The First Step Arc, also known as Champion Road Arc or The Two Swallows Arc, is the thirteenth story arc in the series and the fifth in the National Champion Road Saga in the manga. In the anime, it is the twelvth in the series and second in the New Challenger Saga.

This arc leads Makunouchi Ippo's JBC National featherweight Champion Defenses Road, with his difficult first title defense against the former JBC National junior featherweight Champion, Sanada Kazuki, who relinquished his title in order to move up a weight class.


  • The anime adapted the arc as a seperate movie special called "Champion Road", with a few cut scenes from the manga.

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