"If and that's a big if you make it as a pro we'll settle our score in the ring, Rikiishi style."
~ to Yabuki Joe
Tōru Rikiishi (力石 徹, lit. Rikiishi Tōru) is a semi-recurring character in Ashita no Joe.
He was Joe's most personal and significant boxing rival in the first half of the series.
His surname is Tōru. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Tōru Rikiishi (力石 徹 Rikiishi Tōru) The two first meet in the juvenile detention center, where he was introduced as a boxer who was sentenced to the juvenile detention center because he had punched an member of the audience half to death after they had claimed that the match was rigged in Rikiishi's favor, enraging him.
On their first encounter Joe challenges Rikiishi without knowing he was once a professional boxer and manages to punch him in the face once before Rikiishi knocks him out in one punch. Thus he was quintessential in motivating Joe to start taking boxing seriously, even if his only reason is to beat Rikiishi in a rematch.
Rikiishi is widely considered to be one of the most promising rookie boxers in the world, but his career is tragically cut short, as he dies immediately after his and Joe's rematch from his injuries and the toll his extreme weight loss training took on his body.