Takeshi Sendou (千堂武士, Sendō Takeshi) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
He is a featherweight professional boxer from the Naniwa Boxing Club and a former JBC featherweight champion. He played the main antagonist during the events of the Rocky of Naniwa Arc and Lallapallooza Arc, serving as the second Japanese champion Ippo faced for the title. Over time he's become one of the recurring characters after the main cast in the story, a friend to Ippo. His one and only goal is to fight the strongest around, since he was very young.
His surname is Sendō. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Sendō's mother died after childbirth, so he spent his early years growing up with his father and paternal grandmother, raised under the words "you should protect those around you". When he was very young, his father who was a firefighter died while rescuing a boy about the same age as Sendō during a blaze. Sendō looked up to his father greatly and this loss was heavy for him, but was proud of all his actions, being what made him to seek strength as he was growing up and continued to follow his advice by trying to help others.
Starting by defending other defenceless students from bullies towards setting up his own justice. Eventually Sendō had become very violent with his form of "justice". By high school, Sendō was already one of the most feared street fighters and gang leaders in Osaka, not attacking innocent people, but rather defending the weak.
Sometime during his brawling days, many of his fellow delinquents were knocked out one by one and for that Sendō was really irritated by this so he set off with his other gang members to find him and pay for what he's done to them. Upon meeting [Kawabe]] explained Sawamura's dark past to Sendō, as he couldn't believe it and that he's like that because of that event, following up all his life he was lonely, only getting help from Kawabe. Sendō in time in a way befriended Sawamura, because he understood what he was into, but they were still on the edge because of Sawamura's animalistic personality, up until a certain point in years to come.
During his late years in high school, around the time when he graduated, he was involved in a big brawl between students. A trainer watched this event from afar as Sendō came out of the brawl victorious. Sendō intense as he was, attacked Yanaoka without hesitation, only to almost get countered, as he was a boxer once. Soon after Sendō was impressed by boxing and started following Yanaoka. His career had started, with the help of Yanaoka and his teacher's help during his time in high school, he became a professional boxer at the age of 18, with his goal in mind fighting the strongest fighters around.
|Mexico City, Mexico||N/A||N/A||"World Title Preliminary Match"|
|Yokohama Arena, Tokyo, Japan||8(10)||KO|| "Battle of the Beasts"|
Gets ranked 3rd in the WBA
|Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||Gets ranked 4th in the WBA|
|Osaka, Japan||7(10)||KO|| "Beware the Beast"|
Gets ranked 23rd in the WBC
|18||WIN||16-2-0||1995-04||Unknown||Osaka, Japan||1(10) 1:33||TKO||Comeback Match|
|Short Retirement/Recovery - 1 Year|
|17||LOSS||15-2-0||1993-11-20||Makunouchi Ippo||Tokyo, Japan||7(10) 1:32||KO|| "LALLAPALLOOZA"|
JBC Featherweight Title Match
|16||WIN||15-1-0||1993- 09||Shigeta Akira||Osaka, Japan||3(10), 0.41||KO|| JBC Featherweight Title Match|
|15||WIN||14-1-0||1993 -07||Saeki Takuma||Osaka, Japan||1(10), 1:33||KO|| JBC Featherweight Title Match|
|14||WIN||13-1-0||1993-04||Alexander Volg Zangief||Osaka, Japan||10(10)||Decision|| "VACANT THRONE"|
JBC Featherweight Title Match
|8||WIN||7-1-0||1992-3||Unknown||Osaka, Japan||?(6)||KO||Comeback Match|
|7||LOSS||6-1-0||1991-12-24||Makunouchi Ippo||Osaka, Japan||3(6)||TKO||All Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals|
|6||WIN||6-0-0||1991-04-20||Unknown||Osaka, Japan||?(6)||KO||West Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||1990||Ishino||Osaka, Japan||1(4), 0:50||KO||Debut Match|
- VS Sawamura Ryūhei (Many times, unseen)
- VS Hoshi Hiroyuki
- VS Miyata Ichirō
- VS Makunouchi Ippo
- VS Ricardo Martinez 3R
- VS Makunouchi Ippo
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
(Preceded by Date Eiji)
|JBC Featherweight Champion|
April, 1993 - November 20, 1993
|Unknown||West Japan Featherweight Rookie King||Unknown|
(eventually Hoshi Hiroyuki)
Sendō is a man of rugged appearance, reflecting his brash personality and career as a boxer. He sports an extremely muscular build, a tanned complexion, and is of average height. His hair is dark brown, long, and unkempt, styled in a swept-forward manner with countless tufts jutting out in all possible directions. Sendō also has thin eyebrows and large eyes with black pupils. He has a large penis, noted by Takamura.
A brash, actions-before-thoughts boxer, Sendō is shown to be incredibly energetic and competitive when it comes down to boxing. As an average lower-class Osaka resident he speaks in the Kansai dialect and, despite being rude and temperamental, Sendō possesses an extremely kind heart. His personality also incorporates a certain stinginess, having sent Ippo an invitation to one of his own fights while expecting Ippo to pay him for the expense of the ticket.
In a conversation with Ippo, it is revealed that Sendō respects and looks up to real-life boxer Rocky Marciano. He specifically points out that the 'Rocky' in his nickname does not come from the popular Rocky film series, but from Marciano.
Sendō is an instinctive infighter who is heavy handed with his blows. He possesses incredible lower and upper body strength, comparable to Ippo, although his optimum punching distance is actually at a medium range. He is almost feral in his fighting approach, relying on sheer instincts, rather than technique to avoid injury in his matches.
Tactically, he is large with his punches and uses wide swings to instil a sense of fear into his opponent, which he takes advantage of to set his rhythm. Sendō can also throw compact punches with no lead-in making them hard for an opponent to predict. He has showcased a powerful dash built up through hours of running with ankle weights. Sendō's prideful nature means that he will very rarely step back or retreat during a match, which has proved to be a crude but effective natural seal to techniques such as the Dempsey Roll which rely on unbroken rhythms and starting distance.
- Brawling Style
- Crouching Style
- Low Smash
- Deadly Smash
- Body Blow
- Cross Arm Block
- Fist Clench
- Knuckle Drop
- Head slip
His prideful boxing style is also his main weakness. His guard is essentially non-existent, and his main offensive technique, the Smash, requires a large swinging motion, leaving him completely open for counters. (Though, rather than improve the technique's defence, Sendō instead chose to increase the power with a lower and more vertical punch.)
His instincts can also be used against him, as they often lead him to make rash decisions too quickly to judge the danger behind them. Sendō has also pointed out that his style is very weak against counters, but in a spare with Miyata after he defeated him in the first round Sendō memorised the timing of the Miyata's left and with pure instinct, was capable of cornering him with no guard.
- Sendō has been seen doing roadwork only twice throughout the entire series, which was during his introduction before the All Japan Rookie King tournament and preceding his rematch with Ippo (though he was coming home from roadwork that time). Despite never being seen seriously training, reportedly having to go through weight control, and most of his bouts being one or two rounds long, he hasn't been shown to have problems with stamina in his longest matches.
- The game console he promised to buy the neighbourhood kids in the manga appears to be an SNES, whereas in the anime, the console appears to be a SONY PS2 as it was the time it was airing.
- Even though his nickname, Rocky, may suggest otherwise of the movie, Sendō himself stated it was actually for being a huge fan of Rocky Marciano, as the only boxer he looks up to. Sendō is similar to Donovan "Razor" Ruddock. Ruddock is known for giving Mike Tyson two tough fights and for creating the Smash. Coincidentally, Ippo is similar to Mike Tyson, and both Ippo's first match with Sendō and Ruddock's first match with Tyson were prematurely stopped, giving Ippo the TKO win in the 4th round and Tyson the TKO win in the 7th round. However, both Sendō and Ruddock finished the match still standing.
- In the manga, Sendō gives his coach the middle finger when he first joined the gym. In the anime, it is changed to a thumbs down.
- Sendō, as a character, seems to be inspired by Joe Yabuki, main character of a classic boxing manga Ashita no Joe. Sendō's friends with 5 kids from his neighbourhood, just like Joe. And even one of kids from Sendō's neighborhood, a girl in a white shirt and a red skirt, looks almost identical as Sachi from Ashita no Joe. Even the match between (Sendō VS. Ippo I), sort of ends similar to Ashita no Joe, with Sendō sitting in the corner.
- According to the Japanese Wiki, Sendō appears to be modeled after pro boxer later turned actor, Hidekazu Akai, who was also known as "Rocky of Naniwa"
- Even though he is nicknamed "The Naniwa Rocky", on his boxing trunks it is shown as "Rockey".