Disappointed by the fact that he was not able to set the pace, Ippo is encouraged by Kamogawa, who tells him that he did a good job against the champion. Meanwhile in his corner, Date, Nakadai and Okita have a discussion on how much Ippo has improved, which leads to Date recognizing him as "the ultimate challenger".
The round begins with Date knowing that he will have a better chance if he waits for Ippo to make a mistake, but instead he decides to beat him at his own game to prove his superiority. As the entire hall is full of cheering audience members, both the fighters begin a trade in which Ippo clearly has the upper hand. When Ippo realizes that Date can barely keep up, he initiates the motion for a liver blow. Date guards against it, but realizes to late that it is a faint set for a straight that apparently lands cleanly. After the straight, Ippo follows up with several hits that land on Date's face, swinging his head from side to side until the bell rings. As he walks to his corner, Ippo states that for some reason Date is not hurt, and that he did not feel his punches causing any damage.