Takeshi Sendō (千堂武士, Sendō Takeshi) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo. He is a featherweight boxer from the Naniwa Boxing Club and a former JBC featherweight champion. He played the main antagonist during the events of championship road, serving as the second Japanese champion Ippo faced for the title.
His surname is Sendō. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Sendō's father was a fireman who died while saving the life of a child. As Sendō looked up to his father greatly, this loss inspired him to try to be as strong as his father.
Since he was young, Sendō was known to be rude and problematic, having lead his own delinquent gang in the streets. However, it is mentioned by his grandma that Sendō did so to protect innocent civilians from other delinquent gangs. He and his grandmother run a market place.
By the age of 18, he turned to a professional boxer.
Sendō watches a tape of Makunouchi Ippo's KO victory against Mashiba Ryō and, fired up by the tape, decides to go visit Tokyo for a match against Ippo. He leaves half-disappointed however when he learns of Ippo's broken fist, but declares hopefully to Ippo that he would be "waiting for [him] in Osaka'" when the time comes for their match, accidentally leaving a bag of souvenirs at the station upon his leave.
Disheartened, Sendō does not put much effort into his training until a package arrives in the mail containing the forgotten souvenirs, along with a letter from Ippo stating that they may be able to have their match after all. Renewed by the prospective match Sendō quickly jumps back into intense training, waiting for the day of his match against Ippo.
Despite all his training for the match, Sendou ultimately loses consciousness in his own corner before the start of the fourth round. However, both fighters agree that unless one collapses in the ring, the fight remains unfinished. The two fighters then anxiously wait for the day of their rematch.
After Date Eiji's relinquishing of the JBC Featherweight belt. Sendo is next in line for the vacant thrown, where he fights Alexander Volg Zangief for it. He wins a very close, and controversial, victory by decision against Alexander Volg Zangief to acquire the vacant title. His first title defense is against Saeki Takuma, whom he KO's with little difficulty.
Afterwards, he is pitted against Shigeta Akira, whose provocations of his and Ippo's style of boxing led Sendou to beat Akira so ferociously that he contracted a fear of being punched (and presumably retired) thereafter.
Sendō and Ippo then have their promised rematch for the belt, and he once again loses, this time by way of knockout, to Ippo.
Sendō is also present in Takamura Mamoru's world title match against Bryan Hawk, along with many other friends and boxing acquaintances where he is seen conversing happily with Miyata, who attempts to ignore him.
After Aoki's lost his JBC Lightweight Title match against Katsutaka Imae, he has his comeback match, a 1st round KO.
It is Sendō Takeshi's first match against Mexican Boxers, Jose Ramirez for his quest to defeat Ricardo Martinez, and he is having a hard time adjusting to Jose's punches, since they extend even further than he is used it.
During the match, his coach, Yanaoka mentions Jose puts his whole shoulder into it when he punches, if Sendo keeps expecting the same range as a Japanese boxer, he will keep getting hit.In the 7th Round, Sendo finally lands a Smash and ends the match. Afterword, he remarks to the crowd that he plans on taking it to a World Title.
After the match, Sendo goes with Ippo and Itagaki Manabu to have a meal, and talk about future plans.
Sendo goes on a "Beat Down Tour" in order to prove to other boxers he has the right to challenge Ricardo Martinez. He made a personal list about all the toughest pro boxers Sendō had and has to challenge. It is known that he has on watch all the nearby featherweight world class boxers which some of them are Mexicans.
He meets Sawamura Ryūhei to have him drive him around while he challenges other gyms. When he comes to Tokyo, he visits Kamogawa Boxing Gym. While there, he ends up becoming a sparring partner for Miyata Ichirō to help him prepare for his match for Randy Boy Junior.
Later on, Sendo along with Sawamura Ryūhei watch Miyata's match against Randy Boy Junior.
After Takamura Mamoru's awful match against Peter Rabbitson, Sendo gets invited to the Mayweather Bar by Date Eiji along with Okita Keigo, Saeki Takuma, and Mashiba Ryō (with Mashiba Kumi following) to celebrate Takamura's and Ippo's wins. After a few drinks, Date and Sendo get into a disagreement about him defeating Ricardo Martinez. Mashiba adds his thoughts about it, which makes the the atmosphere more tense. Kumi tries to play peacemaker between them, since she is worried there would be trouble if she didn't come along. Mashiba and Sendo start to get into it, while Saeki tries to help her calm things down.
Date (while drinking) asks them why they are angry, but then adds he knows it is because of Takamura. He criticises Takamura's match and his poor performance in it. Date thinks Sendo might be disappointed with it after coming from Osaka for it. Sendo agrees. Okita, Saeki, Mashiba and Kumi decided to complain about Takamura in order to lighten the mood. After Mashiba mentions Takamura's Panda outfit, Kumi is about to agree with him when she noticed it at the bar. They then all notice Takamura sitting there with it.
Takamura gets up to start to leave, but he decides to block the exit instead. Date continues to increase the tension by criticizing Takamura, which scares Mashiba, Sendo, Okita, and Mashiba. Mashiba tells Kumi to go out the back exit while he tries to buy time. Kumi tries to get them to stop and not fight, but (drunk) Date tells her to either back them up or be quiet. Date asks Takamura that if he think he can fight with this group (Date, Mashiba, Sendo, Saeki, and Okita) and not expect to come out of it in one piece. They charge at him and end up getting into a bar fight. They end up losing, and Kumi putting bandages on them after the fight.
Sendō joined Ippo in watching Volg's challenge for the IBF World Title. Despite all his preparation, he is astounded at the level of skill displayed in the world-level match. Afterward, he and Ippo sparred in the Kamogawa Gym basement, which leads to Sendō leaving Ippo unconscious in the ring, being held up by the ropes. Takamura asks Sendou to confirm that Ippo has become weaker, and Sendō says that Ippo isn't weaker, he has just become that much stronger, and that Takamura will see it in his next match against a world ranker before a title match. He can't sleep and the next day he immediately watches the match which led to Ippo losing.
Sendo watches Ippo's match against Alfredo Gonzales.
Takeshi has a semi-final match before Takamura's world title unification bout against Richard Bison. Because he brawled with Mashiba in the waiting room before the fight, he enters the ring with bruises on his face. He is up against a Mexican World ranker once again, Jose Nargo who is ranked 5th in the WBA, and is already called a champ. Jose Nargo dominated Sendō for most of the match because of his experience with sparring Ricardo Martinez. After the 8th round, when Sendō saw Ricardo's Manager, Bill Stewart as his second, he then pushes Jose to the corner and using his knuckles started to press into Jose's stomach aggressively, causing extreme pain and giving Sendō the opportunity to knock Jose out. Sendō defends his ranking of being 4th in the WBA, and might proceed to a title match. After defeating Jose Nargo, he then speaks to Bill Stewart, telling him to give a warning to Alfredo Gonzales, which shocks Bill as he expected the warning to be given to Ricardo. He then goes back to the room, to watch the match of Takamura with Mashiba. To this point they seem to be okay with each other and not fighting as they discuss how tough Richard Bison is, but they will continue after this match as they say with each other silently.
Sendo and Ippo meet to watch Miyata Ichirō defends his OPBF title for a 7th time against Luisito Ico. After the match, Miyata is interviewed, and asked what he thinks about his opponent, and Miyata mentions "Not Much." When asked about his future plans after 7th OPBF title defense, he doesn't have any goal. Sendo confronts Miyata after the match, where he needs to forget about Ippo, and change weight classes, or challenge Martinez.
At that same moment he decides to aim even higher. Takeshi put a meeting with his former teacher, that she was always there by his side to tell her something very important. He tells her to watch over his grandmother as she is very old, and as she raised him, he wants to repay her back but more importantly, he will leave Japan and go to Mexico, his road to face the strongest has started, by first try and challenge Alfredo.
|23||WIN||21-2-0||1998-06-12||Jose Nargo||Yokohama Arena, Tokyo, Japan||8(10)||KO||"Battle of Beasts"|
|19||WIN||17-2-0||1996-05||Jose Ramirez||Osaka, Japan||7(10)||KO||"Beware the Beast"|
WBC Ranked 23rd
|18||WIN||16-2-0||1995-04||Unknown ||Osaka, Japan||1(10) 1:33||TKO||Comeback Match 2|
|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||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|
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded 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.
Fighting Style and Techniques
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.
- Crouching Style
- Brawling 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.
- 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.
- Even though his nickname, Rocky, may suggest otherwise, 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. Sendou's friends with 5 kids from his neighbourhood, just like Joe. And even one of kids from Sendou'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 Sendo vs Ippo I, sort of ends similar to Ashita No Joe, with Sendo sitting in the corner.
- According to the Japanese Wiki, Sendo appears to be modeled after Pro Boxer later turned actor, Hidekazu Akai, who was also known as "Naniwa no Rocky"
- Even though he is nicknamed "The Naniwa Rocky", on his boxing trunks it is shown as "Rockey".