Yanaoka (柳岡, Yanaoka) is a semi-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
He was a professional boxer in Japan. During his career, he was known to be a good fighter in the ring, in which eventually he became ranked first in the JBC, giving him the chance against the national champion of that time which was Miyata. He ended up losing fiercely in the seventh round after getting knocked down four times in the match. He later retired, remembering the feeling of being knocked down by him from time to time.
After retiring, he became a trainer at the Naniwa Boxing Club, in which he started training new boxers. He became a first class trainer and second whose skills were even recognised by Kamogawa Genji after his career.
Years later, a few of his trainees got beaten up by a delinquent named Sendō Takeshi (who Yanaoka almost knocked out). After Sendō took part in another rumble, Yanaoka turned him onto boxing as a way to find the strength he hungered for.
Looking for his boxer, Sendō Takeshi, Yanaoka discovered him looking at a video of Makunouchi Ippo's match against Mashiba Ryō. After hearing his boxer talk highly of Ippo, while claiming that the West Japan Rookie King Tournament was boring, he informed Sendō that Ippo is withdrawing due to injuries. This caused Sendō to go to Tokyo to talk to Ippo. After Sendō came back, he practised the Smash with Yanoka. After the practise, a package came in from Ippo, with a note that claimed he may be able to go to Osaka. This caused Sendō to get fired up and continue practising with Yanaoka.
At the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium on the day of the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, Yanoka informed Sendō that Ippo got beaten by Komori. However, Sendō claimed that he would not underestimate him, but he will still win. When Sendō's match against Ippo began. Yanoka was his second. Before the fourth round could start, Sendō sat unconscious, unable to get back up. Yanoka realised that he was unconscious due to a hit to the temple, but was fighting because of the cheers. Sendō came back to consciousness and asked Yanoka how he lost, but Yanoka told him that it was a splendid fight.
After Date Eiji defeated Ippo and relinquished his belt, the two boxers fighting for the title was Sendō and Alexander Volg Zangief. When the match began, Yanaoka was Sendō's second for the match. The result of the match ended with Sendō winning by decision and becoming the JBC featherweight champion.
Yanaoka was one of Sendō's cornermen in his first title defence against Saeki Takuma where Sendō won by knockout in the first round.
|?||LOSS||?-?-0||197?||Miyata Senior||Tokyo, Japan||7(10)||TKO||JBC Title Match|
Yanaoka has short black hair with multiple bags going over his forehead. He is never seen without his round silver frame eyeglasses. Yanaoka usually wears his gym's shirts and, at the ring, wears a red Dynamite Glove shirt.
- Although it is yet to be revealed in the manga, the anime lists him as "Yanaoka" in the credits. One of the video games also lists his full name as Yanaoka Kazuhiro.