Sanada Kazuki (真田一機, sanada kazuki) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.

He was a Junior Featherweight professional boxer and the JBC Champion of that weight class, before relinquishing it, to move up in the Featherweights in order to fight Makunouchi Ippo, the new JBC Champion, in the National Champion Road Saga as Ippo's difficult first title defense.

He retired due to preferring to continue his dream as a doctor instead of a boxer in the professional ring. It had a strong impact on the rest of his previously affiliated gym, as it stopped having more people, he was the icon for it. He helped Ippo throughout the series quite a lot. Just like Date Eiji, he appears in the story when needed.

His surname is Sanada. In Japan, surnames come before given names.

Part I

First Step Arc

Sanada body blow.

Sanada throwing a body blow.

Sanada was the Junior Featherweight Champion before relinquishing the title to conquer another class. He is a boxer who relies on science to win his fights. In his title fight against Ippo, he used science to calculate how many seconds he will be immobilised (even though Ippo's fighting spirit kept him going and proved his theory wrong). He can reduce his pulse rate between rounds which helps him to fight at his full potential again.

Part II

A Passing Point Arc

He is known to be very close to Ippo as he didn't hesitate to help him when Ippo thought that Takamura had a detached retina.

Spirit of a Weed Arc

He also made an appearance before Ippo's 6th Title Defense against his former kouhai Karasawa Takuzou, where he pointed out that Ippo's back had grown double.

Class A Tournament II

He also made an appearance before Karasawa Takuzou match against Itagaki Manabu in the Class A Tournament II.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
16 LOSS 13-2-1 1994-04 JapanMakunouchi Ippo Tokyo, Japan 2(10),2:15 TKO "First Step" JBC Featherweight Title Match
Ippo's First Defense


Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Unknown JBC Junior Featherweight Champion Kobashi Kenta


Sanada normal.

Sanada's formal appearance.

Sanada has dark brown hair, his eye color is black, has long eyebrows, and a somewhat large nose. He always wears his glasses unless he's in the ring.


Sanada is known to be confident in himself. He is a very kind man, as well as incredibly smart. He seemed to act strange when Iimura Mari was talking, most likely not wanting to discuss his past.

Fighting Style and Techniques


Sanada in the ring.

Being a former Japanese champion, Sanada was a highly skilled boxer. His fighting style focuses on skill and strategy rather than overwhelming strength or speed. Sanada's boxing involves his knowledge of the human body to drive in major attacks at pinpoint precision to stop and breakdown his opponent from the inside rather than attacks to the body that do major external damage. His techniques allow him to drive in major attacks with even the slightest opening in an opponent guard. His understanding of anatomy also allows him to target the 4 vital organs of the body, which would lead to cyanosis.



Sanada himself has no outstanding weaknesses. He lost to Ippo because he was too focused on his strategy of lowering Ippo's stamina. This might be more of a fault of Hama Dankichi than Sanada, since it was Dankichi who instructed Sanada to focus on that strategy. Considering his intelligence, it is possible Sanada would have developed Sawamura's strategy had he focused on countering the Dempsey Roll instead.



  • The video game system Sanada was playing on with Kinoshita's daughter bears a striking resemblance to the original Xbox, though the controller is a cross between the Xbox's and PlayStation's. The two game cases sitting next to the console read "Megamix 200X" and "Buyo". The fighting game they were playing feature two male characters with similar appearances to that of characters from the [Seint Saiya] anime.
  • According to the Japanese Wiki, Sanada was modeled after Boxer Salvador Sánchez, who wanted to become a doctor, but died in a traffic accident.