolute refusal to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear on such injustice got him into trouble quite often.

Because he's such an excellent fighter, he got rather bored since nobody could satisfy his hunger for an equal. That is when Yanaoka met him and introduced him to boxing, after resisting one of Sendo's attacks. Easily becoming East Japan Rookie King, he saw Ippo Makunouchi which made him very excited, to say the least.

Sendo has an extremely aggressive boxing style, barely ever using a proper defense and preferring to take hits if he can dish out something in return. His punching power is spectacular and on par with Ippo's. He also has excellent natural fighting insincts but lacks a bit in technique.
  • Animal Motifs: The tiger.
  • Badass: So damn much.
  • The Berserker
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Blood Knight: Hilariously, he tries to explain to Ippo that he's this trope without sounding like a dumb brute.
  • Bully Hunter: Ever since he was a kid. So much that he became a Delinquent... to protect people from other gangsters.
  • Delinquent: For righteous reasons.
  • Determinator: Quite possibly the greatest one in the series. He took the Dempsey Roll twice in a match and got back to his feet both times.
  • Determined Defeatist: At the end of his second match against Ippo, absolutely refuses to fall to the ground or go unconcious, despite knowing full well that he's lost and can't continue.
  • Foil: The Hot-Blooded Sendou is who you would usually expect to be the protagonist of a Shonen like this; his general gung-ho and hot headed attitude contrasts completely with Ippo.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Hes easily Ippo's biggest rival, though Sendo would outright deny them being friends. Despite how often he visits Tokyo and Kamogawa Gym.
  • Gag Penis: Hilariously used in his introduction.
  • Mighty Roar: Lets out a fierce on after Ippo punches him so hard his face begins to bleed.
  • Odd Friendship: With Sawamura, of all people, stemming from their first meeting as delinquents where they fought to a stalemate.

    Eiji Date
Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (JP), Tony Oliver (EN)

A retired Featherweight boxer and now trainer, Date was the two time Japanese Featherweight Champion and even fought on the world stage. He has been the only fighter to defeat Ippo. He lost to Ricardo Martinez twice, once in the past which is how he got his scar and the second time in an epic fight that showed his great determination.

He's a smart, technically skilled boxer with great experience. Despite the contrast to that, his boxing style is very aggressive. He is good friends with Takamura. After his second loss against Martinez, he passes on the baton to Ippo.

    Ryou Mashiba
Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (JP)

In front of the grave of his parents, then-highschool student Ryo Mashiba made two promises. First, he wouldn't rely on or believe in anyone else. Second, that he'd protect his little sister Kumi at all costs. Due to his tough life, Mashiba is unsociable and cynical, rarely seems to care about anyone other than his sister and has no concern for his opponents.

A highly intimidating character, Mashiba is former Japanese Junior Lightweight champion and current OPBF Lightweight champion. He's a vicious outboxer who's most notable for his use of the Flicker Jab. He has exceptional reach and is quite skilled, and not to mention he will do anything it takes to win, even cheating if necessary.

    Ryuuhei Sawamura
Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (JP)

A dark, remorseless boxer from Nagoya. Albeit quiet and cold, he is extremely violent and cruel when he fights, going as far as blatantly cheating even when he's at the advantage. He is a lonely individual and his only friends are his old teacher and Takeshi Sendo, though he treats neither with any respect or kindness. Despite his outwardly cold and stoic personality, he can lapse into fits of madness when he's at his worst. One of the most notable traits of his is that he doesn't box for success, but rather to torture and destroy his opponent. He will often prolong matches to continue beating his opponent instead of simply ending it. He experiences defeat at the hand of a very angry Ippo for his bad attitude towards boxing. Despite the hopes of his old teacher, his personality doesn't get better, though he does learn the value of hard work and develops an actual will for success. He later fights Mashiba for the Japanese Junior Lightweight title. Despite being brutally knocked out of the ring by Mashiba, he wins the title as Mashiba is disqualified. Due to the damage he suffered from the fight, he has a traffic accident, which forces him to retire from boxing. After that, his sociopathic tendencies seem to have calmed down, even showing a sense of sarcastic humour. Sawamura has a great eye for boxing, possibly equal to that of Takamura.

He has quite possibly the darkest past of all characters in the story. He stabbed his abusive father as a kid and his mother abandoned him when she first noticed his sociopathic tendencies. He was alone for pretty much his entire life, which is the reason why he shut himself off from other human contact to such a degree. This is made worse by the fact that he was extremely hated in his town and was constantly attacked by others. He already met Sendo in the past. Both renowed street fighters that never lost, Sendo fought him until Sawamuras old teacher intervened. The teacher later begs Sendo to become Sawamuras friend, as it is the loneliness that makes him so bad. Because of this, Sendo and Sawamura share a somewhat odd 'friendship'.

As bad as his personality is, he is an absolute genius as a boxer. His natural instincts are great and he's a gifted counter puncher. In fact, his sense for counters is mentioned to be even higher than that of Miyata. His athletic abilities are fairly average, but his high skill, analytical ability and talent more than makes up for it. It's easily possible that he could have won against Ippo, had he been serious about defeating him.

    Akira Shigeta 
Akira is a Japanese Featherweight boxer as well as the East and All Japan Rookie king of his generation. He challenged Sendo for the JBC Featherweight Championship and, after getting a little carried away with the mind games against his opponent, was severely pummeled.
  • Confusion Fu: His southpaw style already makes him a difficult opponent for Ippo and Sendo, but he adds another layer by virtue of actually being right-handed, making his jabs much more powerful than the opponent anticipates.
  • Deer in the Headlights: After losing to Sendo, he develops a condition called "Punch Eye" that causes him to freeze up when he sees a fist close to his face. Kamogawa states that any boxer afflicted with this ends up retiring.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He and his coach assumed Sendo was a purely brute strength focused boxer (which, up until the last part of their match, he was) and as a result were completely caught off guard when Sendo started making use of his dashing strength.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: See Deer in the Headlights. The physical injuries he suffered from Sendo were not crippling. The mental ones on the other hand...
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His taunting of Sendo backfired horribly when Sendo began using his legs to outspeed him. By that point Sendo was so pissed the ref had to stop him from beating Shigeta to death.
  • Jerk Ass: Repeatedly taunts Sendo during their match, and acts pretty damn cocky to boot.
  • Practical Taunt: Taunts Sendo during the match to make him lose his focus. It works....until it starts working too well.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Taunting aside, he had Sendo's style completely figured out and more or less forced him to start making use of his leg strength to pull out a victory.

    Dr. Kazuki Sanada 
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (JP)

    Iwao Shimabukuro 

Iwao is a Japanese Featherweight boxer who challenged Ippo for the belt. Like Ippo, he is a fisherman, possesses incredible strength, and has monstrous stamina. Iwao has the distinction of being the first opponent to discover the Dempsey Roll's weakness. While Iwao ultimately lost the fight, later opponents would use the knowledge gained from the fight to produce a much more solid counter to the Dempsey Roll with much less risk to the defender.

    Naomichi Yamada
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (JP), Tony Oliver (EN)

  • Bald of Awesome: See Important Haircut below.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
  • Disappeared Dad: We only see his mom, but no word on his father.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Geromichi" by the main crew (minus Ippo); it's a play on his given name, Naomichi. "Gero" comes from the Japanese word for puking, which he does often.
  • Fragile Flower: He's basically Ippo if his shyness and social awkwardness were turned Up to Eleven, not to mention with a nagging lack of confidence as well.
  • Gonk
  • Important Haircut: Geromichi shaves himself bald in New Challenger and in the manga before beginning his career as Hammer Nao.
  • Jerkass Façade: After he goes pro and comes back as "Hammer Nao". He's still the same "Geromichi", but the intimidating attitude helps with his fights.
  • Perpetual Frowner: His mouth is shaped in a way where it looks like he constantly has a nervous frown. It becomes a fearsome scowl when he transforms his image into "Hammer Nao".
  • Signature Move: Solar Plexus Blow
  • Stone Wall: He wins his matches mostly by wearing his opponents down with repeated body shots while he takes a beating to his head. He ultimately couldn't handle Ippo's punches for too long, however.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After going pro, he actually became a formidable boxer and so far has only lost one match ( to Ippo).
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: He throws up so often that he's nicknamed "Geromichi", which comes from the Japanese word for puking.

    Kenta Kobashi 
Voiced by: Taiki Matsuno (JP), Edward Villa (EN)

  • Alliterative Name
  • Genre Savvy: Knows damn well he'll be outmatched in a straight-up brawl. His unusual style is based on ensuring it never comes to that.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: He's a weak defensive fighter who obsessively wishes he had the knockout power of guys like Ippo. He's overjoyed when, for the first time in his life, he actually lands an effective haymaker in his fight against Ippo. Unfortunately for him, he gets overconfident and changes from his routine style to go punch for punch with a brawler like Ippo, which promptly leads to him getting knocked out.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Lacking offensive power, his boxing style is based on winning by judge's decision. His normal stance leads with jabbing lefts to score points, and he makes extensive (some might say excessive) use of clinches to neutralize his opponents offense and tire them out, and rarely if ever throws a non-jab punch. When Ippo and the gang watch a video of Kobashi in action, they're bored stiff waiting for a knockout blow that never comes.

    Ryuichi Hayami 
Voiced by: Kouji Tsujitani (JP), Nathan Smythe (EN)

    Takuma Saeki 
Voiced by: Kiyoyuki Yanada (JP)

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Decides he'd rather take the chance of losing by fighting at middle range than resort to the in-fighting tactics his coach recommends for surviving the round. Even Itagaki is surprised.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Determinator: Forces himself to see through Itagaki's feint through sheer force of will rather than turn to in-fighting. Also pushes himself off the mat after his first down in their fight despite his legs being all but dead. Too bad it wasn't enough to fight a man with all your powers combined.
  • Fun Personified
  • Lightning Bruiser: Maybe one of the best examples in this manga. Even Date has problems with his speed.
  • Slipknot Ponytail. Keeps his long hair tied up when he fights, it goes loose when he loses to Ippo and Itagaki.

    Kyousuke Imai 
Voiced by: Yuuichi Nakamura (JP)

The longtime rival of Itagaki Manabu, Imai was the one boxer who managed to thwart Itagaki in his high-school days. They fought a total of three times in the amateur ring; each time Imai was victorious. His build, KO pattern, and even hairstyle are remarkably similar to those of Itagaki's senpai, Makunouchi Ippo. Imai is ordinarily cool and composed, bearing a poker face even in the heat of battle. Eventually, Itagaki defeats Imai in a heated battle. It seems the only people who can rouse him out of this perpetual calm are Ippo, Itagaki, and Itagaki's sister Nanako — with whom Imai is very much smitten. Imai defeated Itagaki for the vacant Japanese featherweight title.

    Keigo Okita 
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (JP)

    Yusuke Oda 
Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (JP)

  • Bishōnen / —> Gonk
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Said to have been this at the beginning.
  • Big Eater: Once he stopped with the weight control, he really let go.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Being KO'd Ippo had some serious complications, so he had to retire.
  • Last-Second Chance: He fights Ippo to not lose the support of his gym and the love of his girlfriend Reiko, who is the daughter of the owner He loses, but manages to stay in and recovers Reiko's love and respect.)

    Kojima Hisato 

The opponent for Ippo's eight domestic championship title defense. Dropped two weight classes for the chance to challenge Ippo, and has a tremendous deal of confidence in the power of his punches. Is constantly trying to anger Ippo, first by calling every opponent he's fought before trash, and then by telling him his coach is a hack. Also claims to know an, as of yet undisclosed, "weakness" in Ippo's boxing, that he claims makes it impossible for him to lose their match.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Quite possibly the biggest fan of Makunochi Ippo in the manga's universe (also, probably the ONLY fan of Aoki in the manga universe.) Doesn't stop him from being a complete dick to him for mysterious reasons.
    • No, the reasons he's a dick to Ippo are obvious by the ens of the arc. He intends to retire from boxing after that match, regardless of the outcome, and he wants to face his idol fighting at the absolute peak of ability before retiring.
  • Body Horror: His skin and bones look during the weigh-in before the fight can be considered this. Only Takamura has ever looked worse after a struggle of weight management.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a pair of scars running between the knuckles of his right hand. According to Ippo, they don't look like boxing wounds.
  • Jerkass Façade: Shown to be a lighthearted guy who deeply cares about his kouhai, loves his wife and unborn child, and respects Makunochi Ippo from the bottom of his heart. Every time he crosses paths with Ippo, though, all he ever says are cutting and condescending things.
  • Tempting Fate: you may have your reasons... but are you SURE you know what you're getting into by pushing all the berserk buttons of the hardest punching featherweight in all of Asia?
    • Fate tempted as of chapter 939 when Ippo one shot flips him onto the floor, twice. Word of advice.... Don't push Ippo's buttons.
  • Worthy Opponent: What he says when they're together aside, he considers Ippo to be this: expecting their bout to be the hardest fought he's ever had... the kind of fight he'll "have battle scars when he walks away from." Of course, he still plans on winning.

    Keiichi Take 
Japanese featherweight boxer. Notable for his lengthy boxing career, yet he has never been a champion. Right before his title match against then-champion Eiji Date, his son fell ill which resulted in Take halting his boxing career. This incident caused his son to be bullied because the father was a "coward" for not facing Date. Take returned to the ring to prove to his son that he's no facing Ippo.

Take's fighting style is unorthodox. He fights by getting into his opponents' heads and by using techniques that limit their abilities. Take is able to figure out an opponent's weakness quickly and exploit it to the fullest. Date fears Take, which is saying something considering how broken (read: insanely powerful) Date is. Take's appearance is that of an older man, yet he's 31 years old. His appearance—notably his half-opened eyes—is the result of a long career of taking hits to the face.

     Iga Shinobu 
Japanese Junior Lightweight boxer. Personally trained by Baron 'Maron' Kurita. Notable for having high skill despite being a rookie. Defeated Aoki to win the Class A Prize Tournament.
  • The Ace: Noted to have surprising ability for a rookie, and pretty much bulldozed his way through the Class A competition.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Dealt one to Imae and Aoki.
  • Puppet King: In a sense. He follows Kurita's orders without argument or even emotion, and won the Class A Tourney to become a Japanese ranker with ease.
  • The Rival: Marked as one by Aoki after the Class A Tournament.
  • The Stoic: His face constantly has a deadpan look plastered onto it.
  • With My Hands Tied: He could have beaten Aoki at any time, but held back on Kurita's orders to prolong the suffering.

Foreign Boxers

    Jason Ozma 
Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi (JP)

One of Ippo's first opponents, he is an American soldier stationed in the Okinawa base. He looks huge and scary, but is a great guy at heart.

    Alexander Volg Zangief
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (JP), Dave Wittenberg (EN)

Volg is a Russian boxer and was Amateur World Champion, born and raised by a single mother near to Leningrad/St. Petersburg. Subverting pretty much every common cliche associated with Russians, Volg is an extremely kind-hearted and soft-spoken person who initially got into pro boxing in order to pay for the medical assistance of his Ill Girl mother, after his trainer discovered his amazing talent.

Volg quickly becomes friends with Ippo, but after a loss by decision against Sendo, he is forced to leave boxing and return to Russia. Much later, his mother dies of her illness and his life is filled with an emptiness he decides to fill with boxing once again. And so he makes a comeback and decides to do so in America.

Volg is an extremely talented boxer with superb skill. While he excels at outboxing and taking points, he is forced to adopt a more aggressive infighting style in Japan, in order to attract attention as a foreigner. It is heavily implied that he could be much better than he already is, if he fought in his natural style, which we have yet to see.

    Arnie Gregory 
Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda

Arnie is a Featherweight boxer from Australia and was the reigning OPBF champion before losing the title to Ichirou Miyata. His manager was Mr. Sakaguchi, whom he fired halfwaythrough his match with Miyata because Arine thought of boxing as more than a means to make money. Arnie is an infighter with powerful hooks; his trademark technique, Bloody Cross, is designed to deal with counter punchers.

    Ponchai Chuwatana 


Woli is a 17 year old Indonesian man who lives on a remote island... Together with wild monkeys. He is discovered by Miguel Zail, former trainer of Bryan Hawk. Woli is a true boxing genius, and very talented. Very, very talented. His natural instincts are comparable to those of Takamura of all people. And it shows, since Woli became Indonesian Featherweight Champion after only three fights. To compare, Ippo wasn't even finished with the Japanese Rookie Tournament by then. Despite his innate talent, he has a cheerful, fun-loving and naive personality. His trainer Miguel makes it clear the he's his "last son" and that he plans to pour all of his knowledge into him and unlike with Hawk, won't rely solely on his natural abilities. Due to his one-in-a-billion talent, almost every character who has seen him predicts a great future for him.

He fights Ippo as his fourth match. It quickly seems as if Ippo is no match for him, despite Wolis inexperience. However, Ippo manages to eventually beat him due to built up damage on Woli's ribs. Neither Woli nor his trainer see the loss as something dramatic, merely a great experience for Woli, which is the only thing he lacks yet. Kamogawa makes it clear that he won't make Ippo fight Woli again, because he knows it was only his inexperience that let Ippo win the fight, and believes that Ippo won't stand a chance against a more experienced Woli.

As a prodigy of prodigies, Woli can be said to have the most potential of all Featherweight boxers. His innate fighting insticts allow him to naturally use high-level techniques without having properly trained them. For example, he throws Sendo's Smash and Mashiba's Flicker Jab simply because it was an appropriate move in the situation. His agility is top-notch as well, comparable to that of Miyata and Itagaki. He can use both outboxing and infighting and is especially dangerous in the corner, where he can easily set up counters.

    Ricardo Martinez
Voiced by: Masashi Sugawara

The living legend, Ricardo Martinez is the undefeated, seemingly invincible Featherweight World Champion. He's a Mexican who enjoys such popularity that there's a higher chance Mexicans know him than their own president. Stoic and quiet, Martinez is rarely surprised by anything. He gave Date Eiji his first loss in a brutal T.K.O. In a sparring match against Ippo, Martinez knocks him unconcious in the first round with jabs alone and also easily counters the dempsey roll.

He has a revenge match against Date Eiji which he also wins without visible injuries. However, Date is the boxer Martinez respects the most, for his unbreakable spirit and willpower.

His boxing style is pretty much perfect. In his natural style, he combines intelligence and skill with instincts and violent power. His athletic abilities and reflexes are top-notch and he rarely if ever falls for someones trap. He has over 60 wins, almost all by K.O., and not a single loss or draw in his career. Word of God states that he is the second best boxer in the story, only behind good old Takamura.
  • The Ace: The best featherweight in the world. Ricardo is so good that featherweights would rather try their luck in other boxing federations rather than try and take his belt.
  • Badass Mustache
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He completely and utterly dominates Date, and considering Date is said to have given him the best "challenge" up to that point, it can be assumed he does this to every man he fights.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Averted. It's telling that Takamura himself, who's boxing commentary borders Word of God levels of finality, speculates that the World Featherweight Title won't be going anywhere while Martinez is around.
  • Implacable Man: Bordering on The Juggernaut, and as close to this trope as one can get in a series about completely human boxers. His defense, stamina, and durability are all so unbelievably high that he can slug on Date literally nonstop for 7 rounds straight and still seem to be completely unaffected by the few punches Date actually manages to land on him late in the fight.
  • Lightning Bruiser: It's presented in the series that Ippo's Dempsey Roll can be defeated by either pushing into him to stop his windups, or by pulling back and countering the hooks. Only Martinez is fast and strong enough with his left that he jabs Ippo's face through ALL of the roll's rotations, effectively knocking poor Ippo out while he's standing.
  • Living Legend
  • No Sell: When Date finally lands his signature punch, the Heartbreak Shot, it's ineffective due to Date having already broken his hand earlier in the match. To be honest though, knowing Martinez, it probably wouldn't have brought him down anyway.
  • Not So Stoic: Ricardo was genuinely concerned that he might make an unfortunate accident out of Date after breaking his jaw.
  • The Quiet One
  • The Stoic
  • World's Best Warrior: Of the Featherweight division, certainly.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Eiji Date.

    Bryan Hawk
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (JP)

Easily the most detestable boxer in the story, Bryan Hawk was WBC Middleweight Champion until his defeat at the hands of Takamura. He loves to provoke and humiliate his opponents, has a contemptuous attitude towards boxing and is extremely arrogant, as well as too lazy to properly train. Despite that, he's even worse in the ring. Hawk is the epitome of the word 'wild', being almost uncontrollable even by his trainer and extremely violent in the ring, easily approaching Ax-Crazy levels. He is beaten by Takamura in a match of epic proportions.

Hawk grew up in the slums of New York, where he survived by beating his threats with bare hands, whether they were armed or not. His trainer Miguel stumbles upon him while he's beating an already unconcious man. Shocked by the insanity in Hawks eyes, but also noticing the potential he had, Miguel invited him to a place where he could fight all he wanted and be payed for it. And a license to kill...

Like Takamura, he has unbelievable natural talent and power. He is so strong that despite rarely training, he seems invincible in the ring. Because of his violently insane personality, he is extremely dangerous and has no consideration for his opponent. Hawk is perhaps the most unorthodox boxer in the series, throwing odd punches and swaying backwards to dodge. His trainer calls his style not boxing, but simply violence. But it's the lack of skillfull boxing that makes him so dangerous, as he becomes a highly unpredictable opponent.

    David Eagle

The complete opposite of Bryan Hawk in both personality and boxing style, David Eagle is the WBC Middleweight Champion. Eagle is an honorable and friendly man, always looking for a greater challenge. He used to be olympic gold medalist until he went into boxing. Because of his shining attitude, Ippo says he looks like a classic super hero. He is defeated by Takamura.

Eagle is a highly orthodox fighter, best at the very basics of boxing. His technique and concentration are top-notch and his best weapon is a simple one-two. He's also rather intelligent in the ring and uses mind games against his opponent.

Another trait is his great fighting spirit, which Takamura compares to that of Ippo, even mentioning he's just like him.
  • The Ace
  • Cavalier Competitor
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Takamura sure did.
  • Determinator: "Just like Ippo."
  • Eagleland: Type 1.
    • He was so much this that he was immensely ashamed of a dirty referee assisting a boxer in an illegal way, claiming that it was disgracing their country. And that boxer was his friend.
  • Foil: He is the complete opposite of Brian Hawk in almost every imaginable way.
  • Graceful Loser
  • Honor Before Reason: He is unwilling to exploit Takamura's bleeding wound, which is something anyone would have done in that situation. The reason he didn't? He cared more about having a fight that would require him to give 100% than he did about simply winning, and a doctor stop wouldn't give him that.
  • Knight in Shining Armor
  • Lonely at the Top: He accepted Takamura's challenge, flew to Japan, and fought on enemy turf because he had never faced an opponent against whom he had to fight with everything he had, and he hoped Takamura would be the rival he'd always hoped for. His inner monologue even implies that the reason he lost their neck-and-neck fight was because he was satisfied to finally have a worthy opponent, and cared more about this than the outcome of the match, whereas Takamura never lost sight of his goal of taking Eagle's championship belt.
  • Red Baron: Golden Eagle.
  • The Strategist
  • Worthy Opponent

    Randy Boy Jr.

The son of Randy Boy, the boxer who fought Miyata's dad and inflicted him a Game-Breaking Injury that destroyed his career. Ironically, the brain damage that Randy Sr. sustained in the same fight actually killed him some time later. More than a decade has passed, and now Randy Jr. is a boxer in his own right. He became OPBF interim champion during Miyatas absence and naturally has a 'unison' match against him for the belt. Despite the fact that Miyata's father is indirectly responsible for his father's death, he makes it clear that he doesn't have a grudge against Miyata.

His fighting style resembles that of his father, which he claims to be a coincidence since he rarely ever saw his father. His most distinguishing feature is the fact that he's a genius switch-hitter, able to change between normal stance and southpaw very fluidly. This creates a 'satic' that disrupts the opponents rythym, especially that of counter punchers. Because of this, he's the worst possible match-up for Miyata. He has gained the ring-name "Asura" for his ability to 'go' and 'see' everywhere in the ring.

    Malcolm Gedoh 
The reigning Philippines Featherweight national champion, a crooked fighter who offers to fix his fights in exchange for prize money. Prior to becoming a boxer, Malcolm stole money on the streets and it led to him getting shot and scarred on the shoulder. He's known as "The Magician" for his the tricks he uses inside of the ring, such as the use his long arms to block one's vision while using good his footwork to get away from his opponent. Another trick is how he throws off an opponent's depth perception by loosening the strings on his left glove so that it flings off his unclenched fist, making his reach seem even longer. After losing the fight with Ippo, Malcolm later confessed that his loss to Randy Boy, Jr. led him to give up his world aspirations and box only for the money rather than competition.

    Ralph Anderson 
Ralph is an American Army sergeant and boxer from the Kamogawa flashback arc. His skill as a world-class boxer was undermined by his view towards the Japanese people. He's pretty much Bryan Hawk in this regard. Ralph's second is Miguel Zail, which is notable because he's not the bad guy readers might have expected considering he's the same second who trained Bryan. Ralph's first challenge came during his match against Nekota, where he resorted to using a Rabbit Punch, an illegal move. It's this move that ended Nekota's prizefighting career, and caused Kamogawa to challenge Ralph. In their eventual match, Ralph fell victim to the Tekken, but it's unknown whether he died from his injuries. The punch fractured his ribs, so it's possible some vital organs were punctured. In the end, Ralph changed his ways, and viewed the Japanese people in a more positive light thanks to Nekota.

    Mike Elliot 
American boxer who won a silver medal in the Olympics. Mike is the current junior lightweight world champion. Contrary to what readers may have believed, his intentions for his match against Vorg Zangief are completely noble. He simply wants a clean boxing match where the winner is determined by a battle of wits, and he would get his wish through Vorg. He is friends with David Eagle.

    Jimmy Sisfa/Scratch J 
Voiced by: Ohkura Masaaki (JP)

Jimmy is the former Thai Featherweight champion. He fell victim to Ichirou Miyata's Jolt Counter, which Miyata needed to use because Jimmy wouldn't have went down otherwise. After Jimmy lost the match, he turned into a somewhat destructive boxer. In all subsequent matches, he used a more aggressive style to the point where he ended up with scars all over his face, and slurred speech. This earned him the nickname "Scratch J." Jimmy retired from boxing after his match with Ippo.
  • Super Toughness: His experience as a kickboxer gave him a higher resistance to punches. It took a full-body counter to take him down.

    Alfredo Gonzales 

"The man ranked second in the world", Alfredo Gonzales is a Mexican boxer at the world level. Like Date Eiji, his only two losses have been against Ricardo Martinez. Despite having suffered those losses, deafeating Martinez still remains his goal and inspiration. He is the first truly international world stage opponent that Ippo faces. He appears quiet and calm, but hides a ferocious and bloodthirsty personality. His boxing style is very similar to Ricardo Martinez, in that he is a well-rounded, orthodox boxer with a high level of skill and technique, yet possessing a wilder side that focuses on brawling. Him relinquishing his orthodox style and letting go of his ferocious inner self is dubbed "Metztli Mode".
  • Deadly Upgrade: His "Metztli Mode" is actually not as much of a Super Mode as one would expect, as it can easily backfire. His trainer knows this and merely refers to it as "bad habits".
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Possibly even a Lightning Bruiser
  • Red Baron: Known as "Metztli", an aztec deity.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Heavily implied that he thinks this way of Ricardo Martinez. He could not allow Ippo to win and take his rank; because it would give him a shot at Martinez, and he was afraid Ippo might actually win.

     Richard Bison 
The WBA Middleweight Champion before losing the title to Takamura, Bison hails from Detroit, Michigan. He initially learned boxing for self-defense purposes and, finding that he was a natural, decided to pursue a career in the sport. He lost to David Eagle twice, once in an amateur match and again in the Olympic Qualifiers, resulting in his burning desire to rise in the ranks and take him on again. But before he gets the chance, Eagle is defeated by Takamura and retires afterwards, leaving Bison quite unsatisfied.
  • Animal Motifs: The bison, particulary when he charges in for the kill.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Quickly adapts his tactics and punches to account for Takamura doing the same.
  • It's Personal: Has some strong resentment towards Takamura for taking away his chance to get revenge on Eagle. Gets even worse when Takamura starts copying his moves during the fight. He even (mentally) refers to Takamura as "thief".
  • Lightning Bruiser: His signature flicker jabs are both lightning fast and incredibly strong. He himself is also very quick on his feet.
  • Red Baron: Known as "Motor City" Bison.
  • Signature Move: Uses "Old School Hitman Style": focusing on flicker jabs at middle range to keep his opponent at bay.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Felt this towards David Eagle, and is not happy that Takamura beat him to the punch (literally).

Other characters

    Hiroko Makunouchi
Voiced by: Yorie Terauchi (JP)

Hiroko is Ippo's widowed mother. She is a very kind and strong willed woman who cares for her son a great deal. She started running the fishing business after her husband, Kazuo, died after saving his friend Sakuma. Though she refuses to attend any of Ippo's matches because she doesn't want to watch him get hurt, she supports his boxing wholeheartedly because she knows how much joy it has brought to his life and how it has helped him with his self-esteem. Since Kazuo's death, Ippo and Hiroko have been more or less alone in the world; so the strength of their family bond is no surprise.
  • Good Parent: She is supportive and devoted to Ippo.
  • Ill Girl: She collapses out of fatigue and illness at one point. She gets better, though.
  • Nice Girl: She is a very kind woman.
  • Nice Hat: Her fisherman hat.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Though she refuses to attend any of Ippo's matches because she doesn't want to watch him get hurt, she supports his boxing wholeheartedly because she knows how much joy it has brought to his life and how it has helped him with his self-esteem.
  • The Pollyanna: Adult version, as she's almost unfailingly cheerful despite how hard her life has been.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Repeat: kind and strong willed lady.

    Kazuo Makunouchi
Voiced by: Terasoma Masaki (JP)

Ippo's deceased father. Not much is known about his past other than he was a fisherman who loved to get into fights, and that he had a powerful punch. He died when Ippo was much younger, saving his friend Sakuma in a storm. Ippo's mother said that Kazuo was more suited to be a boxer than Ippo was. In a flashback in volume 56, Kazuo said Ippo was weak and he was going to "train" him. It is unknown what training he was planning to put Ippo through. It is through his strategy that Ippo beat Miyata (When Kazuo was to fight a stronger opponent, he would picture his opponent as a fish and all the tension would go away). He also won his match against Iwao Shimabukuro with the same strategy

    Masahiko Umezawa
Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (JP)

We first meet Umezawa as a bully in Ippo's school who is constantly tormenting and eploiting him. However, as Ippo begins to get into boxing and grow more as a fighter, Umezawa notices the changes in him and discovers a newfound admiration for the guy he used to push around. He started to watch all of Ippo's fights and invite other delinquents to do so, as they were all boxing fans. After graduation, Umezawa decides to help Ippo by working at the Makunoichis' Fishing Shop so he could focus on his training. Currently he is easily Ippo's 1# fan and one of his best friends.

    Kumi Mashiba
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (JP), Yuka Hirata (JP, New Challenger), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

Kumi is Ryo Mashiba's sweet-natured, but hard-working and willful younger sister, and as such understands him better than anyone else. She will do almost anything to support her brother and make him happy, including going to his matches even though she doesn't like to see him get hurt. Ippo becomes infatuated with her early on, but didn't have a chance to tell her until more than a year later, when they met in an hospital as patient and nurse some months after the Ippo/Mashiba ring. They become friends and Kumi comes to like Ippo back, but their relationship tends to suffer from their friends' and relatives' constant interference, and also was somewhat strained after Ippo thought she was smitten with Dr. Sanada, until Kumi herself clarified the mistake after their match but didn't get a chance to say that Ippo was the one she really loved. Kumi tends to be modest and shy, but she will stand up for her brother and friends at a moment's notice.

Voiced by: Shoko Tsuda (JP), Helen Storm (EN)

    Aiko Date 
Voiced by: Sakiko Tamagawa (JP)

    Minoru Fujii 
Voiced by: Kenichi Ono (JP)

A reporter for a boxing magazine that has been following Ippo's career since his second spar with Miyata. Occasionally he drops by with information concerning opposing fighters in upcoming matches for the Kamogawa gym members.

    Mari Iimura 
Voiced by: Emi Shinohara (JP)

A 23-year-old sportswriter who works alongside Fujii at Boxing Fan Monthly. Iimura's calm indifference and sharp wit serve often to put off those who would judge her only for beauty, but she is an avid boxing fan and, though less experienced than some, an outstanding journalist. Has an interest in Ippo, but as with most of the love in the series, her love is unrequited.

    Dr. Yamaguchi 
Voiced by: Yuko Kobayashi (JP)

An attractive physical therapist specializing in bones who was hired by Ippo's mother to work on his busted fist after his fight with Mashiba early on. She's been his primary physician ever since, and she stops by every now and then to check on him as well as his friends.

    Miyata Sr. 
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (JP)

Miyata Sr. is the trainer of his son, Ichiro Miyata. He was a former OPBF champion who was headed for the World stage before having his jaw broken by Randy Boy Sr, ending his career. Broken, as both a fighter and a man, Miyata Sr. began drinking heavily, causing his wife to leave him. However, he finds hope in his son, who has picked up his boxing style without having been formally trained and becomes his trainer.

    Jinpachi Nekota 
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (JP)

Nekota Ginpachi is a long time friend and eternal rival of Kamogawa Genji. In the past he was a natual boxer with wild instincts that even Kamogawa and Dankichi said were better than theirs but never admitting to Nekota. With fast reflexes and superb agility, Nekota was as powerful as Kamogawa and Dankichi. However, after a match with Kamogawa, Nekota found himself suffering from Punch Drunk Syndrome. Knowing this, he still took on American soldier Ralph Anderson, who was a Welterweight world ranker before WWII. He was beating Anderson before getting hit by a rabbit punch, causing a Game-Breaking Injury which allowed Anderson to win. Now, Nekota is a freelance boxing trainer on par or better than Kamogawa. He frequently shows up to big fights in the Japanese boxing scene as well as to support the Kamogawa gang in their biggest of fights.

A beautiful young woman who adored sunflowers. Yuki met Kamogawa and Nekota at a boxing match in the 1950s. Smitten, they offered to put her up at Kamogawa's house to protect her from American soldiers. It was soon revealed, however, that Yuki was a victim of radiation poisoning from the American bombing of Hiroshima, and that she had come to Tokyo in hopes of living out her last days in happiness. When Nekota left Tokyo to live in the mountains, Yuki went with him; Kamogawa asked her to take care of his now-impaired best friend. Although—or perhaps because—Yuki had fallen in love with Kamogawa, she spent the rest of her life in the mountains with Nekota as per his request, dying peacefully some time later.

Voiced by: Minoru Inaba (JP)

    Dankichi Hama 
Voiced by: Seizo Kato (JP)

    Reiko Mikami
Voiced by: Akemi Okamura (JP)

Reiko Mikami is the daughter of Nishikawa Boxing Gym's trainer Mikami and is in a relationship wit hYusuke Oda.
  • Meganekko: Wears glasses? Check. A cutie? Check.
  • Morality Pet: Yusuke only got serious with boxing when Reiko called him out on his laziness and threatened to end their relationship.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are technically three Reiko's in the series; the other one is a nurse who works with Kumi that Kimura once had eyes for, and the third is Kimura's pet fish that he named after the aforementioned Reiko.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Only agreed to stay i a relationship with Oda if he let go of his selfish and lazy nature.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Threatens Yusuke with dumping him for becoming lazy and greedy. When he gets better, she stays by him.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko

    Miguel Zail 
Voiced by: Iizuka Shouzou (JP)

Miguel is a renowned American boxing trainer with experience dating back as far as World War II. Any boxers he trains soon become champions. What separates Miguel from other trainers is that he develops...unique styles within his boxers. It's this uniqueness that allows the likes of Bryan Hawk and Woli to become champions without much effort or experience. Miguel has a history with Kamogawa, but neither men recognized each other until Woli and Ippo met at the weigh-in.
  • A Father to His Men: To Woli.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: He saw Bryan Hawk for what he was, but his curiosity got the better of him and he decided to train Bryan to become a boxer, thus granting him a "licence to kill."
    • He's been shown to have a Slasher Smile during the Hawk vs. Takamura match.
    • Subverted when he's shown again in the Kamogawa/Nekota flashback, and again with Woli.
  • Delinquent Hair: It's kind of unusual for an old man to be sporting a mohawk.
  • Genre Savvy: When Takamura snaps and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Hawk, Miguel realizes that Hawk himself, being so very similar to Takamura, must have a "hidden reserve" as well.