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Hisato Kojima (小島寿人, Kojima Hisato) is a non-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.

He was a lightweight professional boxer who moved down to the featherweight class, in order to fight against that certain champion he dreamed of fighting.

His main boxing matches in the series were against Makunouchi Ippo for his JBC Championship in the Survival Match of Asian Champions Saga, as the 8th and easiest challenger Ippo ever faced. He managed to reveal Ippo's monstrous hidden side with his extremely rude personality, and lost brutally via the first round's last seconds.

He helped Ippo for that one step forward unintentionally, his dream was fulfilled to fight him, none of his rude personality towards him was real.


Background

Kojima was originally a lightweight who had a friendly past with Aoki and Oda Yūsuke, who used to spar with him on occasion. Although his boxing record is unknown, it is hinted at being a mediocre one, as Aoki details that despite being able to maintain a decent ranking, he "just never really went anywhere." At some point, he broke his right hand and needed surgery twice. However, he fought before he fully recovered and broke it beyond repair. He boxed his way into the rankings with only his left, his signature punch being a powerful left Hook.

He is a huge fan of Ippo, citing him as the fighter he wishes he could have been; he lost matches because he couldn't connect the big punches that Ippo always won with.

History

Part II

Blind Step Arc

Before the match between Kojima and Ippo, he was massively hostile towards Ippo, insulted Ippo's past opponents before their fight, calling them "hacks" as well as calling Kamogawa's teaching methods faulty. All of this was in order to goad Ippo and make him angry so that he could fight the champion at his best. A curious fact is that he actually idolised Ippo's past opponents before their fight. At heart, he is a nice man who cheers very hard for his gym mates during their matches. He claims to know Ippo's weakness; Ippo always uses the same rhythm and style in fights, so Kojima spent hours watching his fight tapes in order to predict the order of Ippo's punches.

In preparation for the match, Kojima conditioned himself on a golf course and spent hours in a sauna to cut weight. According to a punch strength arcade game, his punch strength is over 1900 kilograms. He has a wife named Aki who is pregnant with their first child. As the fated day for his match with his idol came, Kojima had already planned a way to defeat Ippo's style; a powerful counter for when Ippo is within range from using his Peek-a-Boo style.

Although initially scared and nervous before the match, Kojima receives a letter from his wife, revealing that her soon to be baby is going to be a boy, giving Kojima the courage to take Ippo head on. Ippo and Kojima begun the match by not moving an inch from their positions, with the former gathering his power into his fist for a 100% punch for the first time in his career and the latter depending on his opponent to be the one the make the first move. This went on for a full minute, before Ippo finally charged and Kojima likewise moved in. Kojima's plan seemed to have worked as Ippo was now within range and set up for a counter-punch.  Ippo's intimidating presence unnerved Kojima and made him hesitate for a split second, but a vision of his wife and their soon to be born child gave Kojima the strength to follow through and hit Ippo head on with an insanely powerful counter.

Kojima landed the counter on Ippo, however. Ippo regained his footing and began to throw a punch at Kojima. Kojima, defenceless, prepared himself to endure the hit and try again. He had underestimated the power of the punch and was sent to the mat and became unconscious. Unable to get up, the result of the match ended with Kojima losing.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
? LOSS  ?-?-? 1997-10 Japan Makunouchi Ippo Tokyo, Japan 1(10), 2:07 TKO "Operation World Domination II"
JBC Featherweight Title Defence Match
? WIN  ?-?-? 1997 Unknown Tokyo, Japan  ?(10) N/A Qualification Featherweight class
Retired

Spars:

Appearance

Before his weight training, he appears to have a healthy looking body. He has uncombed black hair and a goatee. His expressions in front of others exude confidence. After the match with Ippo, he has his head shaved.

Personality

Kojima is an outwardly kind and approachable individual, easily able to make friends and strongly supports other members of his gym. He is also quick to stand up for himself, slyly retaliating against Miyata Ichirō's scorning of his inferior boxing style with equally damning comments about him being a "bore" and a "chicken". When meeting Ippo, he held a spiteful presence towards him and constantly goaded and taunted not only him but his previous challengers and Kamogawa as well, which greatly upset and angered Ippo. However, it is soon revealed that this attitude was nothing more than a facade to get Ippo to fight him at his best; he was actually a big fan of Ippo and idolized him and his style of boxing, going so far as to partly name his own son after him.

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Kojima trash-talking Miyata.

Kojima is shown to be an exceptional trash-talker, effortlessly able to get under both Ippo and Miyata's skin with his comments.

Boxing Abilities

Kojima relies on an awkward and amateurish albeit devastating infighting boxing style that prioritizes solely on landing a KO punch as quickly as possible, with his left fist supposedly hitting with the same force as a two-tonne vehicle. In fact, his punches are so powerful, that he ended up breaking his right fist and was forced to undertake surgery twice to repair the damage. If not for Ippo's iron chin and equally iron will developed prior to their match, Ippo would have easily been knocked out by Kojima's well-planned counter.

Techniques

Weakness

As previously mentioned, Kojima broke his right fist, greatly hindering his boxing ability and potential. This practically forced him to solely use his left for delivering powerful blows. When fighting against Ippo, Kojima demonstrated a large number of flaws in his boxing style. Aside from the obvious handicap of prioritizing solely on his left, he had problems cutting weight for his fight and likely would not have been able to go long in any match in the featherweight division, let alone against Ippo. Kojima's lack of footwork is also a massive weakness, as he was too focused on landing his practiced counter. Aoki himself stated that he was able to beat him in a spar because of his inferior footwork.

Gallery

Trivia

  • His gym is not shown or even mentioned in the manga, but in chapter 927 page 3, written text on his coach's shirt indicates that he trains at Moriyama Boxing Gym.
  • Kojima is the 2nd fan of Ippo that fought him in an official match, after Hammer Nao. Imai Kyōsuke is another Ippo fan that fought him in spars, and he also wants to fight Ippo in a real match.
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