Eiji Date is a boxing trainer at the Nakadai boxing gym. Date was a former Japanese featherweight champion and contender for the WBA featherweight title.
Date was one of Japan's most promising and
gifted boxers, becoming the Japanese and Oriental-Pacific Boxing Federation
Champion in the featherweight division without a single loss to his name.
Despite his skill and training, he was unable to obtain the WBA featherweight
title, defeated in the second round by the defending champion Ricardo Martinez.
Humiliated and permanently scarred across his nose, while feeling guilt over
not being there for his wife when she suffered a miscarriage, Eiji Date retired
from his boxing career
Years later, spurred on by his wife Aiko and son Yuuji, Date once again enters the ring and makes his way to the top of ladder.
Date is first introduced as the Japanese Featherweight champion when Makunouchi Ippo begins his ascent through the ranks. Ippo sees Date as a role model, and his major goal. Ippo fights his way through the class A tournament, an event where the countries highest ranking face each other, with the winner given the right to face the champion. After a grueling match Date manages to knock out Ippo in the fifth round with his trademark "Heart Break Shot". A move that targets the opponent’s heart, stunning them and leaving them defenseless to a final barrage of punches. As of now, this marks Makunouchi Ippo's only loss.
Date once again climbs through the WBA featherweight rankings. Easily defeating his competition he once again issues a challenge to Ricardo Martinez, the now 20 times defending champion. Impressed by his tenacity and ability to last more than two rounds against him, Martinez shows his true strength, savagely beating Date and barely leaving him with a single opening to attack. After 10 brutal rounds and the failing of his ultimate attack, the Heart Break Shot, Date is once again defeated by the reigning champion. However, despite leaving the ring with barely a scratch on him Martinez acknowledges Date as his strongest and most fearsome opponent.
Badly beaten and barely able talk Date lies in a hospital bed. Passing the baton on to Ippo he tells him to aim for the world and defeat the one man he never could.
Eiji Date makes an appearance in many of the Hajime no Ippo games. In Victorious Boxers 2, there is a story fight in which the player controls Date in his world title match against Martinez