Miguel Zale (ミゲル•ゼル, Migeru Zeru) is semi-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo

He 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 as a young adult

Miguel as a young adult and trainer of Anderson.

Miguel used to be a boxer, which consisted of periods of harsh weight management.[1] 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.

Miguel and Hawk's first encounter

Miguel encountering Hawk.

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.[2]


Part I

Battle of Hawk Arc

Miguel with Hawk in his first WBC title defence

Miguel with Hawk in his match against Takamura

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 cornerman 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 picked up an Indonesian boxer named Wally.

Part II

In the Jungle Arc


Zale during his visit to Indonesia.

When Wally's match against Makunouchi Ippo was coming up, Miguel attended his weigh-in at the Kōrakuen Hall. During which he cheerfully greeted Kamogawa Genji in a foreign language before sharing a memory from their past. During the match, it was mentioned that Wally is to be Miguel's 'last son', the final boxer he trains before retirement from the careers in boxing entirely. He also notes during the fight that Ippo has inherited the same iron will as Kamogawa, therefore making Ippo Kamogawa's 'last son' as well.


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.


  1. Chapter 394, page 7
  2. Chapter 391, pages 5-8
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