Secret Expectation! is Round 327 of Morikawa Jouji's Hajime no Ippo manga series.

Cover Page


While talking to Umezawa about his upcoming sparring match with Ricardo Martinez, Ippo wonders based on his record, fame and reputation how much stronger than him the world champion really is.

While Fujii and Mari wait at the airport, the WBA featherweight champion and his manager arrive, causing an uproar among the people, with reporters swarming the place to get a look at the man.

A taxi arrives to take Ippo and Kamogawa to the sparring match, and on their way to the gym, Kamogawa asks Ippo if he actually thinks he can win. Ippo says he knows he stands no chance, but plans to learn as much as possible. Kamogawa tells him that if he can touch the champion even once he will have his praise. He also notes to himself that Ippo has the potential to beat him.

When they arrive, they are told by Nakadai that he has been unsuccessful in his information gathering attempts as the champion easily dispatches his opponents and reveals no important technique. He begs Ippo to push Martinez into getting serious.

Ippo gets in the ring with no head gear and his usual fighting trunks, as he plans to go at full power for the three rounds. Ricardo's manager tells him who Ippo is and leaves it up to him how to handle the situation. They touch gloves and the match begins.


  • Ricardo Martinez makes his first physical appearance in this chapter. He was previously shown in pictures and flashbacks.
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