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- 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 on Paper: If you look at only his achievements in the ring- getting every single one of his victories by knockout, for example- you'd probably expect Ippo himself to be some cocky, super capable badass. However, his personality outside of the ring couldn't be more disconnected from his prowess inside it. Either way, it doesn't matter much because Ippo remains a dangerous opponent in the ring regardless of his meek nature.
- 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.
- Cannot Spit It Out: He's been dancing around making it official with Kumi for years. Amazingly, they're still not officially dating by the time they're in their mid-twenties despite having known each other since they were 16 and having effectively gone on several dates. To be fair, though, his fear of her brother plays a big part in it and he tried to confess once but she fell asleep right when he started.
- 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) Diagonal 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 Diagonal 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. Even after becoming a fighter, he still tends to let brasher guys walk all over him. Luckily though, this doesn't translate into the ring.
- 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. Thankfully though, while he can no longer tank punches as well as he used to, this ends up Subverted for the time being when it turns out that he's still well enough to get in the ring.
- As of Chapter 1197, it turns out that Ippo wasn't OK after all.
- The Gift: Ippo was practically made for elite in-boxing. He's naturally short in stature and also has short arms and a solidly built frame, giving him the right physiology for the job. Most tellingly though, his fists happen to be flat and brick shaped and he has puffy palms, meaning every punch lands with as much surface area- and force- as humanly possible. In other words, his hands were made for knocking people out.
- 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. He later recognizes this to be one of his weaknesses after losing to Gonzales.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: "What does it mean to be strong?"
- Interrupted Declaration of Love: In a way. Despite being well known among his friends for taking forever to make it official with her, he did actually confess to Kumi during a beach holiday once, but she happened to fall asleep drunk during the whole thing. Naturally, he loses his nerve by the time she wakes up.
- 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; if he's landing enough punches that he might have a chance at winning a decision victory, it's not likely his opponent is going to survive the round, much less the match.
- Magnetic Hero: Earns the respect of many boxers he met.
- 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.
- Odd Friendship: Ippo and Sendo probably have the closest relationship between any of the rival boxers. This, despite their contrasting personalities, which end up being a major source of humor whenever they're together.
- Older Than They Look: At least David Eagle seems to think he looks young, as he mistakes a 22 year-old Ippo for a kid and autographs the back of his shirt. The stoic Miyata then tells Ippo that the Japanese "just tend to look young to foreigners"... and then turns around to reveal that even he got an autograph.
- One-Hit Kill: Gives one to Kojima. The punch was so severe that the poor guy literally lost all memory of the fight!
- 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.
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Eddie Frierson (EN), Mario Arvizu (Latin-American Spanish)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 nonetheless 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 three fights so far (his three matches for world belts) 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.
- Achilles' Heel: While his boxing is flawless, he does have two fatal flaws beyond it - First, his attitude and temper, which can lead him to do reckless or pointless things, and secondly the lack of stamina that comes from his harsh weight management due to fighting several classes under his natural weight.
- 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 Boast: Pulls one on Hawk, although it's only in his head:"That cocky little mug. I bet you never lost a fight before, have you...? But that's because...I've never been...TO AMERICA!!!"
"You score 100. But unfortunately for you, I'm the Million Point Man."
- He also gives a similar one to Richard Bison:
- 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.
- Berserk Button: As an arrogant egomaniac, boxers who either insult him or actually make him work harder for a victory will quickly send him flying into a rage in the ring. Like Ippo, he's also not fond of people who cheat in the ring or otherwise disrespect the sport of boxing. Lastly, on a more comical note, he can't stand women paying attention to other guys around him (especially if it's Ippo) and he usually reacts with violence.
- 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: He's very loud, very tough, and very obnoxious.
- Book Dumb: He's not really much of an intellectual, as he didn't know what the word "aspiration" meant and had to have Ippo explain it to him. Not surprisingly though, he gets enraged as soon as he senses that Ippo was judging him and then starts chewing him out.
- Brutal Honesty: He's not one to mince words when it comes to telling inferior boxers just how inferior they are. He even let's his own friends know how bad they are if they're not looking sharp (well, Aoki, mostly).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Absolutely badass as a boxer. Almost absolutely Jerk Ass when not at work or at training.
- Casanova Wannabe: He very rarely actually gets some action with the ladies, mostly because he acts like a perverted Jerkass the second he sees an opening. Regardless, he himself has a very high view of his alleged "ability" to get women, as you might expect.
- Cherry Tapping: Beating an opponent with just his left. There was no particular reason for it, he just wanted to show off.
- 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, whenever 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.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was an aimless delinquent who roamed the streets getting into trouble after being disinherited from his family's fortune.
- Determinator:You could BLIND this guy and he'd still hit you with his best
- Disproportionate Retribution: Specializes in it. Pretty much any and every minor thing that irritates him will warrant a punch to the face to the unlucky person who annoyed him.
- Fallen Prince
- Finishing Move: Averted. Takamura does not have a Sunday Punch. His basic punches and boxing style is so effective that he's never needed one.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His are good. And very Badass.
- Guile Hero: A master of the Indy Ploy when in the ring.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Despite clearly having some Berserk Buttons, pretty much anything can set Takamura off. For one thing, he gets irritated both when people are rude and cocky to him and when people are too polite and meek with him, so invoking his wrath is practically unavoidable.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Despite ostensibly being a Japanese hero due to his prowess in the ring, he's pretty much despised by the public thanks to his personality. It's not uncommon for his matches to begin with applause and then end with boos and food being thrown at him by the time he's in the winner's circle.
- Hot-Blooded: Attacks everything in his life with a burning passion and a disregard for others' safety and/or feelings.
- 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.
- It's All About Me: Takamura is incredibly self-centered, to the point where it's his most prominent trait aside from his arrogance.
- Japanese Delinquents: What he used to be in the past.
- Jerkass: Hoo boy, is he ever. He's a rude, obnoxious, vain, perverted, and extremely arrogant bully with little remorse for how often he offends people- no matter how you look at it, Takamura is genuinely an asshole. Still, his personality being entirely Played for Laughs, his honorable boxing code, and the fact that he's a Butt-Monkey outside of the ring ensures that he never gets too unbearable.
- 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. His introduction, significantly, is a major Pet the Dog moment—saving Ippo from the bullies and challenging him to become strong.
- Lightning Bruiser: His punching power and stamina is completely unmatched in the story, but he's also very fast. Faster than people in the Featherweight class, including Ichiro Miyata.
- 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, when it's not one of the reporters doing it. In particular he was the first person to notice why Ippo's famous punches weren't doing much to Eiji Date.
- 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.
- One-Hit Kill: His ungodly punching power makes these very common occurences.
- 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: The Sempai to just about every other boxer at Kamogawa since he's the symbol of the gym.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He has this dynamic with Ippo.
- Shonen Hair: When it's not styled with hair gel into his usual pompadour. Incidentally, the very rare occasions when this happens are a good time to run the other direction.
- Showy Invincible Hero: When told to make a big show of his next title defense in order to attract attention for the possibility of a world title run, he decided to play up the stories of his getting attacked by a bear during the gym's training camp by entering the ring in a bear skin mantle, whipping it off to reveal the fresh bear claw scars on his chest and shoulders, and beating his opponent senseless in the first round with only his non-dominant hand. Even the famously-stern Kamogawa admits that there's not a damn thing he can say to scold him after pulling that off.
- Sir Swearsalot
- Small Name, Big Ego: In everything BUT Boxing. He still has a huge ego when it comes to boxing, but at least there he damn well backs it up.
- 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, to the point that near fight time he's typically so dehydrated he has trouble urinating.
- In the case of others, he's frequently tapped to emulate major opponents; for example, when Ippo fought Jason Ozuma, Takamura was used because Ozuma's famous specialty hooks are about on par in power with his own despite the much higher weight class. Of course, he enjoyed himself so much (and not being one to hoard the fun) that he dragged Aoki and Kimura into the sparring ring for the same practice to keep his arms warmed up while Ippo recovered from his own near-death experiences.
- 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: Current unified WBC and WBA middleweight world champion. Word of God calls him the best fighter in the series.
- Wrestler in All of Us
- 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. Even Takamura begrudgingly acknowledges that Aoki (and Kimura) are untouchable at every sport but boxing.
- Animal Motifs: The frog. As he puts it himself, he "may never fly" like a bird, but he'll never stop jumping towards his goal regardless.
- 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.
- Butt-Monkey: Bordering on Cosmic Plaything every now and then.
- 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.
- Cowardly Lion: Coward might be a bit strong, but out of the protagonists, he's the one most likely to complain and/or be scared when he has to face a strong opponent.
- 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.
- Delinquents: He and Kimura, in their Back Story.
- The Gift: Inverted in regards to the shape of his fist; unlike Ippo and Itagaki who have fists that are perfectly made for their style of boxing, Aoki's fist has a round shape, which means they will always naturally slip off his target and are actually terrible for boxing.
- Irony: Aoki is excellent at just about every sport but boxing- which of course, happens to be the only sport he wanted to pursue professionally.
- Playing Possum: A favorite tactic of his in the ring.
- Signature Move: Frog Punch and Look Away.
- Team Chef: Justified, he has a part-time work in a ramen restaurant.
- Chef of Iron: Well, he can kick ass, so..
- 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.
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (JP), Grant George (EN), Alfredo Gabriel Basurto (Latin-American Spanish)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. To emphasize this further, even the shape of his fist is completely standard and unremarkable.
- Only Sane Man: Sometimes.
- Out of Focus: Though he's always present, he typically gets the least attention story and character wise compared to the other four main boxers. However, he did take the leading role in he and Aoki's backstory.
- Signature Move: Dragon Fish Blow
- Those Two Guys: With Aoki.
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.
- Big Entrance: Runs and jumps into the ring, then poses on top of the corner post while shouting "Ita-Gakiin!".
- The Bro Code: Itagaki seems to be a believer in this. He hasn't even tried to make a move on Kumi despite knowing that he, and Mashiba are pretty cool; and that Ippo has been dancing around confessing to her for half a decade. Though this is likely because he knows Kumi will turn him down.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Using Kumi's date information to trick Mashiba into sparring him.
- Chick Magnet: In his debut match, he managed to have a crowd of girls cheering for him despite being a rookie.
- Confusion Fu: How he starts taking the advantage in his match with Saeki.
- Dance Battler: His boxing moves list includes shuffling and moon-walking.
- Fragile Speedster: Bordering on Glass Cannon at times. His style is based around his natural agility and as such he can't take much punishment but good LUCK hitting him.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He attempts to hide his interest in Kumi in order to not get in Ippo's way, and sometimes even helps their relationship progress such as giving Kumi his ticket which was seated next to Ippo.
- Likes Older Women: Not only with Kumi but also invited Mari on a "date".
- Naïve Newcomer
- Pride: Underneath his humorous personality, the guy is very cocky. The only thing that keeps him from being a Smug Snake is the fact that he's genuine friends with everyone at the gym.
- Power Copying: Is able to effortlessly copy the various signature quirks and sunday punches of other boxers.
- Pungeon Master: Apparently, his entire family is like this.
- Red Baron: Chronos, Speed King (after defeating Saeki)
- Signature Move: Hedgehog
- Skilled, but Naïve
- Super Mode: When he focuses.
- Time Stands Still: Time appears to move differently for him and his opponent. Hence his Badass Nickname, Chronos (God of Time).
- Badass Grandpa: Much physically and mentally stronger than you'd think.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: He developed the Tekken Punch.
- Determinator: In his past. Big time. And he's still very strongwilled.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Gives this reaction to Miguel when he heard his warning. Twice. First, after he and Ginpachi was curbstomped by Ralph, Miguel warns them that Ralph is indeed dangerous. They look away from him. Miguel continued, they better not think about revenge for their own safety. They got even more pissed. The second one is more like Don't You Dare Pity My Pupils, after Ippo defeats Woli, Miguel warned him to not let Takamura and Ippo stall for too long or they would be broken, out of his genuine worry and respect. Kamogawa replied that his pupils are not fragile and it's none of his business.
- A Father to His Men: The stern, fatherly type to his boxers.
- Grumpy Old Man
- I Was Quite a Looker: The flashbacks reveal that he was very Tall, Dark, and Handsome
- Like a Son to Me: Kamogawa considers Takamura the greatest son hes never had, Yagi says that all of Kamogawa's pro boxers; yes even Aokimura are surrogate sons to the old man.
- Parental Substitute: To Takamura, after he's disinherited by his rich family. Also towards Ippo, who grew up without his dad.
- Signature Move: Tekken
- Stern Teacher
- Team Dad: Oh so much.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima (JP), Paul St Peter (EN), Germán Fabregat (Latin-American Spanish)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.
Voiced by: Seiji Sasaki (JP)Best known as the primary trainer of Aokimura and Itagaki.
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
- It's Personal: Towards Randy Boy Jr.
- Last-Name Basis: For the guys at Kamogawa gym, as well as strangers. His own father and new management call him by his first name though.
- Like Father, Like Son
- Missing Mom: His parents are divorced.
- Nerves of Steel
- Red Baron: God of Lightning.
- Signature Move: Jolt Counter.
- The Stoic: The closest it gets in the series.
- Weak, but Skilled: His physical strength and durability are pathetic. He makes up for it by being one of the most skilled boxers in the story, with excellent counters that compensate for his lack of strength.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He took up boxing to fulfill his father's shattered dreams. In a subversion, his dad and coach isn't a stage father and they get along quite well.
- When He Smiles
- A Day in the Limelight: He got his own gaiden arc/chapter that shows his backstory in greater depth.
- Animal Motifs: The tiger.
- The Berserker
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Blatant Lies: HELL NO I'M NOT! HE'S (Ippo) MY ENEMY!
- 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 unconscious, 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.
- Graceful Loser
- The Idiot from Osaka
- Intergenerational Friendship: He is usually seen with his Tag Along Kids.
- Intimidation Demonstration: Sendo is incredibly intimidating in the ring, to the point where it works even on determinators. It's something that he actively uses to his advantage, for example to push out-boxers into the corner.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be loud-mouthed, and particularly when it comes to fighting is utterly ruthless, but he is nevertheless a righteous person who likes to help others.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Apparently that's how he got his animal motif. He always ends up with a large following of cats in whichever town he goes.
- Large Ham: "MAAAAAKUNOOOOOOOUCHIIIIIIIIII!!!!"
- Mighty Glacier: He's not particularly fast, but has ungodly power and an iron chin. He relies entirely on his instincts and intimidation to beat more skilled and faster people.
- Mighty Roar: Lets out a fierce one 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.
- Also with Ippo - Though their personalities are practically opposites, they connect through similar fighting styles, and eventually become somewhat close friends.
- One-Hit Kill: Is very much capable of giving these. Even more so than Ippo, in fact, as while Ippo focuses on combo attacks whereas Sendo puts 100% power into his Smash.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother died few after his birth (implied to have fallen victim to Death by Childbirth) and his father died when he was in primary school.
- Raised by Grandparents: Specifically, his paternal grandmother.
- Rated M for Manly
- Red Baron: Naniwa Tiger, Rocky of Naniwa.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Ippo's Blue whenever they're together.
- Signature Move: Smash
- Testosterone Poisoning
- Unskilled, but Strong: Relies on natural strength and his fighting instincts, but lacks technical skill.
- Unstoppable Rage: Seriously. You do not want to make Sendo angry in the ring. Shigeta and Ippo can assure you.
- We Help the Helpless: His motivation for becoming a delinquent.
Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (JP), Tony Oliver (EN), Alejandro Illescas (Latin-American Spanish)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.
- The Ace: He's been the Japanese champion twice, as well as the OPBF champion. And he's challenged the World twice, which is very rare for Japanese boxers.
- Achey Scars. The one on his nose bridge given to him by Ricardo Martinez.
- Badass Beard
- Curb-Stomp Battle: On the receiving end from the champion Ricardo Martinez.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: This guy handed Ippo his first ever loss. Subverted in his second fight against Ricardo Martinez
- He's Back and My Greatest Second Chance: Pretty much his leitmotiv.
- Parental Marriage Veto: His wife Aiko was The Ojou and the eldest daughter, so her family was quite worried since they weren't sure if he could provide for her. He sort of wins them over after he retires from boxing after his disastrous fight with Martinez and becomes a well-respected Salary Man.
- Retired Badass
- Signature Move: Heartbreak Shot
- Worthy Opponent: To Ricardo Martinez, he has been the only one who has put up somewhat of a challenge against him.
- Younger Than They Look: Is only 34 years old. Takamura, Jerk Ass as he is, calls him old man.
Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (JP), Javier Rivero (Latin-American Spanish)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.
- Berserk Button: DO. NOT. TOUCH. HIS. SISTER!
- Big Brother Instinct: Follows his sister and Ippo's dates, much to Ippo's horror and general hilarity.
- Blood Knight
- Combat Pragmatist: Him stepping on Miyata's foot was genuinely accidental, but it didn't stop him from using it to his advantage. He's savvy enough to believe that, even if he explained the circumstances, no one would believe it anyway.
- Creepily Long Arms: Normally, they appear just a bit longer than normal, but sometimes, they can look like they hang down almost to his knees.
- Determinator: In his fight against Ippo, his left arm, which is his main weapon due to his flicker jabs, sustained severe damage to the point he couldn't move, plus he had broken at least a few ribs from all the body blows he took. He not only refused to go down, he managed to use his left arm again despite all the pain. The anime draws even more attention to this because of the dreadful crunching noises heard when he moves the arm.
- Miyata himself says this: "It's not his (Mashiba) techniques, It's that insatiable thirst for victory that makes Mashiba so frightening."
- The Dreaded: In an odd version of the trope, this mainly occures AFTER he is first defeated by Ippo. After that he is usually seen in a creepy light, characters imagining him with terrifying features and making inhuman noises. Kimura especially seemed horrified at the thought of facing him in the ring. Ippo sees him as this when it comes to dating Kumi, even sprinting away from a monkey at a zoo that looked like Mashiba.
- Face of a Thug: his refusal to trust others doesn't help
- Heel–Face Revolving Door
- I Am Not Left-Handed: A recent development with Mashiba having added a devastating uppercut to his moveset, leading to a nasty mixup combo. Heck, he outright baits people into believing he'll throw his Chopping Right only for them to be seeing stars when he delivers sweet chin music.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: You hurt Kumi, you go to HELL. This caused Mashiba to pound Sawamura to a pulp in a match and consequently disqualified because the latter barely scratched the former's little sis.
- Logical Weakness: His Creepily Long Arms and his height give him a large advantage by way of a long reach, but they are also a huge weakness. If an In-Fighter like Ippo is able to get up close, he can struggle to defend himself. Also, his hitman stance gives him fantastic offensive options, but requires him to drop his guard on his left side. These two things combined means that it is absolutely critical that he keep his opponents at long distance where he can pelt them with his flicker jab.
- Mundane Utility: In a rather amusing scene, he uses his flicker jab to grab the phone from his sister from across the room.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Downplayed. While Mashiba can be a jerkass due to his refusal to trust others, and his highly aggressive and at times downright sadistic boxing style is a solid reason for his antagonistic image, he's nowhere as evil as people make him out to be, caring deeply about his sister, trying to lead an honest life, and rarely showing any intentional aggression outside the ring.
- Odd Friendship: With Itagaki. They even went clothes shopping and eating together.
- Parental Abandonment: His parents died when he was in highschool.
- Promotion to Parent: Raised himself and his sister.
- Red Baron: Grim Reaper.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Mashiba is a Blood Knight. Kumi is a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Signature Move: Flicker Jab, Chopping Right
- And now he has an uppercut. Heaven help you if he uses it in conjunction with his Chopping Right.
- Slasher Smile: And how◊
- Sociopathic Hero
- The Comically Serious
- Younger Than They Look: He's only two years older than Ippo, meaning he was at most 18 or 19 when introduced and currently around 27, though you're probably unlikely to guess either of those numbers by looking at him.
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.
- Abusive Parents: Abusive father, and his mother abandoned him.
- Ambitionis Evil: Not in the traditional sense; he gains ambition while he's still evil.
- Awesomeness by Analysis
- Ax-Crazy: Not on the level of Bryan Hawk, but still.
- Blood Knight:
- Blood Lust
- Combat Pragmatist
- Combat Sadomasochist: He seriously only fights to torture others, not to win.
- Counter Attack: His counters are on par with, and possibly a bit better than Miyata's. The difference is, Sawamura counters his opponent, just before they even throw their punch, making his have a significantly lower risk to himself.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Deadpan Snarker
- Driven to Villainy: Because everyone in Owari knew of how he stabbed his father as a child, no one ever associated with him and his sociopathic tendencies turned into violence as a result of isolation.
- Evil Tastes Good: He likens beating his opponents to eating meat, and the better the pain he inflicts, the more exquisite the "feast."
- Freudian Excuse
- Friendless Background
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets terrible burns after an accident.
- Heel–Face Turn: He seems to have dropped the whole psychopathic aspect of his character after the motorcycle accident which forced him to retire.
- Loners Are Freaks
- Morality Pet: Kawabe-sensei tries to be this, but more often than not, it doesn't work.
- Mr. Exposition: During Miyata's match with RBJ, being a counter specialist, himself.
- Odd Friendship: With Sendo.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother abandoned him after becoming terrified by him.
- Real Men Eat Meat: Oh boy does he love meat.
- Red Baron: Owari Dragon
- Self-Made Orphan: Stabbed his stepfather.
- Signature Move: Bullet, Flash
- Would Hit a Girl: Just ask Kumi. Thankfully Ippo was there to deflect his punch enough so that it only grazed her.
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.
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (JP), Enzo Fortuny (Latin-American Spanish)
- 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)
- Chick Magnet
- Deadly Doctor: He uses his medical knowledge to his advantage in boxing. As Sanada himself put it:Sanada: I am skilled to fix human body with these hands... As much I am skilled to rip it apart.
- Hospital Hottie
- Genius Bruiser" An excellent doctor and a fearsome fighter. His medical knowledge let him know where and how to inflict maximum damage on Ippo to shut down his breathing.
- Graceful Loser
- Signature Move: Hien, Tsubame Gaeshi(Returning Swallow)
- Worthy Opponent
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.
- Bald of Awesome: See Important Haircut below.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alliterative Name
- 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.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Nearly knocking Ippo out causes Kenta to fantasize about winning not through decision but through properly outfighting an opponent. It ultimately costs him his fight against Ippo, but his desire to win a fight by knockout is finally realized when he fights Hiyami for the Jr. Featherweight title -a boxer he'd previously stated he knew he'd never be able to beat- and manages to give him a beating severe enough Hiyami's forced to retire.
Voiced by: Kouji Tsujitani (JP), Nathan Smythe (EN)
- 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.
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.
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (JP), Miguel Ángel Leal (Latin-American Spanish)
- 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.)
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.
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 coward... by 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.
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. Later defeats the Japanese Junior Lightweight Champion and takes the title.
- The Ace: Noted to have surprising ability for a rookie, and pretty much bulldozed his way through the Class A competition. He then goes on to win the Junior Lightweight Title.
- 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. Reinforced when he wins the title, with Kurita loudly claiming the credit for the strategy Iga used to win in the post-match interview while Iga stays silent as usual.
- 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.
Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi (JP), José Luis Orozco (Latin-American Spanish)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. Retired after his fight with Ippo due to spinal injuries.
- Face of a Thug
- Eagle Land: Averted. He is American, but is black, has an African surname, and his personality is a great departure of either of the trope's types.
- Gentle Giant
- Nice Guy
- Scary Black Man: Subverted. He looks like one, but is an absolute sweetheart, to the point of getting terribly upset when he sees that his coach's wife has hurt her hands trying to patch the old sandbags that Jason's punches were tearing apart (as their gym was poor and couldn't afford to replace equipment).
Alexander Volg Zangief
Voiced by: Fujiko Takimoto and Toshiyuki Morikawa (JP, as a child and as an adult), Dave Wittenberg (EN), Hedrian Sánchez and José Gilberto Vilchis (Latin-American Spanish, as a child and as an adultVolg 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 (controversial) 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.
- Animal Motifs: The wolf.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: His entire life was akin to being a Cosmic Plaything so much that even Ippo lampshades the unfairness. He loses his beloved mother, constantly has to deal with racism in the ring, had to fight outside his natural fighting style against Ippo and Sendou leading to losses, is the victim of blatant cheating in his world title match but endures through all of it without ever whining. Now? He's the goddamn junior lightweight world champion.
- Even the Guys Want Him: The male journalists admit they could almost fall for him in a recent chapter.
- Evil Redhead: Subverted, he's a genuinely Nice Guy.
- The Dutiful Son
- Husky Russkie: Subverted again. See Evil Redhead.
- Iron Woobie: Poor Volg has nothing but bad luck, but more or less accepts his fate, believing those trials ultimately make him stronger.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Flirting with Lightning Bruiser. His main forte is high skill rather than sheer physical ability.
- Missing Mom: Mrs. Volg was an Ill Girl. Guess what happened.
- No Sense of Direction: Justified Trope, as his Japanese is very rusty and he can't read the kanji on the subway signs.
- Red Baron: White Fang.
- Shrinking Violet: Mild case.
- Signature Move: White Fang
- Also adopts the Hien as well, using it to help even the playing field during his title match in America.
- And soon, the Tsubame Gaeshi.
- Also adopts the Hien as well, using it to help even the playing field during his title match in America.
- Super Mode: When he decides to let loose his animal instincts.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's either Volg or Vorg, depending on the translation.
- Worf Had the Flu: His losses to Ippo and Sendo are easily explained - He was forced to adopt an in-fighting style due to circumstances when he is naturally better at out-boxing. As Kamogawa mentions, with his original style he might have even beaten not only them but Date Eiji.
- Worthy Opponent
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Vorg had a lot of trouble breaking Mike Elliot's guard, so he purposely trained Mike to keep guarding body shots to set up a White Fang to the head. When that didn't work, Vorg stuck with the plan and kept aiming at the body. After doing this for a bit, Vorg finally went for the Tsubame Gaeshi. But when even that failed, Vorg followed up with a White Fang, finally hitting home!
Voiced by: Takaya KurodaArnie 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 halfway through 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 is a Thai boxer who was tapped for Ippo's comeback match after his loss to Date. He's quite tough and his body has incredible stamina, to the point that Ippo's best shots weren't having much effect on him. His purpose in the story is largely to give Ippo a reason to develop and use a special technique to overcome the legendary durability of Thai boxers, and so Ponchai is the first person in the series to eat Ippo's signature Dempsey Roll.
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.
- The Ace: Easily has more natural ability than anyone else. More than Sawamura, Takamura, or Hawk. Woli can pull off lunches that need weeks of practice to master, using them effectively just on pure instinct.
- All Your Powers Combined: Uses flicker jabs, the smash, and Bryan Hawk's swayback dodge. And it isn't mere copying like Itagaki does, either. He has never met any of those boxers, he is simply so talented that he instinctively uses said techniques simply because they were appropriate moves in the given situation.
- Animal Motifs: The monkey.
- Friend to All Living Things
- Nature Hero
- Skilled, but Naïve: He is made of this trope.
- The Nose Knows: When Miguel muttered that no Japanese boxer will ever be as much of a "samurai" as much as Kamogawa was, Woli claims that Ippo and Kamogawa has the same scent. Naturally, this hints to the fact that Kamogawa's true successor is Ippo, not Takamura.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bananas, in tandem of his ape motifs.
- Wild Child
Voiced by: Masashi SugawaraThe 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: He has never been defeated, with 68 victories. Thats well more than three times the amount of fights most boxers have, let alone wins.
- 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.
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.
- The Alcoholic: Implied to have happened to him after his loss to Takamura, as David Eagle walks in on him drinking and then he desperately fumbles for another bottle when Eagle brings up Takamura, still traumatized from his brutal beatdown.
- A Lady on Each Arm: He loves this trope.
- Ambiguously Brown: Not clear if he is brown or just tanned.
- Ax-Crazy: Extreme emphasis on crazy.
- Blood Knight: He enjoys beating people.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Brilliant in boxing, not in terms of intelligence, of course.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A villainous example. His natural talent for violence makes him a great boxer even though he is lazy and sociopathic.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: He is tanned.
- Depraved Bisexual: Not stated directly, but considering he gets sexual pleasure from violence...
- Determinator: Averted. He never had to fight from equal footing or worse before Takamura, and the ego shattering leads to his Villainous Breakdown.
- Dismotivation: Hawk and training? No way.
- Eagleland: Type 2.
- Evil Counterpart: To Takamura. They were both thugs found by their coaches beating a person (or multiple people in Takamura's case) halfway to death on the streets before being taken in, they both have an aggressive style of boxing, and they're both Jerkasses. However, Hawk lacks Takamura's few Jerk with a Heart of Gold tendencies that occasionally soften him up, he doesn't care much for boxing as a sport and simply likes beating people up, and he hates training. Also, Hawk actually has success with women.
- Evil Laugh
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His style is less "boxing" and more "punching like you're still on the street."
- Gratuitous English: "GOOO TOOO HEEEEEELLLL!!"
- Technically, he's American. But Akio Ohtsuka's English is... not very good.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Initially played straight as he admittedly rarely goes into a fight with any significant training and still is a World Champion. Then Averted when the hard working Takamura ends up defeating him.
- Hate Sink: Whereas some of the more antagonistic boxers had some redeeming qualities (Mashiba clearly loving his sister, Sawamura being the way he is because of an abusive father and Ralph Anderson changing his ways), he has none. He's openly racist towards the japanese, got into boxing just so he could beat the shit out of people and views women as nothing but sex objects. Y'know how Takamura is often viewed as a Heel in the ring? People were CHEERING for him to beat Hawk up.
- Heel Realization: Not a redeeming one but he realizes that if he loses to Takamura it's back to be the psycho no one wants to hang out with. Knowing that if he gets away with his asshole antics it's only because of his belt forces him to still fight despite being scared.
- Humiliation Conga: Which leads to a Villainous Breakdown
- Indy Ploy: His entire boxing "style" relies on having no rhyme or reason; he just throws whatever random flurry of punches he needs to depending on the situation.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Needs sex or he will just downright kill someone with his fists.
- Insane Equals Violent: He is a jerkass by choice but he doesn't quite control his violent outburst, needing sex or beating someone to death to cool his body down. He drove away the everyone in his neighborhood because of how out of control he was.
- Jerk Ass: Openly racist against the Japanese and enjoys mocking and irritating everybody around him. That, and of course, he's a violent thug who only started boxing so he could beat people halfway to death.
- Large Ham: His speech about strenghtening up the japanese gene's pool.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fast and strong enough to beat armed criminals in the streets with his bare hands.
- Not So Different: With Takamura.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's blatantly racist against Japanese and makes it a point to humiliate them.
- Psycho for Hire: Extreme emphasis on psycho.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: MAJOR example here.
- Satisfied Street Rat
- Signature Move: Pure Violence (a series of techniques that allow Bryan to throw punches with considerable power at weird angles, and at the same time avoid the opponent's attacks completely).
- Sex Is Violence: Hawk needs sex to compensate for a lack of violence. He also seems to become sexually aroused by violence.
- Slasher Smile
- Smug Snake: A bit. Until Takamura he always was ale to back it up.
- Street Urchin: His backstory
- Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted in that his lack of formal boxing training gave him a different, rather than lack of, skill set which made him unpredictable. Bites him in the ass when Takamura pushes him back and he has no training to fall back to, meaning he is scared shitless the same way he would be if he is on the losing hand of a street fight.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Saying you'll impregnate the women of Japan so they can have a generation of champions is a little above usual Trash Talk.
- Villainous Breakdown: Takamura broke his spirit, big time. We get to see how "well" he is when David Eagle meets him long after Hawk's loss to Takamura; the mere mention of Takamura's name is enough to send him into a minor panic.
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: His technical ability is so high that it makes Takamura look like a Bryan Hawk-esque brute for the first half of the fight, he's got immense willpower and he can take incredibly strong hits repeatedly and stay on his feet.
- Cavalier Competitor: He's more interested in a straight, honorable fight where injuries aren't exploited than actually winning. While this greatly pleases the audience, Takamura takes it as an insult and several of the onlooking boxers feel it's unsportsmanlike in that he doesn't deliberately do all he can to defeat his opponent.
- 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: He even catches himself in the middle of making excuses to himself, before dismissing those thoughts and admitting that Takamura is just better than him.
- 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: So much so that despite being American, the audience likened his appearance and nobility to a samurai.
- 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: He's an extremely technical boxer who can defeat most of his opponents without ever having to divert from his slowly advancing pressure. However, he is capable of much more than just strategic fighting if he's pushed to it.
- Worthy Opponent: Even Takamura, who usually only treats his opponent like an obstacle, grudgingly admitted to it.
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 rhythm, 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.
- Generation Xerox
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Somewhat subverted, as he is equally skilled fighting both southpaw and orthodox.
- Instant 180-Degree Turn: Downplayed. Being a switch hitter all he has to do is change his feet positioning and pivot foot into a different stance rather than trying to chase opponents down with one stance
- Like Father, Like Son: His father used the same switch-hit style.
- You Killed My Father: Averted, he doesn't blame Miyata-san for the death of Randy Boy.
- Red Baron: Asura.
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.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Explicitly offers this option to his opponents. He's so brilliant as a technical fighter that he can throw a match and make it look like a legitimate fight.
- My Greatest Failure: He uses it as Freudian Excuse for his actions.
- Only in It for the Money: He is from a very poor area of the Philippines and values winning money over winning matches, even though he's a very good fighter.
- Street Urchin: His backstory.
- Trickster: He's nicknamed "The Magician" for using many visual tricks.
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.
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; he also talked like Miyata had knocked a few screws loose. This earned him the nickname "Scratch J." Jimmy retired from boxing after his match with Ippo.
- The Berserker: How he got his scars.
- Captain Ersatz: Of real-life former boxer Khaosai Galaxy.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- Religious Bruiser: Was seen praying before the match on the ring, and keep talking about how God influences his loss and victory.
- Super Toughness: His experience as a kickboxer gave him a higher resistance to punches. It took a full-body counter to take him down.
"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".
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: In his "Metztli Mode" he basically goes nuts and focuses entirely on offense - which is also why it's dangerous and a "bad habit", yet a great source of strength. When Ippo used the Dempsey Roll, Alf recklessly charges in, and actually manages to dismantle it!
- Blood Knight
- 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. However, it is mentioned that he is somewhat fragile.
- Red Baron: Known as "Metztli", an aztec deity.
- Street Urchin: Grew up in Mexican slums.
- Tame His Anger: Due to the double-edge nature of Metztli, his coach would love for Alf to control his anger, or at least use it in a more "balanced" way. Near the end of the match, he does, which also leads to him handing Ippo his second defeat.
- 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.
- This Is Unforgivable!: For whatever reason, he really doesn't think highly of Ippo, and is downright insulted that he would dare to aim for Rciardo. He sees the fight as basically "teaching Ippo a lesson".
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).
Voiced by: Yorie Terauchi (JP), Gloria Obregón (Latin-American Spanish)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.
Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (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
- Boisterous Bruiser: He loved to get into fights.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To not get nervous, whenever he got into fights he pictured his opponent as. . . a fish. Yeah, really. Ippo does the same against Miyata and Shimabukuro.
- Death by Origin Story: Kazuo's death indirectly lead to Ippo gaining the impressive strength that would help his boxing career.
- Disappeared Dad: He died when Ippo was much younger.
- Generation Xerox: Looked like an Older and Wiser Ippo.
- Heroic Sacrifice: How he died, saving a friend during a storm
Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (JP), Andrés Gutiérrez Coto (Latin-American Spanish)Umezawa first appears 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.
- Berserk Button: He has an immense respect for Boxers, considering them the peak of masculine strength, and absolutely loathes anyone who would lower themselves to cheat at the sport. When he watches Ippo box for the first time, Ippo is up against a cheater who repeatedly headbutts him to overcome the gap in skill and strength between them, and upon seeing this, Umezawa starts screaming at Ippo to take his opponent down.
- Character Development: Easily one of the best cases in the series.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Stops slicking his hair back after graduation.
- Jerkass: He got better.
- Heel–Face Turn and Heel Realization: At first he treats Ippo badly for no real reason, then is curious about his newfond strength, and then begins seeing him as a real friend. At some point he even apologizes to Ippo in tears for his abusive behavior.
- Hidden Depths: He dreams of becoming a successful mangaka and is actually a pretty good artist.
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (JP), Yuka Hirata (JP, New Challenger), Stephanie Sheh (EN), Maggie Vera and María Fernanda Morales (Latin-American Spanish)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.
- Cannot Spit It Out: She's just as bad as Ippo when it comes to this.
- Cute Bruiser: Shows a little of this when Ryo demanded to know who she was talking to on the phone.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.
- Dude Magnet: Kumi attracts the attention of many boys. However, her overprotective brother scares most of them off, resulting in her not having a boyfriend throughout her school years.
- Fan Of The Underdog: Being one of Ippo's greatest supporters, of course.
- Hospital Hottie: She's very pretty and is a nurse.
- Morality Chain: If she wasn't around, Mashiba would be even more of a jerk.
- Twice Shy: with Ippo.
Voiced by: Shoko Tsuda (JP), Helen Storm (EN), Mildred Barrera (Latin-American Spanish)
- Happily Married: She and Date are rather happy in their shared life.
- Ill Girl: She's prone to illness, and she even suffers a miscarriage.
- The Ojou: She's from a rather rich family. In fact, while her family liked Date as a person, they feared that he would be Unable to Support a Wife, specially one with a delicate health like her.
- Plucky Girl: Despite her physical weakness, she's a rather kind and strongwilled later.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Dealed to her husband when she notices that he's frustrated and depressed after spending years as a Salary Man to provide for her and their son Yuushi, despite being a born fighter.
Voiced by: Emi Shinohara (JP), Erica Edwards (Latin-American Spanish)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. Tomoko Yamaguchi
Voiced by: Yuko Kobayashi (JP), Gabriela Willert (Latin-American Spanish)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.
- Boobs of Steel: Has very large breasts and was formerly the best female judo fighter in Japan before seeking a medical career. She hasn't dulled in her skills a bit, being capable of flipping the 6'1 Takamura over her shoulder.
- Cool Big Sis: She takes this role towards Ippo, as his treating doctor
- Hello, Nurse! and Hospital Hottie: As said below, she's gorgeous as well as a doctor.
- Male Gaze: Prone to it.
- Ms. Fanservice: A friendly, beautiful, voluptuous personal therapist who doesn't mind stiffies and incidental "contact" during her checkups? Pretty much every athlete's dream.
- Nice Gal: A very sociable and friendly physician who enthusiastically supports Ippo.
- The Medic: Her skill as a physician are nothing to sneeze at.
- Pervert Revenge Mode: She frequently throws Takamura out of the window of her office when he starts getting too pervy, at one point calling the cops on him as well.
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (JP), Paco Mauri (Latin-American Spanish)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.
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (JP), Ernesto Casillas (Latin-American Spanish)Nekota Ginpachi is a long time friend and eternal rival of Kamogawa Genji. In the past he was a natural boxer with wild instincts that even Kamogawa and Dankichi said were better than theirs (although they'd never admit it 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.
- Badass Grandpa
- Bald of Awesome
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Cool Old Guy
- Eyes Always Shut
- I Was Quite a Looker
- Team Dad: Shares it with Coach Kamogawa. He's much more supportive than eternal "Well Done, Son!" Guy Kamogawa, though.
- Tragic Dream: A Game-Breaking Injury left him with brain damage.
- Two Guys and a Girl: In the backstory, with Kamogawa and Yuki.
- Verbal Tic: Usually ends his sentences with "-dani" or "-daniyo".
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 [Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 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: Seizo Kato (JP)
- Badass Grandpa
- Glass Cannon: He was a brilliant fighter with the use of the Hien, a jab which is quickly changed into a hook or an uppercut. His problem: a glass jaw.
- Insufferable Genius: Was this when he was active, acting rather haughtily because he is more skilled than Kamogawa or Ginpachi, and he was. Scratch the "was" part. He is still this, being a more famous and skilled trainer than Kamogawa, and his arrogance haven't watered down even after years.
- The Rival: To Kamogawa.
- Stern Teacher: To Sanada, and later to Volg.
Voiced by: Akemi Okamura (JP), Connie Madera (Latin-American Spanish)Reiko Mikami is the daughter of Nishikawa Boxing Gym's trainer Mikami and is in a relationship with Yusuke 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 in 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 despite his loss.
- Yamato Nadeshiko
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.
- Delinquent Hair: It's kind of unusual for an old man to be sporting a mohawk.
- Everyone Has Standard: He shows hints that he actually didn't like Ralph either, disagreeing with his racist opinions internally, and when Ralph is up against Ginpachi,and Kamogawa after that, he was cheering for them internally. He also didn't seem to be that attached to Hawk as he is to Woli either.
- To Kamogawa. Miguel has a great analytical eye for matches and is able to come up with effective tactics for his boxer because of it, but was content with relying on Hawk's natural talents and didn't really seem to manage to teach Woli anything valuable (yet). Kamogawa on the other hand carefully trains his boxers to perfection for every fight, but more often than not appears completely helpless during a match.
- Also to his superior back then, Ralph. Ralph is a skilled boxer on his own and is racist against Japanese people. Miguel is more skilled in training other people than being a boxer himself, and holds respect for Japanese people.
- Token Good Teammate: Was this in Kamogwa's flashback arc. He detested Ralph, not only his racist view but also his dirty way using the Rabbit Punch, but the others says "It's all for America." and shares Ralph's racist view.