George Morikawa’s Hajime no Ippo has been a stalwart sports manga for Weekly Shonen Magazine since 1989. However, the manga’s latest chapter just doused fans with boxing reality. As you’ve already read in the title, Ippo Makunouchi has just announced his retirement from boxing. Of course, this sent shock waves throughout the manga industry, as Ippo has been an icon for almost three decades. But before we move further, just a spoiler warning for those who still haven’t read the manga yet.

Here in the real world, boxers often face a problem called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which people might also know as “punch drunk”. This affects people who have had multiple head injuries, and of course, boxers are one of them. And it’s not just boxers who suffer from this, but also MMA fighters, Pro Wrestlers, and American Football players. People who have CTE often get problems in behavior, mood, and thinking. And this is where Morikawa applies a reality of the sport to his manga, as this forces Ippo to retire.

In Chapter 1,208, a doctor tells Ippo that CTE is impossible to diagnose when still alive. However, he does tell Ippo that continuing to box would be dangerous for him. And as he arrives back to the gym after his doctor’s appointment, he makes the announcement. He says that although he’s seemingly healthy now, he is planning to retire.

Of course, Ippo’s announcement shocked fans the most, as he has ongoing rivalries that he’s still left unresolved. Of course, these rivalries include rival Ichirou Miyata or WBA Featherweight Champion Ricardo Martinez. And this leaves many to wonder if Morikawa is already planning to end his long-running manga sometime in the next few weeks. Right now, everything is still unclear, and Ippo’s announcement has left fans talking about it in disbelief.

Source: J-Cast News