He is a featherweight professional boxer renowned for his speed and genius boxing talent. His trainer is Shinoda Tomoyuki. He, along with Makunouchi Ippo, Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru, and Kimura Tatsuya, round out the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym.
His surname is Itagaki. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
In middle school, he was a soccer player, and when he was thinking about which high school to enter, some scouts talked to him, but team sports didn't interest him. He wanted to see how far he could go on his own power. When he first joined high school, boxing felt great since not even his senpai in the boxing club could touch him. Getting a spot as the Tokyo Representative was easy for him.
When he first meet, Imai Kyōsuke in the National Tournament, he was excited since he though Imai remind of him of a warrior. But when he fought him, it was an overwhelming defeat. They fought 3 times in high school, and each time he lost by KO. In order to defeat him no matter what, he skipped college and instead joined the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, where his idol, Ippo, trained.
Itagaki arrived at Kamogawa Boxing Gym, hearing good sounds from Makunouchi Ippo's punches. After making Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya mad, after not knowing who they were, Yagi Haruhiko introduced Itagaki as the Inter-High National #2. Itagaki mentioned that the gym has a fighter he respects, which made Takamura Mamoru believe it to be him. Itagaki recognised Takamura, however, Yagi revealed that the fighter is instead, Ippo.
In order to test Itagaki, they have him follow a their normal training menu. Itagaki can't keep up with Ippo, but he performs better than Kimura and Aoki, which shows his talent. Along the way, Takamura, Aoki and Kimura remember another guy who used to follow Ippo closely, and they wonder what happened to him. When they return to the gym, Yagi shows them Ippo's next opponent's tape, Hammer Nao. After finding out who he is, Itagaki ask them who Geromichi is. After hearing about it, Itagaki thinks it is a terrible nickname, and wonders who though of it. He adds that Nao get hit too much, where if Ippo hit him as much as he been hit in his past matches, Nao will land in the Hospital. He thinks it will be an easy win. But Ippo is tense, and leaves the room about it. Itagaki is surprised by it, since it looks like an easy win. When the fight poster is shown, Itagaki can't wait till he gets one. Aoki tells him he hasn't debut yet, while Itagaki notes Aoki's name is really small on it, under Ippo's foot, and he wonders if their level are just too different.
Later, Ippo asks Itagaki about his goals. Itagaki mentions he wants to be a boxer that can compete on the World Level. A more specific goal would be a boxer that keeps on winning (like Ippo) or for foreign boxers like De La Hoya or Lopez. He thinks it is good to set your goal nice and high, if they are too easy to reach, then you run out of steam after you get there. So he likes having a difficult goals that are far from where he is now, since it really helps him focus on improving. After hearing that, Ippo is motivated to fight Hammer Nao. After Ippo's match, Yamada tries to greet Ippo, however he sees his new kouhai, Itagaki, celebrating with him.
After Ippo defeated Nao, Itagaki attends a training camp with Takamura, Wanpo and Kimura to help him prepare for his debut match. He runs into Aoki, Tomiko, Mashiba Kumi, and Ippo while running. Nekota Ginpachi and Hachi also arrive. At night at the training camp, Itagaki follows Takamura, who is spying on a couple at the beach. When Takamura fondles Tomiko's breast, fireworks light up the beach and they realise that the couple are Aoki and Tomiko, Itagaki runs away with Kimura. The next day, after Itagaki spars with Kimura, he spars with Ippo, which resulted in him passing out after falling four times in three rounds.
The next day, Ippo and Aoki see Itagaki sparring with Kimura. After the spar is over, Itagaki wants to continue to get a better sense for Pro fights, but Kimura is too tired. He sees Ippo after hearing Wanpo's bark. He asks Ippo to spar instead, but realizes he is still rest. Ippo agrees to it as long as it not too much. Itagaki doesn't plan to hold back in it. During the spar, Itagaki shows his speed and various skills. Ippo notes it resembles Miyata Ichirō's. After Ippo lands a punch, it causes Itagaki to stop moving. Itagaki can see Ippo's punches, but he is effected by Ippo's pressure and trapped in the corner. Itagaki is KD after taking a body blow. Ippo wants to stop the spar, but Itagaki tells him 10 seconds haven't past after he gets up. Itagaki ends up going down 4 times in 3 Rounds.
Itagaki is surprised by it, but Kimura tells him when Ippo sparred Date, he was downed 6 times. Itagaki think the pressure and the way Ippo pushed him to the ropes were all good experiences. After hearing that, Kimura is surprised since Itagaki's an outboxer, and there is no point in learning from an infighter like Ippo. Itagaki mention he is not intending to copy Ippo, but learn how to counter it. Itagaki mentions his past, where he was also number 2 in Inter-High. The person above him fights similar to Ippo, and he plans to move on to the Pro's after graduating. Itagaki hopes to learn from spar with Ippo in order to surpass him, where it is his turn to be number 1. At the last night of summer, everyone watches the fireworks.
When Itagaki, Kimura, and Takamura return to Kamogawa Boxing Gym from the training camp, they find Ippo was pressured by a newbie. Itagaki thinks Aoki is joking until he see Imai Kyōsuke. Imai greets Itagaki, but Itagaki turns it down. Imai thought they could friendly greeting after they spent most of high school together. Imai mentions since they haven't graduated yet, he is okay with it. He mentions to him that he plans on going Pro, and taking the shortest distance possible in reaching Ippo's title. Itagaki tells him he won't reach since he is there, and he plans on stopping him this time.
After Imai leaves, Itagaki tells about his past. After Ippo gets asked who he thinks would win, Ippo isn't for sure, but mentions anything can happen in boxing. Itagaki knows his current strength isn't enough yet, but he plans on winning the next time he faces Imai in the ring. The next day, Itagaki finds out that Takamura's World title match against Bryan Hawk was decided. Kamogawa tells him that his debut match is soon, and he announces Aoki and Ippo have matches plan too. Everyone continues to train for it.
Prior to Itagaki's debut match, Ippo visits him in the waiting room. Itagaki pretty calm, despite learning he is going to be fighting in front of a large crowd. He heads out to enter the ring. When Itagaki name is announces a lot of women cheer for him, while his opponent Makino Fumito, looks like an easy win since he already lost two fights. Shinoda Tomoyuki tells Itagaki to be careful since his opponent's face looks serious. He mentions that he will probably rush to get the pace from the beginning, and be sure not to show any openings. The match starts, Makino charges at him and starts attacking. Itagaki is able to dodge it easily, and counter attack. Makino continues to swing wildly, but can't touch Itagaki. Makino's eye show that he is desperate.
Makino throws a punch, as Itagaki starts to dodge, Makino head-butts him. Itagaki starts to complain to the ref for the foul, while Makino continues to attack causing Itagaki to take a down. The ref starts counting, while Itagaki complains why he is doing it since it was heading, and not a down, but the ref continues to count. The fight continues, but Makino rushes toward Itagaki to finish him off. Itagaki dodges the punch, but Makino's elbow hits him in the face. Itagaki goes down, and the ref stops the fight. He declares Makino the winner. Itagaki disagrees with it, and complain to the ref about being clipped by his elbow, since it wasn't a punch. The crowd thinks Itagaki's a sore loser and boo's him. Itagaki shocked mentions he can still fight, but Shinoda takes him to waiting room while the crowd yells at him for poor sportsmanship.
Ippo heads to the waiting room to see how he is. Yagi mentions he is talking it kind of hard. Ippo and Itagaki discuss the match. After mentions the fouls, Itagaki starts to get angry. Ippo tells Itagaki the reason why he lost was because of Makino's face. His expression said he was desperate. He had some reason that he couldn't afford to lose.
After hearing that, Itagaki mentions that fouls are find as long as they win in a mocking voice, but Ippo tells him those weren't fouls. The ref didn't stop the fight, where it may be cause he decided they were simply accidents or he couldn't see them. Ippo adds, that Itagaki shouldn't have taken his eyes off the fight, and thinks it is Itagaki's fault. Even if he fights a man like that, when he head butts him, he should still fight back. Anything can happen in the Pro Ring. Angry, Itagaki runs off since Ippo wasn't on his side.
Itagkai doesn't return to the gym for awhile after the match. Itagaki ends up following them after Takamura shaved Aoki's eyebrows. Itagaki over hears Ippo ask why Takamura started boxing. He borrows a towel and times them to wipe their sweat on it. Takamura mentions since they are small fry, who can't imaging conquering the World, but they are friends that sweat along with him. He will take their sweat along with him to the top of the World. Itagaki ask if he could take his sweat too. Itagaki mentions that he couldn't' show himself before, but with the World title match coming up, it would be a waste not to be with them. He notes that Aoki turned into a clown.
Itagaki trains along side Takamura as he prepares for his World Title match. While Takamura is going threw harsh weight control, he mentions to him that he has a "Sister Complex" as a pun. During the press conference, he also ends up holding Takamura back after Hawk hits him.
After Itagaki defeats an unknown boxers for his first win, he celebrates it by climbing the ropes in the corner. In the waiting room, Itagaki mentions he wasn't nervous since he is always sparring with the Japanese champion, and if it is just a 4 round fight, he not scared of anyone. In order to thank Ippo, Itagaki takes Ippo to his house to celebrate. When they arrive at his house, Itagaki comments that he got into high school and college by scholarship, but he wanted to devote more time to boxing, so he quit boxing. He is hoping that his fists will be enough to earn some income. He thought he would be able make money from the beginning, but realises that he was naive with it. However, after winning his fight, he now has made enough to cover the Rookie King Entrance Fee, and one step closer to making it easier on his family.
Itagaki introduces his sister to Ippo, who is also a big fan. Itagaki introduces his mother too. As they are about to eat, Itagaki's Father arrives, thanks Ippo for looking after his son. At the start of dinner, they all say "Itagakimasu", a Itagaki family tradition. Over the course of the dinner, they start tell bad puns naturally, which catches Ippo off guard.
At the gym, Coach announces upcoming fights for everyone starting in early spring. Ippo's defense at champion carnival, Aoki's title match, Itagaki's Rookie King Tournament match, and Takamura's first World Title Defense. Itagaki starts training for it. He also helps Ippo prepare for his match against Shimabukuro Iwao . He watches Ippo try to level up the Dempsey Roll's power and speed by harsh training menu that even Takamura thinks is impossible, but able to complete it. At Ippo's peak exhaustion, Kamogawa tells him to stop training since he is at peak exhaustion and to only soak in a pool if he needs to do something. Itagaki visits Ippo at the pool with his sister and he sees Kumi there. Itagaki tells him that he came to encourage Ippo, but Nanako wanted to come along too. Nanako and Kumi get jealous of each other. Itagaki ask Ippo about his opponent's comment in the paper about "Under the Sea", but Ippo isn't for sure what he is talking about. Ippo feels that he might not understand, but he believes Kamogawa does. Itagaki is amazed at Ippo and Kamogawa's level of bond and trust between them.
Prior to Ippo's match, Itagaki is with Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura. They dicuss what Ippo did at the weigh in. Itagaki's not surprised that Ippo took off his clothes by accident and showing off his good since it not a rare thing for amateurs. Kimura tells him that he only says that since he never seen it. When they heard Shimabukuro wasn't phased by it and called it a python, they think his must be equals to Ippo. They proceed to watch Ippo defeat Shimabukuro in a tough match.
Itagaki continues to train for his first match in the Rookie King Tournament, while Aoki prepares for his JBC title match with Katsutaka Imae. Itagaki discusses Aoki's opponent with Kimura. Kimura mentions the odds are 6 to 4 against Aoki, and talks about the Champion. Itagaki asks him if Aoki can win, and Kimura mentions the possiblity exists but he wonders if Aoki were to become champion, what his position in the gym would be, where Aoki would go around parading the belt all over the place. Itagaki notes that it must be complex for him, and thinks Kimura watched the champions video dozens of times to help Aoki.
Itagaki passed his weigh in for his match. After it, Itagaki eats some sugary things and soda and meets with Ippo and Kimura. Ippo warns him if he eats too much it will effect his performance tomorrow. They discuss Aoki and Imae, where Kimura notes they have a lot of similarities. Itagaki disagrees since Aoki makes people laugh, while Imai's matches are usually pretty serious. While they are talking, they notice Imae breaking up with his girlfriend. After seeing it, Kimura thinks Itagaki's right that he really is different, but once they see Imae's girlfriend looks, Itagaki admits he was wrong.
Prior to his match, Itagaki mentions he family is there to cheer him on, where he is a little nervous. But since he dad will be there, he got to win. During the match, Itagaki looks sluggish, and he wonder if it is because he pigged out, and remembers not to do it in the future. He is able to win in the end by KO. He celebrates by doing a back flip. Takamura lectures him not to back flip when he barely won, since he was losing in points. When they enter the waiting room, they catch Aoki and Tomiko in complicated situation. Itagaki watches Aoki fight to a draw.
He achieved revenge on Makino Fumito, who had defeated him in his debut match with a foul, in the opening round of the East Japan Rookie Kings. At the finals, after a tough fight with Imai, Itagaki captured the East Japan Rookie King title and seemingly tapped into his true fighting potential; his speed, reflexes and timing are now said to be at genius levels.
After Ippo retired, Itagaki ended up quitting his job at the Fishing Boat in order to give Ippo space. He found a job working at his father's security company, which now comes with full benefits. Two months since then, Itagaki is attending Imai's JBC 2nd Defence. As Imai wins, the crowd wonder if there is anyone that could beat him. Itagaki thinks he can, but he remembers ever sine he lost, his standing has taken a dip, even though he beaten Imai before. When Imai is asked who he wants to fight next, he mentions Ippo, which shocks Itagaki.
After Ippo decide to help 2nd Kimura's upcoming match, he joins Aoki, Kimura, and him while doing roadwork. Kimura's in poor condition due to harsh weight control. Aoki and Itagaki believe that since they are still active, it will probably be tough for Ippo to keep up with them. So they decide to leave Kimura to Ippo, so they can step on the gas. Except, they find out that Ippo is already in front of them again asking about how the coach is doing. Aoki mentions to Ippo that Kamogawa went to Nekota's place to get some rest, and they don't know when he will be back. They continue to discuss with Ippo about Kimura's opponent, while Ippo keep running back and forth between themselves.
Itagaki later on attends Kimura's match. During Hayami Ryūichi match before it, Itagaki asks Aoki about Hayami's current ranking, but he surprised to find out he isn't ranked. After he learns about Hayami's fight record, he is shocked that Hayami is still boxing. After Hayami loses his match, Itagaki's watches Ippo's antics as a 2nd for Kimura's match. Kimura was able to win his match with Ippo's help. After the match, Takamura, Aoki and Itagaki goes karaoke as Ippo and Kimura head home.
Ippo is acting as a 2nd for Aoki and his matches. Aoki wins with a KO with a Frog Punch. Then, Itagaki's match begins, after using the neck spin and a counter, the first round ends. After asking how he did, Ippo states he did it all wrong. Itagaki skillfully dodges all of his opponent's attacks. However, at the end of the round, Ippo queries why Itagaki didn't throw any punches, to which Itagaki believes it will be enough if he just throws one hit that counts. In the next round, Itagaki's opponent throws a flurry of punches to Itagaki's guard, when he sees an opening, Itagaki throws a Liver Blow.
When the round ends, Ippo states that not throwing punches will let Itagaki's opponent get into rhythm, surprising Itagaki, who thought he would get praised. In the next round, Itagaki throws a big swing that turns into an exchange that hurt Itagaki more than his opponent. Both boxers land hits on each other until Itagaki lands an uppercut that downs his opponent, but he quickly recovers. At the end of the round, Ippo asks Itagaki if that really is his boxing, shocking Itagaki. At the eighth and final round, Itagaki, flustered, throws a flurry of punches as his opponent does the same. The round ends in decision, with Itagaki as the winner. Outside Kourakuen Hall, after Ippo states to Itagaki that winning with just force isn't his style of boxing, Itagaki storms off.
After saving Teru from bullies, he takes him to Kamogawa Boxing Gym to try boxing. When Itagaki sees Teru, he starts to act a little jealous and in a bad mood (from before.) He starts asking questions about him, but Ippo tells him to be nice since he is scaring him. When Ippo has Teru draw an image of his bully like he started out boxing, Itagaki comments that they shouldn't expect anything from him, but Kimura tells Itagaki that he should judge a book by it's cover like it was with Ippo. When they see Teru's drawing, everyone is impressed by it and think he might be able to pull it off. When Teru tries hitting the image on a sandbag without moving it, everyone is disappointed in it, and Itagaki mentions that you can judge a book by its cover. Yagi tries to get Teru to sign a membership contract with them, but Teru runs away with Ippo chasing after him.
At the Chuuka Soba, Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki has a conversation about how Miyata should challenge the world soon, as his ranking might get snatched up by an underdog. Aoki and Kimura don't think it will happen, but Itagaki asks them what proof do they got that shows he won't lose. Kimura and Aoki think Itagaki is still angry that Ippo was harsh on him in his fight. They mention that they don't have proof, but they don't think Miyata struggle in it.
Outside Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Itagaki notices the sounds in the gym, asking Aoki and Kimura if it's Takamura. Takamura, however, is also outside with them. Itagaki then gets excited when he sees Ippo through the window hitting mitts. Itagaki, Aoki, and Kimura believe Ippo and Kamogawa are the perfect combo, being in sync after being away for a while. Aoki is hopeful for Ippo, but Kimura believes that if Ippo takes any hits, it would cause serious problems. After the mitt punching, Kamogawa asks why Ippo came over. Ippo replies that he wanted to borrow mitts to train Taihei.
After learning that Ippo is training Taihei, Itagaki decides to check it out. He see Ippo and Taihei continue mitt training until nightfall. Ippo concludes their training and tells the fired-up Taihei not to go out fighting, as using your fists for violence is unacceptable. As Taihei leaves, Itagaki, who was listening to the conversation, tells Ippo that Taihei doesn't have any respect, and as he heard from Umezawa, that he was a bully. Itagaki suggests Ippo to wash his hands of Taihei before he gets in trouble.
During a typhoon, Takamura, Itagaki, and Kimura arrive at the Chuuka Soba, where they asked what happened to Ippo. Aoki tells them that he left to turn himself in to the police. After hearing the story (that Ippo slapped Taihei), Takamura states that violence is violence, Itagaki points out that Takamura hits people in the streets and he's the world champion so he should turn himself in, which Takamura says he's a special case as he's always forgiven. Teru Okazaki and Umezawa Masahiko feel somewhat responsible for it. Takamura asks why Umezawa's face is beaten up, Umezwa replies that it was just an underling hitting him. Umezawa states he has never seen Ippo make a face like he did. Remembering that it didn't look like a face a human would make. Itagaki thinks back on how Ippo's face was described before walking away from the Chuuka Soba to go after Ippo.
Outside the police station, Itagaki sees Ippo and states that Taihei lives and breathes fighting and that a slap isn't enough for him to file a police report. Ippo disagrees, saying that he did something bad and should be punished. Itagaki points out the rain has stopped, but ippo believes it is still a downpour.
Itagaki tells Ippo that it has been a week and no report has been filed, so he should relax. Ippo however, believes what he did was morally wrong and should be judged accordingly, despite being safe as no one saw it. Ippo then gets sad when he sees the tree where he always met Taihei, which Itagaki gets annoyed about and states that Ippo should think about the people in front of him. Itagaki tells Ippo that he's in a slump, because he practices like usual but he's not improving and doesn't know what happened last match. Ippo replies that it's good to be in a slump, as the only people who get in a slump, are the ones who have incredible talent. Ippo then notes that he never been in a slump, which makes Itagaki jealous.
Ippo tells Itagaki about the line that Takamura made, saying that only monsters can go over the line. Ippo states that he wasn't able to cross it before and thought he'd be able to overcome any slump, feeling as if this line is his limit. Ippo then goes back to the previous conversation, saying that he has to show significant remorse and be judged by the proper people.
|16||WIN||14-2-0||1999-5||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||8(8), 3:00||UD||Ippo as 2nd|
|15||WIN||13-2-0||1998-11||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10), 3:00||UD||2nd Comeback|
|14||LOSS||12-2-0||1998-03-21||Imai Kyōsuke||Tokyo, Japan||1(10), 1:00||TKO||"GO TO THE WORLD!"|
JBC Featherweight Title Match
|13||WIN||12-1-0||1997-10||Saeki Takuma||Tokyo, Japan||4(10), 1:28||KO||Class-A Tournament Finals|
|12||WIN||11-1-0||1997-09||Karasawa Takuzou||Tokyo, Japan||2(10), 2:13||KO||Class-A Tournament|
|11||WIN||10-1-0||1997-4-24||Gaonā Pachiyoso||Tokyo, Japan||2(10)||KO|
|10||WIN||9-1-0||1996-09-12||Alex Harker||Tokyo, Japan||1(10)||KO||'|
|9||WIN||8-1-0||1996-07||Hoshi Hiroyuki||Tokyo, Japan||1(10), 1:30||KO||'|
|8||WIN||7-1-0||1996-06||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||6(6), 3:00||UD|
|7||WIN||6-1-0||1995-11||Imai Kyōsuke||Tokyo, Japan||6(6), 3:00||UD||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals|
|6||WIN||5-1-0||1995-09||Makino Fumito||Tokyo, Japan||2(4)||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|5||WIN||4-1-0||1995||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(4)||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals|
|4||WIN||3-1-0||1995-06||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||1(4) 15 seconds||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament 2nd Round|
|3||WIN||2-1-0||1995-04-13||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||2(4)||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament First Round|
|2||WIN||1-1-0||1995||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||1(4)||KO||First Comeback Match|
|1||LOSS||0-1-0||1994-10-14||Makino Fumito||Tokyo, Japan||1(4), 1:13||TKO||Pro Debut|
This list does not include the numerous spars Itagaki has had with his fellow gymmates.
- Amateur Matchs: ?-?-3-? (? KO)
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Karasawa Takuzou||East Japan Featherweight Rookie King||Unknown|
Itagaki has a very toned and lean build suitable for both his weight class and fighting style. He has brown hair that stretches to the base of his neck, thin eyebrows and matching dark-coloured eyes. He seems to favour wearing headbands to keep his oversized bangs from obscuring his vision.
The newest member of the Kamogawa troupe is a remarkably friendly and cheerful young man. Itagaki's open personality allows him to get along with just about anyone, including and especially the fearsome Mashiba Ryō. Beneath his disposition lies a bitterness toward rival Imai Kyōsuke (despite the latter viewing him as a friend) and the losses he experienced in the past. As opposed to Ippo, Itagaki has proven himself to be immature and overconfident of his speed and flexibility. He is rarely ever afraid of other characters.
Despite Ippo being his senpai, Itagaki often watches after him like an older brother, defending him during discussions about boxing and reassuring him when he loses confidence. He is attracted to Mashiba Kumi, though he tries to keep this a secret from Ippo and has never made a romantic advance on her out of respect for her and Ippo's relationship. He respects Ippo a great deal, but in truth, he is jealous of him and desires much of Ippo's fortune. Itagaki has made beating Ippo's KO times his primary goal. It is his unique way of challenging his idol.
Like the rest of his family, Itagaki possesses a terrible sense of humour and has the tendency to crack some lame puns. He states that this "Itagaki Family Way" is what keeps their family cheery from their poor financial situation.
He has an amazing boxing sense and is considered by many to be a genius of the sport. His depth perception, reflexes, and timing are all far above average. He has gone through several matches with his opponent completely unable to even touch him. He has been seen avoiding Mashiba Ryō's deadly Flicker Jabs in sparring sessions, and Mashiba claims that his speed even exceeds Miyata Ichirō's. His only weakness appears to be his small body's inability to withstand pain.
Like Miyata, Itagaki has weak punches, meaning that he doesn't have a punch that can severely injure an opponent. Although he has several KO victories in his record, he was never able to KO or even KD the fighter-type Imai Kyōsuke who was a hard-puncher. He also has a fragile body and is susceptible to body blows.
Like his genius boxer predecessor Hayami Ryūichi, he is notoriously cocky. Nearly all of his matches ended up troublesome when he decided to do something flashy or unnecessarily risky, such as experimenting with someone else's signature punch in the middle of a match. In the case of his title match with Imai, he lost because he didn't take Imai seriously, which resulted in him getting pinned down at the ring of the bell in his corner, where Imai had complete control. In the case of his Class A tournament matches, his eagerness to beat Ippo's KO times was the sole reason he had trouble at all.
It should also be noted that Itagaki sometimes has difficulties focusing during his matches, which in his case significantly decreases his performance. In the words of Shinoda: "His true strength only manifests when he's relaxed and focuses his concentration to its upper limits. That's what lets him use his true potential".
According to Mashiba, and as demonstrated during the Karasawa match, Itagaki adopts a repetitive pattern of moving forward and backward from his opponent when he becomes frustrated.
- Itagaki didn't win the title of All Japan Rookie King championship because his fight with Imai Kyōsuke had left him in a bad condition for a long time, and unable to meet the deadline of the final match. However, after defeating Hoshi Hiroyuki, the boxer he should have fought for the title, many characters now consider him the All Japan Rookie King.
- When entering the ring, he always jumps onto the corner post and shouts "Ita--gakiiin!!!", simultaneously making the pose from the anime Magnerobo Ga-Kiin. "Gaakiiin" is short for gathering energy. After sweep wins he is known to perform a backflip in his corner.
- Although he and Imai purport to dislike each other, they still refer to each other by their first names, "Manabu" and "Kyōsuke".
- Itagaki is based on "Sugar" Ray Leonard, one of the fastest boxers of all-time.
- His "Ali Shuffle" comes from the taunting tactic performed by former World Champion Muhammad Ali. Both Ali and Leonard were trained by the same person and were known for their speed and exceptional outboxing skills.
- The new nickname "Chronos" that the commentator gave him during one of his recent matches, was because of his incredible speed. ("Chronos" - "Χρόνος", which means "time" or "year" in Greek), comes from the Greek Mythology, Chronos, who was imagined as the god or entity of time. As the commentator said when Itagaki jumped in the ring, "They call him Chronos, the god who rules over time itself.
- Itagaki is probably modelled after pro boxer Manabu Fukushima from Morikawa's JB Sports Gym. They share a lot of similarities like height, birthday, same "Manabu" name, and even looks. Morikawa was a second for a few of Fukushima's matches like his world title match.