Baron Kurita (栗田 • バロン, Kurita Baron) is a semi-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
He was a former member of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He is currently working as a freelance trainer, he is known for his brutal training regimes which few are capable of passing.
Baron was a junior middleweight and former member of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. Takamura Mamoru was the only person he could spar with since no one else was near his weight class. Right before his debut match, Baron complained that his stomach hurt and chickened out. Baron quit the gym before Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya joined the gym. He was so broken up about it that he wrecked his car and everybody hates him so much that no gym will even put up with him.
When Yagi Haruhiko and Shinoda Tomoyuki got called away from the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Baron appeared in the gym. When he enters the gym, he thinks the gym smell like crap. He mention he is a freelance trainer and he's been asked to look after things while Kamogawa Genji is out.
Baron mentions who ever wants to run away can go ahead and run away. Whoever wants to become the World Champion can follow him. When Kimura Tatsuya asks how many World Champion he's trained, he's mentioned none. His training is no cakewalk, none of them were able to keep up until the very end.
Baron is trying to poach Ippo away from Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He mentions that the way he hold the mitts is different than some "old fools" since he moves the gloves to difficult positions which makes Ippo a little mad. He tells Ippo if he is able to keep up with him, he will become stronger. They start practising, and Baron keeps on increasing the speed as they go and moving the mitts to keep Ippo off balance.
At the same time, Baron keeps bad mouthing Kamogawa which is making Ippo angry. Ippo start putting more power into his punches. Baron starts grading Ippo's punches, where Ippo is scoring keeps on getting higher each punch he throws. Finally Ippo starts to predicts the mitt's place and he land a full power body blow on Baron causing him to throw up some spit. Baron tries to get Ippo to stop, but Ippo isn't listening to him and only paying attention to the mitt's placement. Ippo continues to drill punches into Baron, causing him to finally get knocked out of the ring.
Baron doesn't think it counts, but Ippo tells him that he doesn't care if Kamogawa's ship sinks, he isn't getting off of it. He will never abandon Kamogawa. He plans to go to the World with only Kamogawa. Takamura arrives as he hears Ippo say that. He sees Baron and recognizes him, and he starts calling him Marron, a nickname he came up with. He is scared off by Takamura and later escapes from Kimura and Aoki, who chase him across Tokyo.
In order to gain information in Ippo's next opponent, Kamogawa visits a friend of his that had a boxer fight him. He was planning to say hello, and pick up the video's of him. However after, Kamogawa watched the tapes, he started a disturbance at the gym and he was arrested for it. Ippo and Yagi go to bail him out, but find the victim doesn't want to press charges. The victim doesn't want to press charges and want to get Kamogawa out of it, but a police office on the scene witnessed the whole thing and it seemed like Kamogawa was out of control. Ippo is shocked to hear that, and doesn't think Kamogawa would do something like that.
They meet Kamogawa, and happy to see he is alright. Kamogawa mention he is okay, but mad he can't get his cane back since he used it to commit assault. Yagi is shocked that Kamogawa really did assault someone, but Ippo think they need to hear th e whole story because their must be a good reason for it. Kamogawa mentions he would like to hear it as well from the "victim" too. The victim is the coach of Tsukahara Boxing Gym in Sendai. The coach apologizes to Kamogawa even though he is the victim.
Apparently the disturbance was started because of a fixed fight. Kamogawa knew with just one glance at the video tape that Ippo's next opponent was an opponent his boxer could have beaten. Kamogawa couldn't forget that type of thing. The coach of Tsukahara gym, mentions the opponent brought the offer up to him at the weigh-in, that if he gave them the fight money, they would put on a good performance and the bigger the pay off, the bigger the win. He mentioned he refused to do it, but a freelance trainer who just recent came to his gym was seen going in and out of the opponents waiting room. He knew that it looked suspicious, but didn't say anything. Kamogawa mention that he might as well endorsed it.
Yagi wonder what happen to this trainer, and the coach mentions he was fired immediately. When Ippo hears that it was a free lance trainer, he tells Kamogawa one of them stopped at Kamogawa gym too named Baron. The coach means the freelance trainer was named Baron too. Yagi tells that Baron was named Kurita and went to their gym at one point in time, which shocks Kamogawa. Kamogawa is depressed that the person responsible for this was once a pupil of theirs. But Yagi feels that to offer a fixed fight, it means the opponent's side was at fault here. But coach think it is his fault if he had just done a better job, this would've never happened. Yagi thinks that his boxer would have fought his best regardless, and he shouldn't tell him what happened for his sake, but the coach mentions his boxer already retired.
After Aoki won his match in the first round of the Class A Tournament, it was expected that Katsutaka Imae would win his match. However, in the first round he lost to Iga Shinobu shocking everyone. When Aoki and company ask for more information on him, Yagi Haruhiko mentions that Iga Shinobu is someone who just recently got his Class A License. His Record - 7 Fights, 7 Wins, 3 KO's, where his first 4 matches were decision. Yagi adds that it seems he started out only winning by decision, but is on a string of KO wins, where it looks like he had a sudden growth period. Kamogawa mentions maybe he figured out a KO method that suits or it could be that this change came because he switched trainers recently. Aoki is shocked when he notices someone in Iga's Corner, Baron.
When Takamura notices Marron, he mentions its not good and he's got to let Aoki know. Takamura goes to waiting room, and mention "Aoki, look out, that fool packs one hell of a punch." Aoki agrees since it's 4th KO in a row, but Takamura adds,"Pretty Decent? Man, you really don't get anything do you? We're talking about "Iga" and "Kuri" teaming up here. I can't think of anything more painful. (Note "Iga" means "Burrs", so "Igakuri" means "A chestnut with its burrs" Burrs is the very spiny and sharp outside of his shells.)
Baron reappears again when Iga Shinobu fights Aoki Masaru in the final of the Class A Tournament. Iga quickly showed his intentions by knocking down Aoki in the first seconds of the match. Aoki managed to get back to his feet only for Iga to nail him again. The first rounded ended with Iga's complete domination.
As the match continued Iga kept beating Aoki with ease, despite the latter's attempts to use his trademark moves. He continued pounding Aoki with no intention of finishing him off, only to make him suffer as instructed by Kurita. Tomiko, who was still watching, couldn't help but cry and scream in sight of her loved one beaten so badly; Iga called her an ugly pig, much to Aoki's frustration. Kamogawa Genji stated that Iga manipulated Aoki with hand eye feints, making him enter danger-zones without him realizing it, something that doesn't happen unless there is a huge gap in their skill.
In the 7th round, Iga asked Baron if that was enough, and Baron gave the okay for him to finish Aoki off. Iga then proceeded to end the fight, KOing Aoki and at the same time Shinoda threw in the towel. With this victory, Iga completely won the Class A Tournament, subsequently became the 1st seed in JBC and earning the right for a title shot. After the match, in the corridors of Kōrakuen Hall, Iga saved Baron from Takamura by grabbing Takamura's arm as he was about to throw a punch. In response, Takamura grabbed his hair and asked him if he was "gonna bark for Kurita" since he trained him. Before leaving, Takamura warned him and Baron that their actions weren't going to stand and that the day would come where they would whine like dogs.
When Iga and Baron enters, Ippo thought Iga looked different. It was mentioned that Iga grew out his bangs for the match, but Takamura noted that he is only calm because Marron is with him, where there's probably a lot of trust and reassurance there. Takamura thought that Marron's working the Mind Control Angle, since Marron's got a way with words. He think it's like some kind of symbiotic relationship that brings out Iga's Inner strength. Itagaki mentions a strong between trainer and his fighter, but Takamura thinks it is more like a dog, where Iga's is Marron's hunting dog or lapdog.
Marron wants Iga to beat him up, and mentions to Iga about the Flashy trunks (with advertisers) that he got for him, where he went around to business and begged them for him. He told them they would be sponsoring the future World Champion. If he can't even handle the Japanese Title, he's going to look like a fool. He tells Iga (while grabbing his hair) not to screw it up for him.
The match starts with Prince attacking right from the beginning. He mentions that he doesn't waste time when romancing women or beating up men. Prince uses his speed to get away before Iga is able to hit him. Iga's coach is worried since Iga's not fast.
In the 3rd Round, Prince continues to attack Iga and dodge with his speed. Even with in punching range, he dodges all the punches. The Round ends, but Prince mentions that Iga's punches are powerful, where he got to be careful.
Aoki mentions that Iga's been avoiding taking serious damage. The Prince's Right have been straights with no real uppercuts, where Iga just needs to keep his guard up and watch for downward rights. If he can dodge those annoying jabs, duck in, and get close and aim for the body.
Iga finally lands a body blow, but Prince blocks it. Prince mentions that everyone tries to stop him with body blows, where he kind of used to it. Takamura mentions that if he were the Prince, Iga uses the same motion every time where he just wait for the end of is swing and then take his head clear off. Prince does that, but Iga blocks it. Iga's coach continues to worry about Iga.
In Round 6, Iga continues to throw body blows towards the Prince, but they hit his guard instead, and Prince throwing a counter that Iga blocks. As the fight progress, Prince step in gets better where getting closer to landing the counter on Iga. Iga's coach continues to worry that Iga might lose and his talent potential getting crushed.
Prince continue to follow the same pattern of Iga steps in facing down, Prince blocks the body, and throws a right as he pulls his arm back. However, ends up throwing a punch toward Prince's chin instead. Prince gets KO, and the match gets called with Iga the winner. Takamura realize that was Marron's plan, condition Prince focus on the body blows and aim for the chin when he least expects it. Baron tells Iga's coach he had nothing to worry about the training did its job.
After the match, Iga got interviewed, but Baron doesn't allow him to take it, and does it instead.
When Iga went down and showed pain, Baron became angry, signalling for Iga to turn his emotions off once again. When round one ended, Baron denied Iga's access to water for rinsing and proceeded to smack Iga's face for embarrassing him. Baron then reminded him that he was the reason for Iga's success and that he is a robot, ordering him to just execute the orders he puts into his brain. He then told him that his reputation would be ruined if he loses, which he would never forgive him for, before sending him out as round two began.
Baron is a man with black hair, styled in a slicked-back fashion accompanied by thick sharply curved eyebrows. His eyes are constantly hidden behind a pair of dark sunglasses. He has a neat black moustache that is also present on his upper-lip, which he later turns into a handlebar moustache.
Baron is seen as a ruthless trainer, overworking his athletes with merciless training routines. Vindictive, he carries a deep-seated hatred for the Kamogawa Gym, making fun of Coach Kamogawa on many occasions.
He is shown to be brutal, petty and selfish, as seen in the Class-A tournament fight against Aoki Masaru. He tells his fighter, Iga Shinobu to 'break' Aoki's spirit after a long drawn-out battle and even goes as far as to threatening Shinobu to achieve his need for revenge. He is, however, also shown to be very cowardly, obviously easily intimidated by Takamura's threatening retribution on Kurita should Aoki's injuries be severe.
- His nickname "Marron" means "Chestnut" in French.