A young high school boy starts his journey to become a profesional boxer in order to know how it feels to be strong.
In the first episode, Ippo's high school life is shown. He was extremely shy, always busy to help his mother in the family business of fishing. He was a weakling and bullied by his classmates. While being bullying, he was being badly beaten by Umezawa and his group when a professional boxer Mamoru Takamura saves him and brings him to his gym to medicate him. He draws a sketch of Umezawa and pastes it on the sandbag and makes Ippo to puch it in order to cheer him up. Beating the sandbag made Ippo very happy and later in night he made a serious thought and decided that he would learn boxing.