Manga creator George Morikawa appeared on an Abema TV program on March 5, and when asked a question about possibly running out of material for his Hajime no Ippo boxing manga, Morikawa responded "when I think about the [story] material, I've probably only covered about half of it." He jokingly added that he is not planning to take another 30 years to get through the rest of the story, stating that it would be really troublesome.
Morikawa also talked about the story development last year of Ippo's retirement from professional boxing. In the story, Ippo shows symptoms of "chronic traumatic encephalopathy" (CTE), and he decides to retire. He currently serves as a trainer for other boxers.
Morikawa launched Hajime no Ippo in 1989, and the series is his only manga. Kodansha published the manga's 123rd compiled book volume last November, and will publish the 124th volume (seen right) on Friday.
The manga inspired a television anime adaptation in 2000, followed by the Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger sequel in 2009 and the Hajime no Ippo Rising sequel in 2013. The series also inspired the Hajime no Ippo – Champion Road special and the Hajime no Ippo – Mashiba vs. Kimura original video anime in 2003. Geneon Entertainment released the first television anime season on DVD in North America before the company ceased operations in 2007.