These Guys Know How To Roll With The Punches!
The first chapter of this epic and expansive manga was published in 1989, and is still going to this very day. How did George Morikawa’s magnum opus achieve such success? By combining a hero’s journey with an in-depth knowledge of boxing, making it easily accessible to newcomers, as well as adding a torrent of action scenes that pack such an impact you can feel them ripple off the page. Throw in an anime adaptation that was more than faithful to the source material, and you have a recipe for perhaps one of the best pieces of sports fiction out there!
Naturally, with nearly thirty years of fights under its belt, Hajime no Ippo has no shortage of brutal bouts, but which stand tall as the kings of the ring? Well, prepare to knuckle down because these three hold nothing back!
And of course, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
#3: Kamogawa vs. Anderson
Turns out that Ippo’s elderly boxing trainer was nothing short of a beast back in his younger days, facing off against an abusive American sergeant who took pleasure in beating and humiliating the Japanese. Unfortunately for Anderson, Kamogawa is such a machine that he was willing to break both fists just in order to land the finishing blow. Said blow just happened to shatter Anderson’s entire rib-cage. Ouch.
#2: Ippo vs. Sawamura
More animal than man, Sawamura considered each match a feast, taking immense joy in beating his foes senseless. Unfortunately for our hero, this appetite also comes with a powerful set of skills as well as an intuition that managed to overcome Ippo’s famous Dempsey Roll. While taking endless amounts of punishment, Ippo managed to snatch victory from the jaws of the defeat by improving the Dempsey Roll’s capabilities, even at the cost of his own health. It’s by far the most harrowing, brutal and satisfying match the young Japanese champion has undertaken.
#1: Takamura vs. Hawk
He may have no end of annoying attributes, but Takamura’s antics were nothing compared to that of the reprehensible Hawk. A lecherous thug with no respect for the sport, who sees himself as unbeatable thanks to his natural strength, he went on to make an enemy of practically everyone, especially after he punched Kamogawa. In the most bloodthirsty of battle, both men unleash their inner monsters, with Takamura managing to claim the title thanks to the teachings of his coach.
Be sure to check out the video below to see where Takamura and Hawk landed in our picks for the Top 10 Brutal Fist Fights in Anime!