As Ippo and Kumi walks from the party, Kumi tells Ippo that the woman walking with Mashiba is the daughter of the owner of Tanaka Transportation, Rie Tanaka, and adds how great the company is, being the first people to accept him. Ippo thinks that Mashiba being serious about work makes him easy to be misunderstood, however, he notes that Mashiba works in order to protect Kumi. Kumi points out that it isn't always misunderstandings, since Mashiba used violence at times when any boy tried walking her home after school to keep them away. Ippo becomes frightened about Mashiba possibly being nearby and apologises for being a poor bodyguard, but Kumi reassures him that he is well-trusted. Rie mentions to Mashiba that he must trust Ippo since he is letting him take Kumi home. Mashiba denies trusting Ippo, only leaving them alone because Tanaka asked him to watch over her. Mashiba details his bond with Kumi to Rie on how he has been protecting her since their parents passed away, not allowing any man who can't protect her to be at her side, and he won't recognise any man who isn't stronger than he is. Later, Ippo and Itagaki goes to the Kōrakuen Hall, where the main event is about to begin, consisting of a title match between JBCfeatherweight champion Imai and first ranker Hoshi.