#8 SENDO TAKESHI vs. VOLG ZANGIEF (Series 1)
The skill vs. power debate is one that has been going on in any sport requiring physicality since, well, since such things were initially started. Is it better to be technical and precise, to measure your steps and carefully pick apart your opponent? Or is it better to simply pound them into the dirt with overwhelming force?
Naturally, the show had to have at least a few conflicts centered around this. The other notable example is the “Ippo vs. Saeki” fight from earlier in the series, but for my money, Sendo and Volg give a much more even showing. Volg is one of the most technically proficient fighters Ippo ever fought, while Sendo is an absolute beast of a puncher, at least as good as Ippo himself. And there’s something satisfying about seeing two former opponents of the main character going at it so fiercely. It gives them credit, and shows that losing to Ippo doesn’t mean you just vanish into the thin air.
Especially satisfying is seeing Sendo, your typical brash and prideful punk, slowly but surely come to respect his opponent, and despite the rather sad aftermath of the fight, his final words, an expression of his desire to have a rematch, are a little moment of heartwarming to close out a great fight between great characters.