#6 MIYATA ICHIROU vs. ARNIE GREGORY (Series 2)
At the series’ start, Miyata was Ippo’s rival, his goal to strive for. But after some unfortunate happenings, he decided to seek his fortunes in the out-of-Japan boxing circuits, meaning we don’t see a lot of what he’s doing. We checked in on him occasionally, and he actually got a really nice fight against a Thai boxer named Jimmy Sisphar, but all in all, after the first third of the first series, he’s mostly there to observe and comment.
This changes rather drastically, however, when he gets the first major fight of the second series, against Australian OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) champ Arnie Gregory. Gregory looks set up to be a colossal douche; he’s tall, handsome, has luxurious hair, and is popular with the ladies.
But, keeping with the series’ standards, he’s actually a pretty decent guy. A little on the glam side, and occasionally a bit…well, much, he nonetheless is deeply passionate about the sport, more than his status or the wealth he’s accrued.
He’s also a national-level boxer, the first official one we see in the series. And his title bout against Miyata is a fierce battle to see how one overcomes an opponent who seems tailor-made to destroy them. See, Arnie has a talent for destroying counter-punchers. And guess what Miyata’s main specialty is?
His counter-punch-counter, the “Bloody Cross”, is one of the more conceptually sound techniques used in the series, and makes him an interesting match-up against someone who’s built up by characters as a “young genius”, but who we hardly see fight. Of course, the ending is kinda bunk in a way (Hint: it involves HARDER countering), but still, this is a good showcase for Miyata, and an exciting fight in its own right.