Context: in the manga Rikudo, Riku is going to fight against the number 2 of the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation), a Filipino boxer named Alan Sedenho. Alan has been offered by the federation a match for the vacant OPBF title, but has to wait for a strong opponent to appear.

Riku's trainer: アランは空位のOPBF王座を賭けたタイトル戦のオファーを連盟から受けていて客を呼べる相手が現れる次第で〝おあずけ〟をくらってる無敗の帝王と言った選手だ。

Riku's friend: そ… それっておい… OPBFタイトルの調整役としてふっかけられた話なのかよ!?

Riku's trainer: コイツが〝誰のためへの〟調整になるのかは水面下では既に決まってるがな

My translation attempt:

Riku's trainer: Alan is an undefeated boxer that was offered from the federation a match for the vacant OPBF title, but has to wait until an opponent that can attract a big audience will appear.

Riku's friend: Hey, so this means that... he is being forced to be a coordinator for the OPBF title?

Riku's trainer: I think it has already been decided behind closed doors for whom he will act as a coordinator.

What does 調整役 mean in this context? Considering that Riku is supposedly weaker than Alan, considering the fact that if Alan beats Riku his next match will probably be the title match and considering the trainer's answer, does it mean that Riku is being used as a かませ犬 so that Alan can then find a stronger opponent for the title match after beating him? Also, an extra question: what is the がな at the end of the trainer's answer? Uncertainty or hope?

Here you can see the original page. Thank you for your help!

EDIT: here you can find the next pages for more context--> 17, 18-19, 20. The man with the glasses is Akito Hyodo, former world champion and now a powerful boxing promoter. He has a son, Kaede Hyodo, who is a rising star in the boxing world (at the moment he is the Japanese national champion) and has recently abandoned his father's gym because of their bad relationship. Akito hates his son and is trying to stop his career progression.

  • Judging from Riku's face, your guess (調整役 = かませ犬) may be correct, but it's hard to say that with confidence. What's in the previous page?
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 1:49
  • @naruto Nothing useful in the previous page, but maybe the next pages could help. I updated the question with the next pages and more context.
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 3:47

1 Answer 1


調整役 is usually translated as "a coordinator/liaison", and in the context of boxing I think it typically means someone who arranges a match. However, judging from the posted pages and this article, 調整役 seems to mean something different here.

Here, 調整役 probably means "someone who Alan can use to tune-up his condition". Alan hasn't had a match for a while, so he needed some weaker opponent he could utilize to "get the rust off", and that was why Riku was chosen. This is a fairly context-dependent interpretation, and 調整役 doesn't usually mean this.

  • Thank you for the answer and for taking the time to research information about the manga. Could you also explain the がな at the end of the trainer's answer?
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 19:47
  • 1
    @Marco Looks like you've asked about it before :) It appears to me that the trainer is thinking this "match for tuning up" may benefit Riku rather than Alan. That is, he is expecting Riku will win and be "tuned up" in reality.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 6:49
  • Oops, thank you for reminding me that! :)
    – Marco
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 13:22

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