Ippo Makunouchi (幕之内一歩, Makunouchi Ippo) is the eponymous protagonist of Hajime no Ippo.
He originally started boxing to try and answer one simple question: "What does it mean to be strong?". Since then he has formed a rivalry with Miyata Ichirō, Sendō Takeshi, Mashiba Ryō, a brotherly bond with Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru, Kimura Tatsuya, and a deep trust for his coach, Kamogawa Genji, whom he now aims to become a world champion for to honor the coach's teachings.
His surname is Makunouchi. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
- His given name Ippo means "one step", creating a pun in the series' title (as Hajime means "first", therefore "The First Step").
- Ippo's boxing style is modelled with Mike Tyson and Ray Mancini combined.
- The setting that Ippo is the son of a fishing boat shop was taken from a boxer named Suhara Ryūichi (須原 隆一), who also won and became the Japanese light flyweight champion. He retired in 1991 to take over the fishing boat business.
- Ippo has trouble dealing with boxers such as Alexis Argüello.
- His Dempsey Roll is named after the technique used by world champion Jack Dempsey.
- Ippo birthday, November 23rd, is notably on Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan.
- Ippo's blood type is O.
- The fights Ippo will never forget are, his fight against Date, Gonzales, and Antonio.
- Ippo's favourite real-life boxer is Mike Tyson.
- Ippo is a terrible driver, though he can steer a boat just fine. He's also awful at baseball and editing manga, and has never been shown catching a fish, though he has been shown fishing numerous times.
- In Chapter 1158, it's revealed that Ippo is an expert at bowling. The Kamogawa crew believe this is because "bowling" and "boxing" are just a few letters apart.
- There was an real-life simulated fight between Ippo and the main character from Ashita no Joe, Ippo won in the fifth round by knockout with a Liver Blow.
- Though he is a 126 lb. featherweight, Ippo once knocked out someone from two weight classes higher than him with a single punch (making him flip backward through the air, no less), and can give Takamura, then a middleweight, trouble in an arm wrestling match.
- As of volume 99, Ippo can catch an estimated 23 leaves with both hands, with at least 11 being caught with his left. He can also carry 8 boxes full of fish.
- He hadn't received a single down since his fight with Sanada Kazuki, until his fight against Alfredo Gonzales. (A total of 10 matches in a row.)
- The first two opponents Ippo has lost to (Date Eiji and Alfredo Gonzales), have been defeated both by Ricardo Martinez twice.
- They also have both already faced Ricardo Martinez in the past, and after Date's victory against Ippo, he once again faced Ricardo.