For Makunouchi Ippo's fourth JBC featherweight title defence, the "Ryukyu Warrior" challenger, Shimabukuro Iwao claims to have a way to destroy Ippo's Dempsey Roll and wishes to prove he is a true son of the sea as Ippo is also one as well.
The Itagaki Household
At the Kōrakuen Hall, as Ippo watches Itagaki's comeback match along Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya, as he wins with a first round KO his actual debut match. The Itagaki family prepares a celebration when he returns home and invites Ippo along as well to meet them, as he's very thankful to know Ippo and how much he's helping him during spars and training.
Ippo didn't expect to see the house in a poor condition, as Itagaki has shown quite the flashy image, his house being worse than his. Itagaki tells him he decided to devote his life onto boxing rather than hitting the college, choosing what he loved best. There, Ippo gets to meet Itagaki's sister and mother.
Unheard Promised Challenge
The next morning Ippo is being interviewed by reporters about his future, Ippo being the character he is, doesn't know what to think, saying only that he will try his best for the upcoming opponents. Lastly as the reporters are about to leave, they ask Ippo who he'd like to face the most now, in which Ippo replies the same thing again, trying to do his best at the moment. His gymmates tell him to act like a pro, like say he will defend his title a hundred times or say he wants to face Ricardo Martinez. Yagi announces their upcoming matches, Takamura's 1st world title defence, Aoki's title match, Itagaki's rookie king match and Ippo's 4th title defence. Aoki thinking he misheard this, gets confirmed by Yagi and the others can't believe it either as Aoki was ranked 5th. Yagi says he became 1st in the rankings because the first ranked was hospitalised due to a car accident, the second is in for appendicitis, the third retired and the fourth dropped due to a loss, as if he put a curse on them. Aoki pleased to be joining Ippo and Takamura, he laughs off and taunts Kimura and Itagaki, shouting Tomiko out of the window from excitment. Everyone is fired up for their matches and they start to work hard.
Later that day, Ippo after finished training, leaves off and as he walks down the snowy path, he feels that it is unreal he became the champion that currently will defend his title for the 4th time. Ippo questions what's his goal now that he has Date Eiji's baton pass and if just defending his title is all he needs. Ippo then finds Wanpo through the path he remembered last time he met Miyata Ichirō which was snowing too after their graduation. A figure seems to be coming through the mist towards Ippo, which is Miyata himself. With enthusiasm he calls Miyata from afar, that it has been a long time, but Miyata does not respond until being close. With rage he shakes Ippo for not responding the challenge that has been send to the gym. Ippo in confusion pushes Miyata away and asks him he has no idea about any of this only to realize Miyata himself that there's a misunderstanding.
Dempsey Roll's Weakness
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