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Minoru Fujii (藤井稔, Fujii Minoru) is a sports journalist, who works for the Monthly Boxing Fan.

A veteran reporter with a keen eye for potential, Fujii is constantly following with his partners the careers of many Japanese boxers. While most other reporters cover only the most important events, Fujii is known to closely report on relatively unknown, upcoming boxers who are considered underdogs.

Background

Shinoda and Fuji meet

Shinoda and Fuji's Past

Before becoming a journalist, Fujii and Shinoda Tomoyuki were friends who were amateur boxers. He was an out-boxer when he was partaking in city tournaments. One day, Shinoda tells Fujii that he is going to turn pro, and looks forward to seeing him in the ring someday. However, he tells Shinoda that he thinks he is done as a boxer. Shinoda thought they shared the same dream- To go to the Olympics or become a champ as a pro. Fujii tells him to go and make that dream come true, while he decided to report on boxing instead. The two makes a promise for Shinoda to become a JBC champion, then world champion, as Fujii writes about him as he makes his way up. When Shinoda became pro, Fujii was there filming his pro debut.

Part I

Early Days Arc

WatchingMiyataandIppoSpar

Fujii watching the spar.

Fujii, along with his assistant while driving, noted how Japan has almost everything but world champions. He mentioned that Miyata Ichirō is apparently good despite not having a pro debut. Fujii visited the Kamogawa Boxing Gym in order to talk to Miyata. He was thrilled when he heard that Miyata was about to have a spar. He watched the spar between Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata. At first, he didn't believe in Ippo, just watching the spar for the prodigy, Miyata. After the spar, Fujii was surprised at the outcome, and quickly gained interest in Ippo.

Fujii showed the picture of the last uppercut Ippo threw that hit Miyata by 1cm. to Kamogawa Genji and Yagi Haruhiko. Later at Kōrakuen Hall, Fujii introduced Ippo and Miyata to Mashiba Ryō.

After Ippo's win against Oda Yūsuke, Fujii noted how Ippo, Miyata, and Mashiba all had victories in their matches so far. When his partner doubted Ippo, Fujii noted that Ippo grows each time he fights. Fujii and his partner entered the Kamogawa Boxing Gym in order to meet Ippo. When he saw Ippo, he realised that Ippo was using the Peek-a-Boo Style. After Ippo was done training, Fujii informed him that Miyata and Mashiba were winning their matches and that it is almost time for the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, wishing him luck.

Rookie King Tournament: First Rounder Arc

VideoOfKenta

Fujii showing everyone the video of Kobashi.

After not only Ippo and Miyata, but also Mashiba (who the public had high expectations for) became professional boxers, Fujii covered the East Japan Rookie King Tournament where the trio will be participating along with prodigy Hayami Ryūichi.

With Ippo winning the first match of the tournament, Fujii entered the gym and showed everyone a tape of Ippo's next opponent, Kobashi Kenta, who beat Yoshida Mitsuo. He then showed everyone a video of Hayami.

Rookie King Tournament: Finals Arc

With the semi-finals of the A-Block being Ippo against Hayami, Fujii visited the Otowa Boxing Gym to get comments from Hayami. Hayami revealed his secret goal of wanting to be a charismatic hero, bringing back Japan's spirit of loving boxing, using the media as a resource. After seeing Hayami's basic, but tough training, he believed that Ippo may lose. When the day of Ippo's match against Hayami arrived, Fujii watched as Ippo won the match. Fujii later watched Miyata and Mashiba's match that ended with Mashiba winning. The next day, Fujii visited the Tōhō Boxing Gym to get comments from Mashiba. Fujii told Mashiba that while he had no interest in the accident of stepping on Miyata's foot, Ippo does, as Miyata was his goal. When he asked for Mashiba's thoughts of Ippo coming to him with determination, he became scared of Mashiba's laughing and cruel response

After discovering Mashiba's past and having a sister named Mashiba Kumi, he visited the Kamogawa Boxing Gym to inform Ippo of the details. Fujii came back to the Tōhō Boxing Gym and witnessed Mashiba's Flicker Jab and Chopping Right hitting a sandbag. Fujii watched Ippo fight Mashiba in the finals of the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. After Ippo won, Fujii was impressed by Ippo as the predictions were 50-50.

Part II

Red Lightning Arc

Fuji explain the rankings

Fuji explaining the Power Grid Shapes.

Fuji stops by the gym hoping to interview Ippo but he isn't there. Instead he interviews Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki about the upcoming Class A tournament. While there, they ask Fuji to fill out a Power Grid on them. Kimura and Aoki's are round shaped. Itagaki doesn't know if his is good or not.

Fuji explains that if you image there's a sifter, the boxing world is a dangerous one where people are constantly falling through the cracks. They all get thrown together and shaken around and the smaller rounder a stone is, the faster it will fall. Of course, big stones (like Takamura) don't fall and make themselves home in the Pro Ring where they have long careers.

There is another type of rock that doesn't fall, rocks that are smaller than the holes in the sifter, but are shaped so they don't fall, the pointy stones. He thinks Ippo is one of them. By using specialized techniques and weapons, Itagaki doesn't fall through, and has a good chance to survive.

Unseen Heights Arc

Fuji mitt

Fuji mitt training

When Fujii visits the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, he does mitt training with the members of gym. He mentions he used to be an amateur out-boxer in the past, and once ran into a Prodigy in a city tournament. Fujii thought if he could beat him, he would turn pro. Instead, Fuji was taught a lesson, and his dream didn't last. While mitt training with them, Fuji mentions that Aoki's punches were like the prodigy.

Later on, when they discuss the shapes of their fists, he notes Ippo's are big, hard, and flat like a rectangle, where the force is more spread out. It the secret behind his strong punching power. Itagaki's Fist is like a Triangle. Fuji comments that if Ippo's fist have stopping power, then Itagaki's have more penetrating damage. They're good for pinpoint, precise punches, and they can lip through holes in enemy defences much easier.

Kimura's fist is a mixture between the two (or average.) Aoku's is Round Shaped, where Fuji mentions they tend to be slippery and can roll off target. Shinoda arrives, everyone discovers that Shinoda and Fuji have a history together.

That is when everyone in Kamogawa Gym discovered that the prodigy that Fuji was mentioning was Shinoda. Shinoda tells them that he lost his Pro Debut match, and lost over and over again. He only fought in six matches, and ended up with an average record. Everyone thinks instead of turning into a fist of a prodigy, it became a Fist of Betrayal. Shinoda apologises to Fuji about not able to fulfil their promise, but Fuji tells him it is okay, since he just wasn't suited to be a pro.

Appearance

Fujii has black eyes, spiky dark brown hair, a thin moustache that later grows into a fuller moustache, and a stubble. His attire is usually a black or brown business suit.

Personality

Fujii is one of the most knowledgeable and intuitive; been able to predict events or figure out techniques before most. He also has many connections within most local gyms, as he frequently visits the members in order to gather and share information. In addition to Ippo, he also seems to be friends with Takamura Mamoru and Date Eiji.

Quotes

  • "You could sell tickets to a match-up like this!" -Signature quote, often says it during spars.

Gallery

Trivia

  • A seldom-noticed running gag of the series is Fujii's constant attempts to quit smoking. He changes between cigarettes and nicotine replacement tubes regularly.
  • According to Fuji, he was a crappy boxer dubbed "The Eternal #2" in a City Tournament.