Posted on | April 30, 2011 | No Comments
Takamura continues to encourage Ippo and give the boy pointers on how to survive the practice match. From the first round where Ippo is instructed to maintain a defensive stance throughout, we see the very first and arguably the most important of Ippo’s strengths, that is his tenacity. Being able to take Miyata’s punches and his determination to keep standing surprises everyone in the gym, allowing him to make it through the first round. Ippo realizes that although he was easily hurt whenever he was bullied and couldn’t seem to stand up for himself, inside the ring he felt happy despite the physical pain because he was pursuing something of his interest. I think managing to survive one round against an elite boxer must have given Ippo some sense of accomplishment too.
In the second round, Ippo goes on the offensive. The power behind his punches combined with his tenacious spirit makes for a more challenging opponent than what one would expect for a newbie. But he surprises everyone again by unexpectedly breaking through Miyata’s guard with a powerful right and nearly lands a punch on his opponent. By the third round, Miyata is noticeably agitated that he can’t seem to easily knock down someone who has never been in the ring before until now. Ippo eventually goes down to a counterpunch thrown by Miyata but he has more than proven his worth as a potential boxer. To Kamogawa, it’s Ippo’s fighting spirit that captures him the most as it reminds him of the legendary figures of the Japanese boxing world. Miyata himself is also intrigued by Ippo’s strength as he observes the multiple bruises on his arms, a result of guarding his blows.
Officially accepted into the Kamogawa gym, Ippo has taken his first step towards boxing and finding the meaning of strength.