It’s such a shame, I’ve always liked Itagaki, but his rising cockiness that actually seems like pure arrogance by now, is pissing me off so much. It doesn’t make a character better if he’s a genius or not. In fact, with a main character like Ippo, who’s the hard working-type, the genius will just look like the “bad guy”. I don’t want to see Itagaki win over Ippo, not matter if it’s in a match, or in this stupid competition Itagaki is playing by himself right now. Although I’m pretty sure in a real match Ippo would win against Itagaki, because his strength and stamnia would work for his favor (well, let’s be honest: just one real punch would be enough to knock Itagaki out and he would be done for, while Ippo could probably take a huge bunch of Itagakis light punches), but Itagaki is played out too much as the opposide of Ippo right now and he’s achieving things Ippo worked very hard for and these are things Ippo has never gotten cocky for. He’s so much “down to earth” that Itagakis arrogance makes him into a villan, but I don’t want him to be a villan, because I really liked his character before.
There were other people who respected Ippo a lot and I think Itagaki does have a great deal of respect for Ippo, but a the same time, he’s too full of himself and it feels like he’s taking Ippos achievements too lightly. I really want to see him loose and get back down to earth where he belongs. The one who will fight the World Champion, will be Ippo anyway and I’m just waiting for him to finally step down as the japanese Champion and go to the world stage. What Itagaki needs to cure himself from his arrogance is a painful loss on the big stage. A possiblility I have in mind is when Ippo steps down as the japanese Champion and Itagaki might be fighting someone for the belt and he looses.
Personally, I think it would be cool if he’d loose against Sendo in a title match and there’s a very specific reason to it. Sendo is, from my point of view, Ippos best opponent, because the two of them have very similar fighting styles and their matches are just incredibly awesome when raw strength clashes against itself. If Itagaki looses against Sendo, it’s pretty much the same as loosing against Ippo with the only difference that Ippo has beaten Sendo before – twice. That would hurt. A lot. The only problem is: I can’t picture Sendo in another match for the belt. He has been the champion once (and a damn scary one, too) and I don’t think he’s after Japan anymore, I can’t picture him going for Japan again when he has painfully learned his lessen that there’s someone very similar to himself, who’s simply better. Why would he want to take the beld Ippo has taken from him before, after Ippo retired? There’s just no way Sendo would do that.
While we’re talking about Sendo: what I really want to see, is Ippo fighting Sendo again, but this time on the biggest stage there is. Ippos fight against Miyata has been anitcipated for such a long time and hyped up to be the match of the series, but I highly doubt they will face eath other ever again in the ring. Miyata is not a featherweight, it just doesn’t work out, he has reached his limit in this weightclass a long time ago and it looked like Ippo and Miyata have both understood that and closed this chapter of their lives. Sendo on the other hand, is from my point of view Ippos true opponent, especially because their fighting styles are so similar, it’s like Ippo has to fight himself and this is what made his fights with Sendo so great. Well and… Sendo is an awesome character. XD
You know, ending the series with Sendo taking the beld from Martinez and then Ippo having a rematch for a belt with Sendo, this time with the title of the World Champion on the line… I’d totally welcome that, much more than Ippo fighting Martinez. He’s been the Champ for too long, a boxers life is usually not that long. Let’s face is: he’s an old man in the boxing world by now. A really old man, who can box amazingly well, but I don’t feel any exitement when I think about a match between those two. Besides: depending on how long Ippo will take to get to the top of the world, Martinez will be too old anyway. Where’s the exitement in beating an old boxing relict from whom you know that he has passed his best time a long time ago? Why not fight someone who can always challenge Ippo to the maximum of his abilities, is about the same age and at the peak of his strenght? This would be much more interesting, even if it’s their 3rd fight against eath other.
Well… yeah I know, my wish will never be fullfilled anyway, but I can still dream, can’t I?