As the match between Imai and Hoshi is about to begin, the audience notices how the latter's right arm is big. Itagaki tells Ippo that Hoshi seems to have buffed his strengths rather than work on his weaknesses, predicting that Hoshi is planning on taking Imai head on with full power. Ippo believes Hoshi will land his punch and thinks that the plan was made by Sendō, figuring that since Hoshi doesn't have good technique, he avoided strategy and had Hoshi fight to knockout, which Ippo thinks that Sendō is using it as a trial run for his next match. Sendō notes to himself that Hoshi's loss to Itagaki happened as Itagaki didn't let Hoshi hit him, however, he knows that Imai's style is different, and eventually as the match goes on Hoshi's graze to Imai will turn into a punch. As the match begins, before the referee could even tell the two boxers to touch gloves, they rush towards each other, and Imai hits Hoshi with a right-on-right Cross Counter. With Hoshi slumped over, Imai hits him with a left hook.