Miguel Zale (ミゲル•ゼル, Migeru Zeru) is a world famous boxing trainer originating from New York City. He is famous for training at least six world champion boxers including the retired Bryan Hawk. He trains Wally and previously trained Ralph Anderson.
Miguel used to be a boxer, which consisted of periods of harsh weight management. After retiring, Miguel became a trainer. Miguel eventually took over Ralph Anderson's training. He was Ralph Anderson's second during his match against Kamogawa Genji. He was the one who raised Kamogawa's hand in victory and commended him for his skill and bravery.
Years later, Miguel found Bryan Hawk in a back alley in New York, beating a man to near death. Miguel stopped Hawk, who had crazy eyes of which Miguel had never seen before. Curious as to what would happen if he let Hawk loose in the boxing ring, he convinced Hawk into becoming a boxer under his wing.
After Bryan Hawk became the WBC junior middleweight champion, his first title defence was to be against Takamura Mamoru after offering a match for December knowing that Takamura had a match in October, using a strategy to challenge Takamura in a weakened state. As Hawk's first title defence match drew closer, Miguel and Hawk arrived to Tokyo, Japan and went to the Kinoshita gym for a public spar, which Hawk dominated in when his women arrived to the gym. Miguel then attended Takamura's public spar, thrilled to see Takamura in bad condition. On the day of the weigh-in and press conference, Miguel attended the weigh-in and then the press conference. Miguel answered for Hawk when asked by Fujii Minoru about his antagonistic nature, answering that it is simply part of Hawk's personality and that he is not at unease about the title match, knowing the belt would come home with them to the United States of America. When the day of the title defence arrived, Miguel was Hawk's second for the match. Miguel was shocked to see Hawk cowering in fear of Takamura in the middle of the match. Hawk later lost the match, losing his title.
Miguel lost Hawk after the match with Takamura as Hawk retired. Miguel later went to Indonesia for a vacation after watching Wally having fun playing with apes in jungle on a TV program, wanting to meet him. He got Wally into boxing and began training him, getting him to become the Indonesian featherweight champion.
When Wally's match against Ippo was coming up, Miguel was in Indonesia and sent the Kamogawa gym a video of Wally playing around with monkeys and climbing trees, hoping that they don't think poorly of him since that video was the best way for them to understand what they will be dealing with. After a training session of having Wally do jump roping and dodging rocks, the villagers were worried about Wally's chances of winning and him getting hurt, however, Miguel told them that he doesn't even need to win his next match and that it is impossible to not get hurt in boxing, especially against his next opponent, Ippo, who he deemed strong. Miguel added that Wally is capable of becoming a world champion one day, mentioning to Wally that if he does become world champion, he can achieve his dream of wanting others to not mess with nature, as he would gain the world's attention and be able to spread his word. When the villagers were worried again as Miguel claimed that experience is more important even if he loses, Miguel pointed out that he never anything about him losing.
When it was time to leave Indonesia, Miguel took Wally to the United States of America first for sparring. At a boxing gym in New York, Miguel had Wally spar with Hama Dankichi's boxer, Alexander Volg Zangief, and was his second during the spar. He was surprised that the only boxer suitable in a nearby weight class would be Volg, who was the WBA junior lightweight's first ranker. Miguel believed Volg would be too much for Wally, however, Wally managed to hit Volg in a dual exchange when Volg thought he trapped him in the corner, causing Volg to stop the spar before he got serious.
Miguel and Wally arrived to Japan in time for the weigh-in. During the weigh-in at the Kōrakuen Hall, he cheerfully greeted Kamogawa while speaking in a foreign language. Miguel went to the ring with Wally, as he wanted to get a feel of the ring's ropes. When Kamogawa approached him with Īmura Mari as his interpreter, wanting to confirm if Miguel was Ralph Anderson's second and raised Kamogawa's hand after defeating him. Miguel confirmed that he was, which was why he greeted Kamogawa warmly and realised that it was no wonder why Takamura defeated Hawk. As Miguel claimed that Wally is his last son, Kamogawa asked if he met Wally the same way he heard that he found Hawk. Miguel explained how he found Wally after seeing him on a television program, and that he will be seeking Kamogawa's appraisal of his last son after the match. When Kamogawa left, Wally noted that Kamogawa must have been strong, which Miguel confirmed, claiming that his blood runs through Takamura and that he doubts that there is anyone left in Japan that is capable of making the impossible possible through sheer will like he could. However, Wally disagreed, as he could smell the same scent that Kamogawa has on Ippo.
The next day, Miguel went to the Kōrakuen Hall with Wally to be his second for his match against Ippo. In the changing room before the match, Miguel had to stop Wally from eating a banana multiple times as Wally thought it would give him strength. Miguel had to run to the ring as Wally went ahead of everyone as the match began. During the first round when Wally went down, Miguel had to tell him to stand up and let the referee know that he can continue, as he did not know what to do since he never has been downed before. After Wally got up, Miguel shouted "freedom" to him, giving up on trying to use the match as a learning experience for his boxing, making him use his Freedom style instead. After the first round, Wally noticed that Ippo is different when he fights, which Miguel pointed out that that is what a professional means, advising him to study that part of him. As Wally left for round two, Miguel instructed him to keep using Freedom style. After the second round, Miguel asked Wally if he noticed anything about the way Ippo is chasing him. He was surprised when Wally answered that he will just have to study Ippo more, and told him to figure it out himself and to keep using the Freedom style while paying attention. Miguel's staff wondered if he should have told him, since Ippo was clearly trying to trap Wally. Miguel agreed with them, but did not want to tell Wally for the sake of his education, intrigued to see how Wally will overcome the trouble. After the third round, Miguel informed Wally that he may face sturdier opponents than Ippo in the future, advising him to use the match as a way to study on how to finish opponents like Ippo off.
During the fourth round, Miguel decided to have Wally switch from the defensive to offensive by shouting "go", wanting him to win rather than just study. After the fourth round, Miguel noted to Wally that Ippo's natural-born toughness and ability to throw his opponents' punches off targeting by diving in is what is causing him to be able to take damage. He warned Wally to not let his guard down against Ippo's punch that tapped his body even if it wasn't effective. After the fifth round, Miguel noticed Wally's expression changing as if he is ready to end the match. As Wally left for round six, he claimed that Miguel hit his leg with the stool, which Miguel confusedly apologised for. After the sixth round, Miguel told Wally that Ippo's spirit may be strong and unbreakable, however, he can still sever his consciousness by aiming at the side of his temple. As Wally went out for the seventh round and claimed that his leg got hit by the stool again, Miguel couldn't help but think of seeing the same exact situation before a long time ago where he saw a man that won't stop no matter how hopeless the situation is. During the seventh round, Miguel wonder why Wally couldn't use his footwork as the stool didn't hit his leg, no significant punches landed, and he couldn't be exhausted.
After the seventh round, Miguel was shocked to discover that it was the body blows that seemed to not have done anything at first, as he saw the mark of the Tekken on Wally's body. He realised that Takamura was not the one who inherited Kamogawa's will as his last son, but Ippo. Miguel's advice for Wally as he left for the eighth round was to study hard. During the eighth round, when Wally was hit in the face at the corner and going down, Miguel threw the towel in, ending the match as he did not want to see Wally get destroyed. He helped Wally out of the ring and went to talk to Kamogawa in the venue's halls. Miguel gave Kamogawa a bunch of bananas as gift to him and Ippo from Wally, and claimed that Ippo is a splitting image of Kamogawa with his stubbornness, however, he added that that strength will be his downfall, as the both of them are headed towards a great disaster.
Kamogawa asked what he means by that, and Miguel explained that when his boxers face Takamura and Ippo, he thought that Kamogawa should have thrown the towel as he would not be able to take that much since he has seen many times when a second chooses to let their fight hang on which resulted in a terrible accident. As Miguel commented that he wouldn't want to see his own fighter become broken, Kamogawa claimed that he trained his fighter to be better than that. Kamogawa wished for Miguel to pass a message to Wally to not let a single loss bring down his spirits, however, Miguel thought that it was unnecessary, as the sun will rise again since he is his last son. Before Miguel took off, he told Kamogawa that when they meet again, he will show what Wally is truly capable of when he is fully developed and hoped for Kamogawa to stick around to see the day that both of their sons shine their light down on the world stage. After getting out of Kamogawa's sight he couldn't hold his worry about Wally since it is his first loss and he might not want to box again due to being too hurt. However, he was shocked that Wally did not want to go back to his island, instead he wanted to go with Miguel to New York and fight who ever he wants, wanting to meet and learn from other boxers, and have Miguel take him to the world stage.
After becoming ranked third in the WBA, Wally had a match scheduled to go against the WBA featherweight champion, Ricardo Martínez. In Indonesia, Miguel found Wally and told him that they are going to go to their final stop as they set sail. Miguel and Wally arrive to the Marvelous Gym in New York City, New York, United States of America. There, they met with Dankichi and the IBF junior lightweight world champion Volg. Miguel was informed that since Dankichi was worried about Volg and Wally being serious in their spars before their match, as Volg has a match to defend his IBF title a second time as a semi to Wally's main event, he prepared three world rankers to act a sparring partners as well.
During a spar at the Marvelous Gym, Wally and Volg had to be stopped by their trainers as they were having an argument about how Wally is irritated that Volg keeps telling him he can't do what he requests. After Wally and Volg leave the gym, and Dankichi warned him that, remembering Hawk, even the most gifted geniuses fall eventually if they get too wild, Miguel mentioned that he does not restrict his boxer's freedom, since he only gives them strategies and teaches them techniques, being driven to see how bright his raw material he polishes shines. When Dankichi pointed out Miguel's arrogance on seeing his boxers as raw material, noting that trainers are just lucky enough to encounter the most beautiful of material, Miguel agreed that he was lucky. Dankichi asked Miguel what he thinks Wally's chances against Ricardo are. Miguel laughed at the thought of thinking of chances, questioning why they should quantify their excitement and a young person's future. Miguel described Wally as his sun, who will shine brighter and hotter when he goes against Ricardo, wanting that radiance to illuminate the rest of his years.
Miguel's appearance strongly reflects his old age. His hair, a dirty blonde in colour, is styled similarly to a faux hawk and sits upon the centre of his otherwise bald head. Miguel's large bushy eyebrows tend to overshadow his significantly smaller eyes.
Miguel is established as a world famous boxing trainer equipped with a great amount of boxing knowledge. He has the skill to point out strengths and weaknesses of both fighters in the ring and is shown to possess incredible insight and patience for boxing.
While depicted as proud and confident in the abilities of his 'sons', Miguel is also shown to genuinely care about the well-being of his fighters (most prominently shown during Ippo's fight against Wally). However, Miguel also mentions that he harbours a well-hidden fear of his former 'son' Bryan Hawk, possibly due to the latter's violent bloodthirsty behaviour.