Tearjerker: Hajime No Ippo
- Both title matches for Aoki and Kimura could be considered this, much more the latter since the end result prompted Kimura to retire.
- Kimura's title match was already bittersweet as it is. Kimura loses? He retires. Mashiba loses? Hints of more struggles for both him and Kumi await.
- A good chunk of the fighters' backstories.
- Ippo: Father died during a fishing expedition, had to help his mom run the fishing boat as a child.
- Sendo: Mother died during childbirth, father sacrificing himself while doing his job as a fireman.
- Miyata: Witnessed his father get utterly destroyed by Randy Boy Sr., watching him turn to alcohol and seeing his mom leave the family, while still wanting to follow in his dad's footsteps as a counter expert.
- Mashiba: Parents died in car crash, had to raise himself and Kumi while still only a teenager.
- Date: Lost against Ricardo Martinez, then learning that his pregnant wife got into an accident which killed their unborn child.
- Sawamura: Father died, mother got into an abusive relationship, which abruptly ended with Sawamura stabbing him. He was abandoned shortly thereafter.
- Volg: No news about his father, his mother winds up being really sick so he takes up pro boxing to help her get better. Made even worse when we find out he fails.
- Gedo: Had to steal money in order to survive, eventually being shot in the shoulder, and then losing to Randy Boy Jr. during his championship match.
- Nekota: Fought with Kamogawa to the point where he became Punch Drunk, causing a Game-Breaking Injury against Anderson when he fought.
- Kamogawa: Fought with Nekota to the point where Nekota became Punch Drunk, injured both of his fists in order to practice the Tekken, then shattering them both in his match with Anderson, forcing him to retire in spite of his win.
- Ryuhei Sawamura: Retired as the Japanese Jr. Lightweight Champion.
- More specifically, it's been mentioned at various times before, during and after the match, that Sawamura was earnestly trying to win the belt. Despite all that cheating and injuries sustained, he got what he wanted... only to get into a motorcycle accident that leaves him unable to fight in the ring anymore.
- Another heart wrenching moment is After Sendo has defeated Volg for the championship, Volg's contract with his gym had been severed, and could have been severed any time he lost too many matches. Volg's farewell to Ippo at the airport, knowing that they might never be able to meet again, is incredibly heart breaking. Specially when Ippo can hold back the tears when in front of Volg... but he breaks down crying once he's gone.
- Watching Takamura of all people bawl his eyes out when he finds out the bear he spared (because she had cubs) got shot and turned into his stew is pretty hard to watch. Mostly because Takamura can apparently be quite motivational when he's feeling strongly about something.
- Eiji Date's rematch against Ricardo Martinez. An accidentally made Game-Breaking Injury is what lead Date to not only lose against Ricardo but also retire from boxing permanently.
- How about Saeki's match against Itagaki? Seeing him lose like that is heartbreaking, because he was fighting for Karasawa, who retired but was unhappy with his life. This is likely something that happens among boxers in real life, which is harsh.
- Ippo's loss to Alfredo was quite heartwrenching, especially taking into account Kamogawa's expression and reaction.
Ippo:*after looking at Kumi for a moment*...I know. I don't want my mom to worry too much, so...this is the last time. This will be my final challenge. Next time I lose, I'll retire with no regrets. *Starts walking away from her* I'll never fight in the ring again.
- It gets worse after that, a few chapters later, Kumi up shows the day after Ippo's loss to have a talk with him, it takes a second to sink in but it is made clear and blatant that she is trying to convince Ippo to quit boxing. Ippo reasserts his ambition to keep on fighting, feeling like he let his gym and coach down, again, but after that he...gives Kumi a promise, all with a determined yet solemn look on his face:
- And of course we have Kumi herself here. She knows how much Ippo loves boxing, how much it means to him, the fact that she probably wouldn't have even met him were it not for boxing. But after his second defeat she probably remembers how hard his first loss hit him, and doesn't want him to suffer anymore. And all of that starts when Kumi asks Ippo a very simple question that throws him completely off balance: