The Speed Zone Arc, also known as the Red Zone Arc, is the twenty-fifth story arc in the series and the third in the World Contender Saga.

This arc follows up onward to the main event from Makunouchi Ippo's succesful JBC 7th defence to Takamura Mamoru's 4th "WBC Middleweight World Title Defence" match against Peter Rabbitson. Then following up days later, Shinoda Tomoyuki announces that they are worth for qualification in the Class A Tournament, in which Aoki Masaru, Kimura Tatsuya and Itagaki Manabu with excitment agree upon to enter. Mainly the event it focuses is Itagaki against the known "Speed Star", Saeki Takuma which Ippo fought in the past, a battle to decide who is the fastest boxer in the nation.



Peter Rabbitson vs Takamura - 01

Rounds pass down to the 11th, Peter Rabbitson greatly dodges every swing and power punch that Takamura throws, with none landing since the 1st round, he has shown passive aggressivness to avoid Takamura's knockout punches. The round ends, and as Peter Rabbitson goes back to his corner, his trainer congratulates him and to continue doing what he does, but remember not to fight in the last round even more. Peter Rabbitson hesitated this a bit but in the end he agreed with his trainer's words to act as a professional and take the belt. Over to the other corner, Takamura is extremely unsatisfied and annoyed with the way Peter fights. As Kamogawa asks him now that there's one round left and Peter is leading the points what will Takamura do; Takamura replies, beat him at the last round, there's nothing else to do.

Down to the last round, the announcer says if this will be Takamura's first black mark in his perfect career and if his dreams will be crushed. Peter's trainer says to play safe from the corner and that Takamura still has the advantage because of the crowd, it's the champion's turf. Takamura aggresively starts swinging at Peter in which he dodges with ease repeatedly; annoying Takamura even more as he calls Peter a chicken and why he isn't fighting him. The crowd yells to Takamura to use his brain or if he's trying to win in a single punch like Ippo did previously.

To Peter's surprise, he realizes that the crowd starts to cheer for him, way more than the champion. Peter rushes and lands a left straight on Takamura, but his trainer isn't happy with it. Praised by the crowd for his left and overall himself, he thanks Japan for being so kind to appreciate his efforts and that he will put it for good use now. Peter strikes again, and on the third jab carrying Japan's hope, that being Takamura to be defeated.

Peter Caught in Takamura's Knockout Storm

Aoki and Ippo rush to the scene with disbelief that Takamura might lose, although Aoki implies one day it is bound to happen, he's still human after all. Opening the entrance doors with shock, they arrive at the moment Peter is caught by Takamura's swing, lifting him off the canvas like paper.

In the brink of victory by decision, Peter is dropped with a single punch, for the single mistake of not playing safe. As our cast questions why Peter started fighting Takamura in the last round, the crowd in the back still jeers upon Takamura as they leave the ring, coach Kamogawa isn't happy one bit. Both matches that ended with one punch KO echo throughout the venue.

After Succesfully Dominating the World: A Dream Match in a Bar

Takamura is nowhere to be found in the hall of the venue, right after the match he went off on his own without coach Kamogawa noticing. Furiously, Kamogawa asks them to find him and bring him back right now as he is also angry towards Ippo, in a different way.

Meeting in the Bar

Meeting in the Bar.

In the Mayweather bar outside the venue nearby, sit and drink the group of rivals after they attended the matches, from Ippo's generation with amongst them the exception Date Eiji who has drank a heavy lot of wine and is out of character. They discuss for various things, such for an instance, Sendō Takeshi asks Date about Ricardo Martinez as he's interested to fight him; who as drunk that he is, tells Sendō he will be an old man until he is capable of fighting Ricardo, but even then he would of already retired. Sendō mad that he is for being laughed at by a drunk old man, is trying to get out of Okita Keigo's hold, but he acknowledges he's drunk and forgets about it.

They discuss in between the recent matches outcomes, with the focus more on Takamura's, and the more they talk about, the more they express their feelings for how ridiculous the performance in the match and his outfit in the ring was. Date still being drunk, makes quite the heavy jokes and everyone starts laughing, followed by more jokes from the rest of the group.

Stories to be Told: Kojima Hisato's Final Wish

Ippo Saying that he Betrayed his Boxing to Iimura

Ippo Saying he Betrayed his Boxing.

The next day all fired up as they spar for their upcoming matches, Iimura Mari visits them, but instead interviewing them for their next matches, she came for Ippo and his previous match against Kojima Hisato. Asking if Ippo was proud, and how he felt for winning that way and if Kojima's incredible punch was no joke. He explained that his training has never betrayed him but this time he betrayed it, it was only natural he received a punch like that, Ippo regrets it. Iimura Mari says she is gonna visit Kojima and Aoki immediately jumps out and leaves his training to go with her and see him as well.

Kamogawa addressing the fact that Ippo understood his mistake as he talks with Yagi, he can't wait to see the seeds that are being planted to the young fighter from his training that even the world powers would have to take notice in time, specifically the weapon he's building.

Even if he can't remember anything from the match, he can retire at ease now from just the gift Ippo gave, and one day his son will be listening to his stories that he had fought with a great Japanese champion, whose road was just beginning and that he's proud of have helped him in his own way.

Naturally Gifted Differences

Aoki back to the group from the talk with Kojima and reflects the similarites between them, and how one day he could follow the same steps to stay with his loved ones after his own personal great career. Itagaki doesn't care about it as he still has not intention of forgiving him for his behavior towards Ippo, that he was just another wash out. Kimura understands Aoki fully as he always does with these type of conversations and sorrowly explains Itagaki that naturally gifted people like them would never understand as much as they do. Itagaki took it slightly off saying that they also work as hard as someone else, and then Kimura that he isn't denying that they're working hard but replies that no matter how much you work there will always be natural born differences between people, as for example ever wanting to be stronger or faster. Aoki and Kimura have to deal with a lot more for what they lack. Itagaki takes it back and understands as well the situation they're in, that sooner or later they will have to retire no matter what as they get closer to the end of their careers.

Ippo and Umezawa discuss who has the best chance on winning, having a great match overall. Kimura is said to be fighting the former champion of his weight class that Mashiba had previously defeated to get the national title in the past.

Class A Tournament: Hedgehog VS. Speed Star - Itagaki Manabu VS. Saeki Takuma

Enter the Red Zone

Class A Tournament: Kimura Tatsuya VS. A Former Champion

Class A Tournament: Aoki Masaru VS. Iga Shinobu

The Frog's Scarring Defeat

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