Taro Matsuzaka

Taro Matsuzaka was Kosaku's opponent in his pro test. Being the ego maniac that he is, Taro refuses to wear headgear during the match, and gets distracted by the girls that have come to watch him. Kosaku catches him off guard and knocks him out with one punch, sending Matsuzaka crashing down onto the bottom ring rope, knocking out most of his teeth.

Four years later, Matsuzaka challenges Hatanaka to a match as a Junior Featherweight, forcing Kosaku to lose weight again. At a local restaurant, Taro makes his prescence known, telling Kosaku about losing all his teeth, but Taro is different now, his massive ego is gone, and he seems much happier, but it is soon revealed that he only acts polite when he is working at the restaurant. All these years he has been gaining weight, following Kosaku up in weight classes, ruining his own boxing career just to have an opportunity at revenge against Kosaku.

Taro hates Kosaku so much, that after their fight he plans on quitting boxing once and for all. During their match, Taro fights dirty, but Kosaku stays in the match, both of the fighters get angry at one another, but Kosaku refuses to stay down and ends up catching Matsuzaka with a punch exactly as he did four years earlier. Taro finally understands Kosaku's talent, and decides that he'll stay in boxing now that he is able to let go of his rivalry.

The Meaning Behind the Name

Taro is similar to Taurus, or bull-like creature. Matsuzaka translates as "pine tree hill".

An Introduction to The One Pound Gospel

Cultural Notes