The Strongest Challenger
Name Information
Kanji: 最強の挑戦者
Romaji: Saikyō no Chōsensha
Episode Information
Season: 3 - Rising
Episode in Season: 1
Episode in Series: 105
Manga Chapters: Round 503 (p. 13-19)
Round 504 (p. 1-16)
Round 418 (p. 7-8)
Round 419 (p. 11-14)
Round 425 (p. 6-8)
Round 426 (p. 3, 8-19)
Round 427 (p. 1-19)
Round 428 (p. 1-19)
Round 429 (p. 1-19)
Round 430 (p. 1-19)
Arc: Submarine Wars
Episode Chronology
New Challenger The Dempsey Roll Destroyed

The Strongest Challenger is Round 105 of the anime adaptation of Morikawa Jouji's Hajime no Ippo and Round 1 of Rising.

This episode is the start of Ippo's 4th title defence against the "Ryukyu Warrior", Shimabukuro Iwao. This episode includes the tragic accident of Ippo's father, Makunouchi Kazuo.


That night on the ocean the boat was sinking and Kazuo determined to save everyone sacrifices his life for his comrades. The scene then depicts Kazuo's funeral followed by Ippo not accepting his fathers death, until he finds his father hat floating him in the harbor. This is when Ippo's mother gets her Boat Opperators license and start the business.The episode starts off where Ippo relives some memories of his father, childhood and a promise he and his father made.

Ippo's and Coach start to train intensly for the upcoming title defends. Iwao is shown being underwater for 13 minutes, thereafter speaking with his coach about Ippo and how he will drag him to the depth of the sea and destroy the Dempsey Roll.

Shortly it shows the Champion Carnival where Iwao and Ippo are about to face off for the Title. This is the first time Ippo has had to fight someone shorter than himself and probably stronger in strength. The match start of slow with both fighters being very cautios, Ippo being the first boxer to land a hit. Soon Iwao backs Ippo back into a corner and start a brawl in the corner. Ippo is soon surprised when Iwoa uses a Gazelle Punch on Ippo. Ippo is soon overpowered and moves in calling for a full-on Infight. Both boxers slug it out in the middle of the ring, both equal in power, Ending the first round.The second round starts and Iwao is confident of dragging Ippo to the ocean floor. It skips until the 5th round when both boxers are still equal and Ippo hits Iwao with a clean uppercut and barrage being countered by Iwao. Ippo's face turns blue mid-fight because of cyanosis. 


Characters Introduced


Hajime No Ippo: Rising Opening

Techniques Introduced

Locations Introduced

  • N/A


Previous Chapters  Current Chapters Next Chapters
416, 417, 418, 419, 420

418, 419, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 503, 504

431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 438, 439

Manga and Anime Differences

  • The whole Shimabukuro visit to the Makunouchi Fishing Boat was cut. Consequently, Ippo's training during his visit was cut. As the training was cut, Ippo's "ultimate punch" wasn't shown. 
  • In the manga, it is Yagi who asks Ippo about his new fighting trunks, in the anime however, they added a completely new scene of the other Kamogawa fighters greeting Ippo before his fight and asking him about the new trunks. 
  • In the manga, Ippo's story arc was explained after the match with Sawamura from Ippo's mother to Kumi
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.