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  • The fights between Joe and the Onihime group
    • In the first encounter he stumbles on three of their thugs trying to kidnap one of the kids-and makes short work of the three larger men. And he's not even 18.
    • The second time he's facing a dozen, and is holding his own-enough they pull out the knives.
      • Danpei here has his first: seeing the knives, he knocks Joe down and covers him to protect him, even as the yakuza kick him to get at Joe.
    • The third, anime only, fight, has the entire group. By the time Danpei arrives to help, Joe has his face beaten-but not before taking down every single yakuza, with the boss shaking in fear and calling him a monster before finally falling under the blows he had received.
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  • Once Joe (apparently) accepts to get trained as a boxer, what does Danpei do? The old alcoholist, who made money by selling his own blood, stops drinking on the spot and, to get the money to maintain himself and Joe properly and procure the training equipment, starts working as a construction worker and a railway worker. And he still finds the time to train Joe.
  • After getting arrested for scamming Yoko, Joe is brought to the police station, and a cop goes to call Danpei. By the time Danpei arrives, they find out the slum's kids provided enough distraction for Joe to punch his way out and escape.
  • Danpei knows that Joe cannot become a boxer if he doesn't serve his term, but the police cannot get at him due the stones he and the kids throw at anyone coming too close. So he goes in himself, as he knows the kids won't hurt him... And when Joe refuses to give himself up, he shows him exactly the difference between a boxer and a street fighter by beating the crap out of him. And that's with Danpei being old, tired by his two jobs, and weakened by not having an eye and years of alcoholism. No wonder Joe actually starts respecting him...
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  • Joe taking over the dorm at the holding juvenile prison before the trial-and coming close to repeat the feat at the actual juvie.
  • Joe trying to escape from juvie-by standing on top of a charging herd of pigs. To anyone who knows the beasts, even coming close to a single pig that's not perfectly calm would be awesome, let alone this...
    • And then Rikiishi tops it by punching out pigs 'till the ones still awake calm down and return to their shed rather than facing him. There's a reason everyone was in awe and he got his term reduced for this feat...
    • An angry Joe going against that-and holding his own thanks to the jab Danpei taught him by mail. He goes down hard the moment he tries an uppercut, as Danpei hadn't taught that yet and a formidable boxer as Rikiishi has no trouble dodging an untrained uppercut and then retaliate with overwhelming power, but the fact remains Rikiishi had trouble-and actually praised those jabs.
  • Yoko gets her first by being the Kid with the Leash to Rikiishi. And every single inmate but Joe, but Rikiishi stands out.
  • Danpei teaching Joe the Cross Counter-by having Joe attack him with a cross and reply with it.
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    • How Joe mastered it: he pissed off the other inmates so they'd try to lynch him, and then, after running to make sure the different running speeds would keep them from coming at him all together, he went at them with the cross counter, becoming slightly better at every inmate he punched out.
  • Rikiishi realizing Joe was training the cross counter simply from thinking about the aftermath of Danpei teaching it (namely, Joe down and Danpei having suffered a hit hard enough to bleed from the mouth)-and training against it against charging bulls.
  • Joe's first match with Rikiishi (as opposed as the rumbles they had before) has two moments for Joe:
    • Rikiishi had promised he'd take him down in one minute. By rising again and again, Joe not only resisted more than one minute against someone who could punch out bulls, but actually brought the match to the second round.
    • Thanks to the cross counter, Joe scored a Double Knockout. It was so awesome that at first Danpei had been accused of drugging Rikiishi, as the inmates just could not understand what had just happened until Danpei explained them the cross counter-and of how José Mendel had used it to inflict boxing legend Fighting Harada one of the two defeats by knock-out he ever suffered.
      • Achieving a Double Knockout with Rikiishi also earns Joe the others' respect: until then he was openly despised for his attitude in general and toward Yoko in particular, if feared for his strength, but after managing to rise up again and again against Rikiishi until he could use the move that allowed a weaker fighter to take out Fighting Harada finally earned him their respect. Even Rikiishi started considering him a worthy opponent.
    • Shared one: the match was so awesome that all the inmates instantly became boxing fans and wanted to have their own matches.
  • Nishi imposing himself as the referee for the matches-and scaring the others into compliance. Considering how terrified he had been up to that point...
    • The main boxing tournament is fought in teams, and while the anime glosses over it the manga shows a few of the other fights. Nishi is in his dorm's team... And, even with 12oz gloves to reduce his strength both by the padding and him not being used to them, he wins by knock-out with three punches, Foreshadowing his future career as a professional boxer and improving his reputation among the inmates, that immediately went from "big large coward" to "big large guy that hits almost as strong as Joe and Rikiishi and is smart enough not to poke a hornet nest".
  • Mamoru Aoyama is pretty much made of awesome, even, or rather because, he's the smallest of all the inmates, and yet:
    • He has the courage to go on the ring for a match against a much larger opponent-one that in the past beat him up many times.
    • He won his first match-first, he knocked down said much larger opponent with a cross while he was boasting about the many times he had beaten him up in the past, then he started imitating Joe, running around to tire out his opponent and using the counter, plus using the gloves to soften up the enemy punches until the enemy flipped-and got disqualified.
    • Under Danpei tutelage, Aoyama learned how to boxe properly in a week. The first to find out was his cell mate Numata, one even larger than the previous one that dared Aoyama to defeat him if he wanted to take part in the tournament-and Aoyama did just that, by knock out.
      • How it happened: at first the other cell mates were watching, only they grew bored at seeing Aoyama easily dodging everything... And then they suddenly saw Numata down, covered in his own blood from the many hits he suffered when his opponent counterattacked, with Aoyama himself unable to believe he had just done that.
    • At his first match in the tournament, Aoyama spends the warm-up launching looks not at his opponent but at Joe, as he knows he's gonna win this and so he's already daring Joe to win his match. Then the gong rings, and Aoyama proceeds to use footwork and a dodging technique compared to konnyaku jelly to let his poor opponent tire himself out before punching him 'till he falls. Many compared Aoyama to a ninja for this-and his cellmates recognized the konnyaku dodging as what he used to take Numata down.
      • Thanks to this match, the inmates start respecting the guy who had been their punching bag until Danpei got his hands on him-and in the betting pool for his match against Joe, the odds are in his favor.
    • When Aoyama fought him, Joe was refusing to use the boxing techniques taught him by Danpei out of spite at Danpei apparently abandoning him to train Aoyama. Aoyama went to the offensive and almost knocked him down immediately, before using his old tactic, further perfected with parries, to overwhelmed even Joe and come extremely close to win by TKO-and forcing him to not only use boxing techniques but copy Aoyama's. And while Joe ultimately won, he fell down soon after being proclaimed the victor, as Aoyama hurt him that bad.
    • A belated moment comes in the final match, when Joe starts using Aoyama's konnyaku dodging against Mendoza-and it works.
  • Danpei got a double one by training Aoyama:
    • The obvious one, he made Aoyama capable of defeating opponents four or five times his size as long as they didn't know proper boxing. Even Joe was helpless against him, at least until he renounced his pride and started boxing properly.
    • The non-obvious one: he taught the overly aggressive Joe to defend himself. Even Joe admitted he would have ignored him had Danpei tried normal means... But making Aoyama capable of defeating him in a straight fight drove the point home.
  • At the juvie boxing tournament, Rikiishi asked to fight wearing 12oz gloves and no protections, to make it fairer to the ones who would have to face a professional boxer. His first match ended in sixteen seconds, most of which were spent chasing down an opponent that didn't want to be punched by him. Also, there was no need to count: when Rikiishi finally uppercuted his opponent, he flew out of the ring, non hitting the hard ground only because his legs got entangled in the ropes-and then the helmet fell down, its strap being broken by Rikiishi's one punch.
    • Joe being Joe, he demanded to fight with 12oz gloves and no protections too. Even with his fists weakened by the gloves' sheer weight and padding and his refusal to follow Danpei's teachings out of anger at him training Aoyama almost exclusively, he manages to draw blood once he connects. Then his fists lift his victim, before the final one sends him flying out of the ring. And he's refusing to use Danpei's teachings.
  • Rikiishi's first match as a professional after leaving juvie ends with his victory by knock out... At the second round.
  • Anime only: on the day he goes back to the slums, Joe gets in a fight with Nishi... Who quickly overpowers him. Turns out Nishi had been training to become a professional boxer since he was released...
  • The beginners' tournament has a few moments:
  • From the boxing licence exam:
    • Nishi having the humility and courage to try for the C-class licence rather than the B-classnote  Joe had enrolled him for.
    • In the practical part of the test, Nishi easily parries, dodges and softens the attacks of his opponent with such skills that Inagaki, who came second at the national high school boxing tournament, can't help but praise him. Then he counterattacks-and his opponent can only thank the bell for not being knocked out by Nishi's powerful and accurate attacks.
    • Joe has to fight Inagaki, that, as said above, is already an experienced and skilled boxer. Inagaki owns Joe, effectively showing a repeat of the first part of Joe's fight with Aoyama... And this time Joe is using all the skills he has.
    • Joe reversing the course of the match: Joe goes in the second round with no guard, so Inagaki, angry, slips up and opens himself for a moment, and the next Joe puts him in a world of pain. He then goes overboard, and that and his abysmal written score cost him the test, but it's still noteworthy.
    • Joe having the humility to accept, and even anticipate, being failed at the exam for the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he gave Inagaki.
  • Joe winning his debut match in a single round. He claims he would have been faster, if he didn't want to let his opponent score a few hits... And considering it took him a single punch, one can believe him.
    • After seeing Joe winning his debut match with a Cross Counter, Wolf started trembling in fear, remembering when Joe used it on him... And Otaka, president of the Asia Boxing Club Wolf belonged to, calmed him with a single statement: he was going to teach him how to defeat the cross counter. And he delivered. After all, as he explained himself, Otaka had been involved with boxing for thirty years, he was bound to learn a few tricks...
  • Wolf versus Joe, with the A-class licence as a prize, has more than a few moments:
    • For the first time in his professional career, Joe takes a guard position, catching everyone by surprise-and then, once Wolf wins his surprise and attacks, overwhelms his opponent, even knocking him down twice in the second round.
    • Wolf's terrifying comeback in the second round, showing just why Otaka expects him to win the world championship in time-and just how more skilled than Joe he is.
    • Unable to beat Wolf the normal way, Joe lowers his guard to prepare for his trademark Cross Counter. Wolf, who has a technique supposed to defeat it, attacks with everything but the left cross to the face that would invite a cross counter. Because he's not stupid enough to take chances, not before softening Joe up just in case.
    • After Otaka tells him to, Wolf launches his left cross, Joe uses the cross counter... And down goes Joe: at the last moment Wolf moved his left arm to parry the cross counter and followed up with a lightning-quick right cross that took additional power from Joe's own cross counter. Ladies and gentlemen, the Double Counter, the move Otaka promised could defeat the cross counter-and one so devastating Joe barely came up before being counted out only because Rikiishi demanded he did so because he wanted to be the one to beat him, and even then he was saved by the bell]].
      • After this match, the double counter would show up again twice, with one of the users being the world champion Jose Mendoza. That should say everything about just how good this technique is.
    • After the third round ended with Joe almost defeated and so hurt he went to Wolf's corner, Otaka suggests Danpei to just throw the towel. The only answer he got was Danpei and Joe grinning-for Wolf's antics earlier allowed Danpei to anticipate the double counter, and they've got their own little trick for that.
    • The little trick mentioned above, the triple counter: after tanking two other double counters to get the timing right, he launched a cross counter on the double counter. The resulting attack was so powerful the referee stopped the count at eight, as it had become obvious that Wolf wasn't just down, he was completely unconscious.
    • Joe taking effectively four double counters, three of which without time to recover, and remaining able to walk. He had trouble after the fourth, but he still took a ridiculous amount of punishment and won.
  • After coming down in the bantamweight class to fight Joe, Rikiishi, knowing he's been weakened by his diet, wants to fight a test match against someone else, and the Shiraki Boxing Club had to invite one from the Filipines. The opponent, Leo Pancho, is a veteran that in his prime fought for the OBPF championship, and while age slowed him down his fists are still powerful-and Rikiishi victory is awesome because:
    • Rikiishi's diet almost reduced him to a skeleton, and is already causing him delirium.
    • The uppercut is the slowest punch of boxing, easily dodged if the opponent sees it coming. Rikiishi fought almost the entire match using only uppercuts, and hit Pancho twice even when he knew what was coming.
    • The uppercuts were a bait: once Pancho gets completely used to the uppercuts, Rikiishi goes for three jabs and then a cross that completely knocks out the victim (the referee doesn't even count, he just looks at him and calls for a stretcher). That's when Joe and Danpei realize a special training is necessary to deal with this impossibly formidable fighter.
    • The whole affair took only three rounds, during which Pancho was knocked down twice before the knock-out, and Rikiishi none.
  • The fight between Joe and Rikiishi, fought not just with fists but also, especially, with intelligence, with both boxers coming in with good tactics and then improvising new equally good ones when the previous one gets countered. Just the final exchange is enough to explain how formidable the confrontation of tactics was: near the end Rikiishi drops his guard to invite an attack he'll use the Triple Counter on, Joe, after an initial scare, realizes the Triple Counter worked on Wolf because he was too weak and he's strong enough to knock Rikiishi out on the Double Counter phase and attacks, and when he uses the Double Counter he has barely the time to get scared when Rikiishi enacts his real trap, dodging and tagging him with an uppercut that knocks Joe out.
    • The match was one especially for Rikiishi: he had starved himself to delirium to get in the bantamweights, and yet went the whole eight round and won, even if it got him killed. There's a reason everyone believes the only thing keeping him from becoming the featherweight world champion is his death after this match: he's just that good.
  • "Goromaki" Gondo has two in his first appearance:
  • After Joe comes back to the gym, he and Nishi have a sparring match... And an awesome moment each:
    • We were told that Nishi had grown stronger, and won his last few matches, enough to get the A-class licence (and remember, Wolf didn't have it, and Joe got it only when he beat him). He actually proves it by overwhelming Joe with his newfound speed and strength, to the point he initially compares it to hitting the punching bag.
    • After realizing he's not dealing with the old Nishi anymore, Joe gets serious-and drops Nishi in seconds. Even with the overly padded training gloves.
    • A subtle one for Nishi: during the beating, he's the first to notice that Joe cannot hit someone's face anymore. It would take weeks for the Japanese champion and the presidents of the other boxing clubs (save for one) to notice...
  • Joe's first match after Rikiishi's death is one for him: even with his inability to hit someone's face, Joe completely dominated the match against an opponent that had fourteen victories in a row, and defeated him in a single round. This would be only the start of a long streak of fights won in one or two rounds by either knocking the opponent out or the opposing corner throwing in the towel.
    • One for Yoko: she's the first outside the Tange Boxing Club to notice Joe's weakness, and all it took her was to see this match. Not bad, for someone who admits to knowing little about boxing...
  • After realizing Joe's weakness and seeing her grandfather is about to sell their gym, Yoko decides to take over the Shiraki Boxing Club, browbeats her grandfather into just giving it to her (also renouncing to a lot of money, as he was about to sell it. In the anime the buyer was actually there and about to sign, and he too got browbeaten into submission), and, in the middle of a rainy night, has every single member of the staff come there to pretty much swear loyalty to her. The Japanese boxing world has no idea what they're in for...
  • When the other boxing club presidents start plotting against Joe, Yoko shows up mid-meeting, as she was a boxing club president too, and announces she'll deal with Joe upfront, without needing underhanded tactics as what they were planning, and they would be better stay out of her way. The other president chalk it up to the whims of a spoiled heiress... Except this was the only warning they would get of her summoning and unleashing Carlos Rivera, sixth in the bantamweight World Boxing Council rankings and known as the "Uncrowned King" because, apparently, even the world champion fears him. They learn to fear her, and stay out of her way, when they see he Japanese champion being brought to the hospital in a stretcher wet of his own piss.
  • While the result of a conspiracy to force Joe to retire, the three matches against Oozaki, Harajima and Nango have a few awesome moments:
    • Tiger Oozaki, the JBC bantamweight champion, comes in knowing of Joe's weakness... And gets dropped halfway during the first round, establishing that, had Joe been able to hit his face, he would have won easily.
    • One for Oozaki: after suffering the knock down in the first round he starts dominating the match, to the point Danpei throws the towel before he can knock Joe out with a counter... After scoring two knockdowns in the second round. He's the only one of the JBC boxers part of the conspiracy to actually win by his strength.
    • Harajima, #1 in the JBC rankings, also comes in knowing of Joe's weakness, and gains an early advantage... And then Joe punches his face and knocks him down. While he manages to stand, Harajima had the fight knocked out of him, and Joe would have won had he not felt ill, puked, and fainted for the shock of punching someone in the face with all his strength.
      • That knockdown was so formidable that Oozaki was terrified, as he knew that if Joe had recovered he was next-and this time it would have been Joe to win.
    • Nango is the #2, knows Joe's weakness... And Joe knocks him out, even if he still feels sick for punching his face. Nango only wins because the referee gives him a long count (because he had been distracted by Joe puking in the manga, because he had been ordered by the JBC to favor Nango in the anime), resulting in Joe beating the crap out of Nango with fouls and getting disqualified in the manga/Nango surprising and knocking Joe down and the bribed referee giving him a short count.
    • And as Nango is preparing to face Joe, Yoko, Carlos Rivera and his manager Harry Robert swoop in and start pissing Nango off until he challenges the Venezuelan champion without realizing who he was dealing with. Given the end result, this fits on this page.
  • In episode 70 of the anime, Joe is in Sendai when Nango arrives for his match with Carlos, so, in a rare show of maturity, he goes to salute Nango and try to make amends for their previous enmity, only for Nango to refuse to talk to him and tell the foremen that were setting up the ring that Joe was just an amateur he had knocked out once and forced to retire, conveniently ignoring that in the anime version he had cheated. Joe calls him out to not punch him in the back-and quickly and brutally demonstrates how their fight would have gone had the referee been fair.
  • Yoko's little plan to reignite Joe's flame and get him to defeat his weakness while also punishing the JBC for their conspiracy involves people fighting Carlos to lure Joe in... And it works like a charm:
    • As said above, Yoko, Carlos and Robert had swooped in right before the match between Joe and Nango, ostensibly to have Carlos congratulate the two fighters and wish them good luck... But it also included playing Carlos' playboy act up and have him flirt with Nango's girlfriend and generally acting in the most irritating way imaginable, resulting in a pissed off Nango challenging the Uncrowned King. The same guy who'd make him and his manager tremble in fear for his life after they get some information on him beyond his WBC ranking.
    • After finding out just how formidable Carlos is, Nango's manager goes to Yoko to demand the match gets canceled, sure he'll manage to intimidate the spoiled heiress... Only for Yoko to calmly inform him it was his and Nango's own fault for getting in such a mess without knowing who they were dealing with, the contract was perfectly legal, and giving him a veiled threat he'll have him beaten up and kicked out of the Shiraki Boxing Club if he doesn't leave right now. That's when the JBC has their first hint of just how dangerous Yoko is. Pity the anime cut this part out...
    • As required by the plan, Carlos holds back a lot, Nango, after initially being ready to get killed, seems having the advantage... And then Carlos brutally drops him with two incredibly powerful punches followed by elbow strikes that only Joe noticed, that he immediately plays as lucky punches, luring Harajima in the trap... And reigniting Joe's passion, as he's apparently the only one to have noticed the elbow strikes and the sight just made him want to fight him.
      • In the anime, Carlos used the elbows for a single reason: to see if Joe would catch on them (he did). He could have dropped Nango all the same even without those...
      • The secret weapon has an added layer of awesomeness: not only it's next to impossible to notice, but, as Yoko explains in the manga, even if the referee noticed the elbow strikes he'd obviously think of them as an accident. This is actually shown in the anime: Inaba, one of the circus boxers and formerly the #3 featherweight in the JBC rankings, noticed them too, and explained it was obviously a lucky accident. Joe almost fell on his knees in awe when Inaba made him realize just how well it had been thought...
      • A little part from the manga: even holding back, Carlos initially had trouble setting up the trap and make it look like he was losing, because he was just that much stronger.
    • Harajima seems at advantage, he's already enjoying the idea of being in the WBC rankings... Then, after a punch from Carlos at the end of the fourth round, his manager announces he's forfeiting due sudden cramps. The truth, however, is that Carlos' punch made him lose consciousness, and Harajima fainted completely as he sat on the stool. Bonus points for choosing specifically the end of the fourth round due the Japanese beliefs on that number.
    • Finally it's Tiger Oozaki's turn, he comes in ready to become #6 of the WBC rankings and amused by his opponent's declaration he'd win in a single minute... Except this is Carlos' last match under the contract with Yoko, and so he's fighting seriously. The match ends in sixteen seconds and two punches, Oozaki has to be carried out on a stretcher... And loses control of his bladder as he's being brought away. This is followed by Yoko and Robert gloating for the success of their little comedy... And Joe barging in to demand a fight with Carlos, that he gets. Just as Planned.
      • Carlos had announced he'd win in one round-and then corrected himself and said he'd win at the first minute. Everybody laughed, until he delivered. The announcement was unseen in the manga, with only Danpei telling Joe about it, but the first anime shows it: Yoko had summoned a press conference where Robert calmly announced Carlos would win at the first round, and then Rikiishi's theme song started playing and Carlos entered declaring he'd win at the first minute.
      • The first anime makes the knock-out even more awesome by changing how Carlos annihilates his opponent: not with two crosses, but a single one with the elbow. And the second ups the ante by changing the cross with an uppercut that lifts Oozaki from the ring.
  • At their sparring match, Joe using the Kangaroo Punch to knock Carlos down-with 16oz gloves. He's also the only Japanese boxer to get Carlos serious.
    • Carlos hitting Joe so hard to make his mouthpiece fly-again, with 16oz gloves. There's a reason he arrived in Japan as the #6 bantamweight in the WBC rankings and is said that everyone above him, including the lineal champion is too scared to face him.
  • The exhibition match between Joe and Carlos:
    • Carlos fights seriously since the start... And knocks Joe down in five seconds. He proceeds to knock him down once again before Joe can start moving and fighting back.
    • Seeing Joe on the ropes apparently ready for the Kangaroo Punch, Carlos goes for a swing-and falls into Joe's trap: Joe first hits Carlos' elbow, deviating the punch, then uses the strength from hitting Carlos' swing to get the arm back on the ropes and use the rebound for an uppercut that sends Carlos on the other side of the ring.
    • After that terrifying uppercut, Joe and Carlos go for a melee that ends with Joe punched out of the ring and Carlos down on the ring, the latter after being hit by his own special attack. And while he gets back up, Carlos is the one who got out worse for it, and would have likely lost had Danpei, in a moment of excitement, not given a small push to Joe while he was almost back on the ring, getting him disqualified. And as this couldn't end just like that, Carlos all but forces Robert to sign him for a match, the impending fight with Mendoza for the world title be damned.
    • The first anime, as it had been canceled and had to end soon, united it with the second bout-and had Carlos counter Joe's rope trick: when Joe tries it again as a joke, Carlos demands he stays right there, then he charges with a swing, moves it out of the way of Joe's parrying uppercut to grab the ring rope, and pulls Joe toward him to give him an uppercut, punching him out of the ring. Joe comes back, but is literally saved by the bell.
    • At the end of the second round, Carlos whispered Joe something. At the start of the third they charge at each other, hit each other with a punch, and start exchanging fists until the end of the round-and then they ignore the bell: Carlos suggested they just started punching each other until one falls, and Joe accepted. End result: Double KO, and everyone rising in respect chanting their names.
  • The full match between Joe and Carlos:
    • Right as Carlos was demanding that Robert signed him for this, Yoko pointed out that, after this exhibition, Korakuen Hall, with a maximum capacity for "just" 1,800/2,000 people, is too small-and, just for them, rents out Korakuen Stadium, a baseball stadium with a maximum capacity for 50,000 people. And in the era of TV, they fill it.
      • This is also one for Yoko: until this moment the other JBC presidents thought of her as just a bored heiress that got lucky, but after she managed to fill a baseball stadium they realize she's just as good as them and start respecting her as a peer. They still underestimate her.
    • Carlos' counter for Joe's rope trick: he goes for an uppercut... That misses Joe and grabs the upper ring ropes, making them rigid and keeping Joe to use them to increase his uppercut's power, before going for the real, devastating attack.
    • Joe's counter for that: feign using the rope trick, and when Carlos goes for the counter letting himself fall on the lower ring rope. The rebound is a most devastating Kangaroo Punch.
    • The second anime cut the exhibition match... And replaced it with Carlos' secret move: a punch that uses all the muscles in the body to make it incredibly strong and too fast to be seen. Up until the commentators pulled out a slowed recording, it looked like Carlos had been still while Joe was being hit by a streak of light...
      • Joe somehow seeing and blocking it.
    • The end of the match is a draw. Joe scored a draw with the WBC #6 bantamweight boxer.
  • After fighting Joe, Carlos went to Mexico to challenge the undisputed bantamweight champion of the world Jose Mendoza, who, like the first five ranked boxers of their weight class, was said to have been avoiding fighting Carlos for fear of his power. The match ended soon, with a knock out at one minute and thirty-three seconds into the first round, with Mendoza's victory.
    • Carlos' manager Harry Robert claimed that Mendoza's easy victory was owed to the terrifying beating Joe gave Carlos in their final bout giving him crippling punch drunk syndrome. Late in the series it's proven that, while Carlos was suffering of some punch drunk syndrome due Joe's fists, Mendoza not only won the fight by himself, but he caused the crippling worsening of the punch drunk with a single corkscrew punch.
    • The anime actually shows the fight. It consists in Carlos throwing his fastest punches without even coming close to land one, then the moment he prepares to use his hyperspeed punch Mendoza starts hitting him in the face without giving him a chance to resist and downing him twice before deciding Carlos had enough. Then Carlos comes back for more... And Mendoza hits him so hard that Carlos rolls over himself as he falls and bounces on the ring thrice before stopping. That last punch is later revealed to be the Corkscrew Punch that crippled Carlos.
  • After drawing with Carlos, Joe cannot find an opponent in Japan. In the end Danpei manages to find one in Thailand, namely Usman Somkit, #5 in the OPBF rankings-but, as Danpei finds out after signing the contract, he's a former Muay Thai practitioner who no boxer has knocked down so far because his former sport made him just that tough. Joe knocks him down, knocks him out, and punches him out of the ring, in one minute and six seconds, with Somkit being unable to do anything about it. Especially after Joe started punching him so fast and hard he was keeping him lifted from the ground.
    • Somkit gets one in the anime before the match, when Danpei goes to see one of his training sessions... And finds him sparring with two opponents. And almost until the end he's actually showing his ability to dodge, not toughing up through their attacks until he decides to knock them out. Later Danpei tells he went through ten such rounds-and most of the times, his opponents couldn't hit him even as he went for the knock-out blow.
    • Joe's next match: his opponent, ranked #3 by the OPBF, got a few good hits early and knocked Joe down... Then Joe annihilated him with a flurry of punches that put him on the ropes, the referee called him away, started counting-and then called for a doctor.
  • OPBF bantamweight champion Kim Yongbi, also known as "The Boxing Computer" for his combination of power, precision and coldness, has one in his first on-page match, where he inflicts a Curb-Stomp Battle... On a lightweight. For reference, in boxing a lightweight weighs between 130 and 135 pounds, while a bantamweight goes to 118 pounds at most... And yet, Kim is not only so superior to easily smack his opponent around, at one point he stands back to gauge the damage and see the better way to take him down-assuming he's stupid enough to come back for more. He is, and Kim finishes him off with an uppercut-hook combo.
  • Joe vs. Kim Yongbi for the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation bantamweight championship:
    • Joe enters weakened by a terrifying diet and in a condition of psychological inferiority after Kim told him his backstory (where almost starving to death during The Korean War was only the set-up for something worse)... And yet, he manages to stand up to the champion, coming back after being knocked down again and again and fighting back, to the point that the Boxing Computer starts going tilt.
    • In the fifth round Kim uses his special technique, the Chom-Chom, consisting in pushing his opponent to the ropes, punching them until they start falling, and then uppercutting them back up before they can hit the mat and repeat the beating and the uppercut until the referee realizes he's witnessing an attempted murder and stops him. Every time he used it, he won the match, often hospitalizing his opponents and, in the anime, killing two. Joe rises to fight again, much to Kim and his manager's horror.
    • One for Kim: one of the knock-downs he inflicted on Joe was with the Cross Counter. Bet he got a kick out of it...
    • Between the fifth and the sixth round, Yoko tells Danpei to throw the towel rather than risk Joe ending like Rikiishi. The mention of that name finally shakes Joe out of his funk, as while Kim went through a lot, including starvation as a child, Rikiishi and even Joe went through a near-starvation diet without being forced-and finally gives him the fight of his life.
    • Before the fight, Kim and his manager had announced victory in the sixth round. In that round, when Kim is distracted by Joe's bleeding, Joe punches him out of the ring, inflicting the champion the only defeat in his career.
    • The image of Joe holding the title belt to the sky while Rikiishi's image appears behind him hints at the fact this is when Joe surpassed him: both of them went through a terrifying diet to face a formidable opponent (Kim for Joe, Joe himself for Rikiishi), both won after an extremely hard match, but where Rikiishi died due the injuries and the starvation diet Joe lived and managed to remain in the weight class.
    • Another for Kim, given to him by their fight being part of the second anime made in 1981 without changing his birth date: he fought Joe when he was 36. Most boxers would be already retired by that point, and yet he was still going strong, gunning for the world championship, and challenged the infamous and much younger "Killer Joe" to take his place in the WBC rankings and go after Mendoza.
  • Right before going to Hawaii, Danpei starts fearing Joe suffers from Punch Drunk Syndrome. How does he test Joe? He and the rest of the Tange Boxing Club athletes throw dozens of basketball at Joe, with him having to hit as many as possible and dodge the rest. He delivers, with ease. Even better, Joe did suffer from punch drunk syndrome already, and yet passed that and all of Danpei's tests.
    • Made better for Joe in the anime, where the test takes place after Joe beat Harimao and Joe's punch drunk syndrome was already so bad he had trouble with fastening buttons.
  • When in Hawaii, Joe gets in a fight with a heavyweight over the advertisement for Mendoza's next fight including a reference to him "retiring" Carlos. The heavyweight is knocked down with one punch, and is visibly scared when it looks like Joe wants to continue.
  • Joe's first title defense, against Pinan, #3 in the OPBF rankings:
    • Jose Mendoza shows up to greet the two combatants. Joe decides to take the chance to give him back a punch Jose had given him over his loud mouth... And Jose dodges and forces Joe to shake his hand.
    • Pinan is upset at Joe getting his title shot against Kim, and the belt itself, even when he was ranked lower, and Joe announcing he'd win it in the second round. How does he show it? By using his superior reach to put his left on his head and make him flail uselessly before punching him in the face and spending the rest of the round to keep him at bay.
    • In the second round Joe has finally a good idea of the right distance and starts hitting Pinan-and then, Pinan knocks him down and gets the match to the third round.
    • Joe's answer to Pinan making him look like a fool again: he promises to the public he'd win in the third round-and scores the knock out in twenty-nine seconds.
  • After Joe fought Carlos, Kanto TV signed a deal with Joe to support him financially and in return have the exclusive rights of organizing and broadcasting his fights, including the eventual title match with Jose Mendoza. When they actually try with the latter, however, they find out something Joe learned in Hawaii: Yoko has the exclusive rights of organizing and broadcasting all of Jose Mendoza's fights in Japan. Even better in the anime, as Kanto TV was specifically aiming to exclude Yoko from this and she outmanouvered them with embarrassing ease.
  • At the Hawaii Mendoza has an exhibition match right with a boxer of a heavier weight class, one nicknamed the "Bull of Hawaii" for the strength of his fists. The match starts... And Mendoza puts his hands on the Bull's shoulders and takes his attacks without flinching, just to prove Joe, that was in the public, that he, differently from what he and Danpei expected from a heavy hitter like him, was not a Glass Cannon. Quite awesome, even if it's a bluff. Then he takes down his opponent with two punches.
    • Made more awesome in the anime: in an interview Mendoza had made the V-Sign as a message to Joe, that everyone interpreted as a promise to win in two rounds. Comes the fight, and it's discovered he meant two punches.
  • The anime-only fight between Joe and Leon Smiley:
    • Leon Smiley is a hell of an opponent, as shown by his ranking: #1 in both the WBC and WBA rankings. He may be one of the boxers said to be scared of Carlos, but the fact he's the top contender for Mendoza and the other world champion shows he's a formidable boxer himself.
    • The very fact the fight happens is one for Kanto TV: not knowing why Mendoza was avoiding them (both his deal with Yoko and the impending fight to unify the WBC and WBA belts) they decided to set up a fight between Joe and the other champion... And, knowing the same could have happened, used Joe's fame to lure in the one boxer both champions had to accept a challenge from so that Joe could take his place.
      • The plan lost some of its value a few days after, when the WBC and WBA announced the unification fight... But the two major boxing sanctioning bodies of the time considered it so good their announcement included the identity of the first Mandatory Challenger for the soon-to-be-crowned lineal bantamweight champion: the winner of the Yabuki-Smiley match.
    • At the start of the match Smiley proves he's the top contender by going with no guard (one of Joe's old tricks, as the commentator points out) and dodging everything Joe throws at him.
    • One for Joe comes when Smiley starts to fight back and hits him with a headbutt: the referee is about to take points from Smiley and threatens to disqualify him in spite of his protests it had been an accident, but Joe calls the referee off, declaring it was clearly an accident, and even if it wasn't it would have been his fault for not dodging it. Then he starts hitting Smiley.
    • About two minutes in the first round, Smiley knocks Joe down with an uppercut. Joe stands back up... And gets serious: he was going toe-on-toe with the top contender while holding back. By the time the bell rings, Smiley is already bleeding and wondering what the hell has just happened.
    • Between the two rounds, Smiley tells his manager that Joe is obviously well over his head and he has no idea how did he get so far. He gets an idea when Joe quickly throws him out of the ring-alongside himself.
    • After almost getting his ass handed to him in the second round, Smiley recognizes Joe's valor... And shows him how did he get so far: a perfectly-honed left jab. By the time the sixth round ends, Smiley has a decisive advantage by points because Joe just can't get past.
    • In the seventh, Smiley tries to end the match with a right cross... And finds himself knocked down by a devastating uppercut. He comes back from that, but Joe quickly gets the upper hand and dominates the round.
    • In the eight round, the triumphal return of Joe's cross-counter.
    • Leon Smiley standing up after the cross counter and going the distance. He's weakened enough that Joe dominates the rest of the match and wins by points, but he still went the distance after Joe's cross counter.
  • The manga has only one bantamweight champion, Jose Mendoza. The anime, however, specifies that Mendoza is the World Boxing Council bantamweight champion... And introduces the other champion, Karold Gomez for the World Boxing Association. And, of course, features the fight for the unification of the belts.
    • As the final fight was already decided to be between Joe and Mendoza, Karold Gomez is obviously doomed to lose... But he didn't become a world champion by accident, and he proves it by fighting Mendoza head-on on his same level, for three rounds, during which he has the upper hand. Considering Carlos went down halfway during the first, just that is awesome.
    • The way Mendoza wins: he gets serious near the end of the third round, whipping out his devastating Corkscrew Punch and turning a slowly losing fight in a Curb-Stomp Battle. One that is noticed only between the fourth and the fifth round, when it becomes clear that Mendoza is still relatively fresh but Gomez is extremely tired and already stunned.
    • Another for Gomez: he took multiple hits, surviving to the sixth round before going down. It got him killed due the devastating power of the Corkscrew Punch, but it still proved that he was stronger than even Carlos Rivera.
  • Since his introduction, Harimao had been hyped for his strength. Then, in the manga, Yoko managed to set him a match against OPBF #5 bantamweight Takigawa to get him ranked and allow him to challenge Joe for the title... And Takigawa, taking advantage that Harimao's technique is incredibly poor, gives him a terrifying beating, even ridiculing his gymmick technique of a jumping punch by moving to the side and letting him injure his hand on the ring's floor. It takes Harimao's second gimmick technique, that uses the ropes to jump, to win... And it's expressely stated that Takigawa would have won anyway had he been a bit more used to unorthodox boxing. Just from that statement, one can imagine how his match with Joe will go.
  • Realizing that to fight Harimao he needs his old wild spirit back, Joe calls a group of special sparring partners: "Goromaki" Gondo and a group of yakuza sluggers. First four sluggers, then the rest, and finally Gondo himself. It works.
  • During their fight, Joe giving Harimao an even more formidable beating than Tanigawa did, neutralizing Harimao's gimmick technique, neutralizing Harimao's final gimmick technique in such a brutal fashion the beastman had a Villainous Breakdown, and then taking out a berserking Harimao without fouls.
    • Even better in the anime, as it cutting the airport encounter and the fight with Takigawa means that Harimao had not used his gimmick moves before... And Joe tanks them all, before neutralizing the somersault punch and knocking Harimao out cold with that.
    • The counter for Harimao's somersault punch bears a distinct resemblance with Superman's trademark flying punch.
  • Joe vs. Mendoza:
    • The location of the match is one for Kanto TV: they managed to top Yoko's baseball stadium by securing the Nippon Budokan, the most prestigious martial arts arena in Japan and the whole Far East.
    • For many months, journalists had been provoking Mendoza with the rumor of him defeating Carlos only when he had already been destroyed by Joe. Mendoza's answer to that: he has the fight with Joe fought with gloves custom-made to have as little padding as possible, so that Joe can hit him with all his power-and Mendoza can do the same.
    • The first three rounds are a non-stop show of just why Mendoza is the lineal champion, and called the "King of Kings": Joe just cannot hit him, and at one point he starts barely moving to dodge, and whenever he attacks, Joe is knocked back, hard, and even gets knocked down in the second and third round.
      • The anime makes this part even better, as at one point Mendoza once again puts his hands on his opponent's shoulders and lets him hit to no effect.
    • During the fourth round Mendoza sees Carlos and gets distracted for a single moment. In that single moment, Joe hits him, to noticeable effect.
    • Right after that hit, Joe starts losing his sight in the right eye. It's the end, right? Wrong: that's when Joe finally defeats Jose Mendoza's invincible defense and starts hitting him repeatedly for that and the fifth round, even doing something nobody had ever done before: knock Mendoza down.
      • Mendoza being knocked down was so shocking that Joe nearly won by knockout simply because Mendoza was too shocked to stand.
    • After the fifth round, Joe is expected to win quickly. In the sixth, after a moment where he's almost overwhelmed, Mendoza hits Joe at the stomach-and leaves him too stunned to escape the follow-up, that knocks Joe down.
    • Joe's reaction: he starts counting alongside the referee just to screw with him-and then, much to Mendoza's horror, puts his hands on the champ's shoulders and lets him hit him to no effect. What trickery is this?! Joe just realized that when you are held at arms' length and cannot use the torso to increase your fists' power, said fists are greatly weakened, and Mendoza used that trick at Hawaii, and in the anime in that very match, to scare Joe and hide the fact he's a Glass Cannon. And once he's bored with the game, he punches Mendoza and knocks him down. That's when Jose realizes that Joe isn't just a Worthy Opponent like the ones he defeated so far, but could actually win.
      • One for Jose: the fact he came up with that trick.
    • Mendoza's comeback in the seventh round. Even in shock for what has just happened, his reaction is to try and take Joe's down with overwhelming power-and then, he realizes that Joe is losing sight in an eye and he couldn't dodge him due his fists being slightly off-aim, adapts and resumes dodging. In hindsight, this and the follow-up in the next five rounds is likely when Mendoza got the point advantage that won him the match.
    • In the eight, ninth, tenth and eleventh round, Joe surviving Mendoza's onslaught, and actually fighting back in the twelfth. Mendoza praises him as a better man than himself just for the sheer determination, as he, in his place, would have thrown the towel.
    • Seeing Mendoza's onslaught, Yoko at first runs... Then, still horrified at Mendoza's overwhelming power, comes back just to support Joe, and steals Danpei's towel to keep him from throwing it.
    • The thirteenth round is when Joe finally gets the upper hand-by sending Mendoza in a nervous breakdown through sheer determination.
    • The triumphal return of the Konnyaku defense. The match started with Joe unable to hit Mendoza, but now is Mendoza who cannot hit Joe.
    • The fifteenth round is both fighters' finest moment:
      • Mendoza is in the middle of a breakdown, is fighting what looks more like an immortal monster... And so, he fights like a man possessed, determined to conclude his career undefeated and to try and knock out this monster too. And quickly scores a knockdown.
      • After Joe stands back up, Mendoza charges to take him out... And he goes down in one hit, courtesy of a cross counter.
      • After being knocked down, Mendoza comes back more cautiously... And falls victim of the triple counter.
      • Shortly after the triple counter, the bell announces the end of the match. Joe concludes the fight standing... While Mendoza has to be dragged to his chair. Had the bell rung a single second later, Joe would have won by TKO.
    • The match having gone the distance is one for both:
      • Mendoza had a perfect victory record, and the only ones that didn't end by knock-out were the ones where the opponent threw the towel. All of them, except the anime-only match against Karold Gomez, had ended by the third round... And Joe went the distance against that, even when weakened by his diet and in the advanced stages of punch drunk syndrome.
      • In the same vein, Mendoza had never fought a match to the distance, always winning well before it... And yet, he had prepared himself to resist for fifteen rounds against a monster hitter like Joe. His victory at the points is deserved, after all.
  • The live action adaptation mostly has ones taken from the first part of the series, but has one that belongs only to the film and the staff: reproducing perfectly not only such iconic scenes as the first cross-counter between Joe and Rikiishi and the latter's diet and death, but even the scenery and how all characters (except for Wolf) looked like. To give a few example of what they went through:
    • While the slums of San'ya are a real place in Tokyo, they've since gone through renovations that replaced the barracks with actual buildings and covered up the Sumida River (thus eliminating even the Bridge of Tears)... And yet the movie shows them as they were in the manga, up to include the outsides and insides of the Tange Boxing Club.
    • From left to right: Danpei Tange, Joe Yabuki, Toru Rikiishi, and Youko Shiraki. Not seen but still present: Youko's Iconic Outfit.
    • As expected by a Japanese production, the gloves (and the vast majority of the equipment) are of the Winning brand. However the brand redesigned its logo since then, that now looks like this. And yet, as seen (not well) on this poster, the gloves have the old logo.
    • In short, they went through immense effort to reproduce as much as they could of this legendary series to show in about two hours... And, as you can see here, they succeeded.
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