Before he becomes the world’s greatest swordsman, Zoro needs to have a real sword fight. By that, I mean a fight determined by the quickness and subtlety of the blade. I understand that Haki attacks that cut ships and cliffs are cool. But what I would love to see is a fight where every stroke of the blade can dismember limbs or necks, where Zoro barely dodges a thrust and responds with a slice that his opponent paries at just the right time.
Throughout the series, Zoro’s fights have demonstrated his strength, resolve, and power. His swordsmanship, however has only been demonstrated through these moments where he cuts through powerful bodies or attacks. Ironically, if his opponents will be as strong as he is, then the way to make the fights interesting is classical swordsmanship. Dual weild presents some good opportunities as patterns of movement (interchanging high and low slashes, for example) can make for clever attacks. An opponent can get used to a pattern and is then surprised by a sudden switch. Using his mouth sword as a feint to lure his opponent to a low angle slash could also be cool.
Now let’s take a look at Zoro’s possible future opponents.
5. THE NEXT USER OF KIRA KIRA NO MI
When Zoro was finally able to cut Daz Bones (Mr. 1), he asked to Zoro: “What’s next? Cutting diamonds?”
Now that line holds a lot of foreshadowing as we have learned in the Marineford War Arc that a certain Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates holds the ability to turn into diamond… And we all know Oda doesn’t just throw things out there for nothing.
There will be a point in the series where Zoro will have to go head to head against Diamond Jozu?
Personally I can’t believe that any of the Straw Hats will fight someone of the remnant Whitebeard Pirates. Does this mean Jozu will die at some point and Zoro will fight the next owner of his devil fruit?
In terms of combat strength, Fujitora is considered to be one of the strongest fighters within the entire World Government structure.
He ate the Zushi Zushi no Mi, a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that allows him the to manipulate gravity around a chosen location at will by sending gravitational forces. Fujitora can manipulate gravitational forces by channeling his Devil Fruit ability through his sword. He can send the gravitational forces by swinging or just simply moving his sword.
Fujitora has also shown mastery over two types of Haki: Armament Haki and Observation Haki, which he uses to compensate for his blindness in battle.
The fight between Fujitora and Zoro was anticipated in Dressrosa, where they clashed. Zoro defeating Fujitora in a duel would be a remarkable feat to add to his resume.
3. SHIRYU OF THE RAIN
Shiryu has eaten the Suke Suke no Mi, a Paramecia-class Devil Fruit which gives him the ability to turn himself and other things invisible. With this fruit, he is able to cut opponents without being spotted, taking them by surprise.
Surely Shiryu has an advantage against lower level enemies, but Observation Haki users should remain unfazed by his invisibility.
Apparently Shiryu made a mistake choosing Suke Suke no Mi but its Awakening form could allow him not to turn everything around him invisible like some of the Paramecia devil fruits we have seen but instead it erases every trace of the user including it’s presence. This would make this fruit the perfect match for a blood killer like Shiryu.
Zoro will have to push his Observation Haki to its peak to defeat Shiryu.
2. SAINT ETHANBARON V. NUSJURO
He is bald, much like Mahatma Gandhi. He is the only one of the five to not wear a black suit or tie. He also holds a samurai sword with him. According to some popular theories, that Gorosei possesses a Kitetsu.
At the moment we know nothing about their powers and backstories but I do believe that all of them have fighting powers:
-They all have battle scars.
-He has one of the greatest swords, if he doesn’t know how to fight why would he go through all the trouble of getting it.
-In the One Piece world, power rules. To become Fleet Admiral you have to be Admiral first, and to do that you need to have Haki and etc.. you get the idea.
My point is that Gorosei has great fighting power, probably even greater than an Admiral.
1. DRACULE MIHAWK
There is only one swordsman who Zoro aims to defeat in order to become the world’s best swordsman and that is none other than Dracule Mihawk, the current holder of the title, “Greatest Swordsman in the World”. Part of Mihawk’s reputation as the most powerful master swordsman in the world is also due to his tremendous superhuman physical power and fortitude which supplements his mastery of swordsmanship. An throughout all of One Piece series Mihawk didn’t get hurt even once!
In the past he was a rival to Shanks, when Shanks still got both arms. Having lost one rival in Shanks, he now shares a rivalry with Zoro, and is prepared to wait as long as it takes for Zoro to become strong enough to beat him.