“Boxing is unpredictable”
Hajime no ippo is no stranger to anime/manga lovers. Hajime no Ippo manga currently has 128 volumes and 1300+ chapters and counting, the manga began serialization in 1989 and it’s still continuing. I began reading it 2019 and I’m still continuing it. I’ve gotta say reaching a 1000 chapters in Hajime no ippo is probably one of my greatest achievements.
One of the reasons why Hajime no Ippo is one of the best sports anime/manga is that most of the fighters are based on real-life boxers. The story focuses heavily on character development—even during the matches something is learned about the fighters. A colorful cast of supporting characters and opponents as well as side stories concerning their paths in the boxing world rounds out the series.
Well the reason why this post so much time was because I read all the fight chapters again and I still get goosebumps from revisiting those scenes. I think Hajime no ippo is not recommended to everyone because of it’s extreme bloody art(which is pretty amazing).
There also some violent images so be careful.
Warning – Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Makunouchi Ippo vs Sendō Takeshi
During his fight with Sendo, Ippo showed the Dempsey Roll’s perfect form. Since the Dempsey Roll could not be used if the opponent won’t back down, Ippo utilized all three of his techniques. Starting with the liver blow, which damaged Sendo’s right ribs, Ippo then used a feint with his own version of “Sakki”(killing intent), called “Courage”, making Sendo raise his guard. Ippo then followed up with the Gazelle punch (an uppercut using the strength of the legs for additional power), which made Sendo’s jaw fly up and stunned him for a few seconds.
Taking the opportunity of Sendo being stunned, Ippo then revved up his Dempsey Roll which hit Sendo a couple of times before knocking him out. Ippo used the same pattern of attack on his first title defense with Sanada but due to the damage that he sustained his attack stopped after a couple of hits.
Volg Zangief vs Mike Elliot
Volg then rose to the first rank in the WBA, WBC, and IBF junior lightweight divisions. He was given a chance to challenge the reigning junior lightweight IBF champion, Mike Elliot, as a replacement for someone else. This turned out to be a scheme to get him off the champion’s list of mandatory opponents. Volg accepted the invitation despite the fact that he didn’t have proper time to build a fighting condition (only one week).
After a rough start, Volg scored his first knockdown at five rounds into the match. However, the referee purposely slowed the count to give Mike time to recover, and even helped Mike to his feet. Enraged, Volg began executing a non-stop string of White Fangs — 7 in total. Mike, who had seen the punch before, countered each of them, but not without getting hit in the process. After the final exchange, both boxers collapsed, Volg into the ropes, Mike into the canvas. Mike’s corner then surrendered the fight, resulting in Volg’s victory and becoming the junior lightweight IBF champion.
Takamura Mamoru vs Bryan Hawk
When the match began, Takamura was caught off guard with Hawk’s unpredictable punches, while Takamura tried to fight him with orthodox techniques in the first round. At the corner, Takamura received a spirit boosting slap on the back from Kamogawa. In the second round, when Takamura began with the basics of boxing with left jabs and high speed footwork, Hawk countered with even faster speed, knocking him down twice.
In the seventh round, Hawk immediately had the advantage until Takamura snapped into a fit of rage, gaining a sudden upper hand in the fight, battering Hawk with combinations using his natural instincts to also dodge Hawk’s attacks. Hawk then went down after an uppercut. At the count of six, Hawk groggily got up, and Takamura proceeded to hit him until the referee stopped him in order to perform a standing count. As the referee and the audience counted to ten, Hawk threw up blood and leaned on the referee as the count reached to ten, ending the match, resulting Takamura becoming the WBC junior middleweight champion.
Mashiba Ryō vs Sawamura Ryūhei
After his loss to Ippo, Sawamura moves up to Jr.Lightweight to challenge Mashiba for the JBC championship. Sparks fly as they both commit foul after foul and blood flies everywhere. It could easily be the bloodiest fight in the series. It ends with Mashiba punching Sawamura out of the ring and giving him a concussion with a foul. Even though Sawamura was the one KO’d, Mashiba lost the belt because he attacked before the referee gave the okay.
The match was appropriately titled “Chaos”.
Makunouchi Ippo vs Date Eiji
When the match began in the first round, Date noticed how Ippo was guarding his left side to eliminate his Corkscrew Blow. Date and Ippo threw punches at each other with no punches landing cleanly. When the second round began, Date attempted to beat Ippo at his best range in an in-fight, which caused Date trouble as he got hit and barely able to keep his guard up. Date noticed Ippo was about to use the liver blow and blockws his right side, however it turned out to be a feint.
The third round began and Date rushed towards Ippo looking for another in-fight. Date was only able to land some light punches as Ippo attacked Date’s guard. In the fourth round, Date quickly began to hit Ippo with clean punches. After Date used the Neck Spin to neutralise an attack, he was hit by a left right after Date put his head in the normal position. Date was then hit by a liver blow and a Gazelle Punch, however, Date still stood.
In round five, Date’s Corkscrew Blows were only hitting Ippo’s block. Date and Ippo had a battle of exchanges, with Ippo eventually leaning on Date and attacking him. Date stepped back and landed the Heart Break Shot on Ippo. Just as Date was about to land another hit on the frozen Ippo, the referee stopped the match as Kamogawa Genji had thrown the towel into the ring while Ippo fell down, resulting in Date winning, and making Ippo lose for the first time in his career.
Makunouchi Ippo vs Alfredo Gonzales
Ippo got to the ring and the match begins. After getting surprised by Alfredo’s lefts that appear longer than he thought, he chose to go forward and use his usual pace, using head slips and the Peek-a-Boo style to close in. After another punch lands on his forehead, Ippo delivered a liver blow and began an in-fight with Alfredo which Ippo ended up taking more hits until the end of the second round
In the third round, Ippo proceeded to chase Alfredo, who switched to out-boxing and In the fourth round, Ippo questioned what he should do and which attack Alfredo would use since Alfredo never used a left hook before until the third round. In the seventh round, the boxers enter yet another exchange which Ippo eventually won. However, as he went for the finishing blow, Alfredo landed a powerful right counter, sending Ippo to the canvas unconscious. Kamogawa ran into the ring to help Ippo and the referee ended the match, resulting in Ippo’s second loss.
Miyata Ichiro vs Randy Boy Jr
The match pushed Miyata to his limits, taking him into the 7th round — the longest he had ever gone in the ring — with seemingly no chance of winning. However, thanks to his father’s clever coaching in uppercuts, Miyata managed to defeat the switch hitter with a comeback KO.
The actual KO punch was not a move Miyata had learned or practised. Randy calls it “Red Lightning”, and his father says it heralds the emergence of Miyata’s own unique style.
The reason was Randy: Randy’s father, Racoon Boy, was the man who ended Miyata’s father’s boxing career, and somehow, like Miyata, Randy had inherited his father’s boxing style. Miyata saw the fight as an opportunity to avenge his father and prove once and for all that his father’s boxing was superior.
Kamogawa Genji vs Ralph Anderson
Kamogawa worked as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of World War II. He has had multiple boxing matches with former prizefighter Nekota Ginpachi, two of which he lost, two of which he won, and another that ended a draw.
In the match against Anderson, Kamogawa was outclassed and unable to land a clean hit. Through the strength of his spirit and Nekota’s desperate encouragement, Kamogawa absorbs Anderson’s chopping right and lands two deadly body blows, breaking his ribs and puncturing his internal organs. Despite defeating Ralph, Kamogawa broke both his fists in the process, which ended his career thereafter.
Ricardo Martinez vs. Date Eiji
When the match began, Date immediately threw a left that knocked Ricardo’s guard away and a second left that cleanly hit Ricardo’s face. Before Ricardo could get into his rhythm, Date rushed him into the ropes with a barrage of punches on his guard until Ricardo escaped.
Date’s strong spirit awakened Ricardo’s true boxing style in the third round. Date was completely unprepared by the raw aggression shown by Ricardo. He had no opportunity to attack and was beaten to a pulp up to the end of the eighth round. In the tenth round, Date continued to fight only using his left. Thinking back to how he wanted to impress Aiko, Date was filled with a second wind and fought with powerful right blows despite his broken hand.
Date then lured Ricardo into a perfectly timed Heart Break Shot. However, the damage to his hand prevented him from using enough power to stun Ricardo. Date’s followup punch missed, and Date was then hit with a Corkscrew Blow, making Date go down. The referee quickly ended the match, resulting in Date’s loss.
Takamura Mamoru vs David Eagle
After the gong sounded, Takamura and Eagle land a jab on each other’s guard for their opening throw. They both proceeded to stand still while throwing jabs, not landing any clean hits until Takamura grazes Eagle’s face, knocking him off balance. As Takamura dodged, he came close and threw an uppercut that he stops as the first round ended.
In the second round, Takamura attacked Eagle’s guard until Eagle was able to read Takamura’s attacks and dodge, resulting in Takamura getting hit. In the fourth round, Takamura missed his widely-swung punches while getting occasionally countered. Eagle pushed into Takamura and as Eagle changes his position to escape the corner, Takamura hit him with a liver blow.
In the seventh round, Takamura and Eagle immediately enter the centre of the ring and enter a exchange match with neither afraid of hitting the cuts above their eye. Takamura fought back in a hitting match. While imagining Kamogawa holding his mitts up for Takamura to hit, Takamura landed combinations on Eagle until he went down.
Eagle looking defeated as the referee announced Takamura as the winner and the new WBC middleweight champion.
Phewwww finally finished a long post. I think I better thank the “Hajime no ippo fandom” for helping me. I also have some award posts I have to get to.
Thank you for reading.