Aminishiki has been a joy to watch, and a great story, but let’s face it, he hasn’t exactly faced the cream of the crop of Makuuchi so far. The talent level goes up tomorrow with Asanoyama, who leads the career series 2-1, but the young rikishi is in the middle of a bad sophomore basho slump.
Endo, who’s looked good, takes on Okinoumi, who’s looked even better. Look for another mawashi battle. Endo holds a 5-3 career edge.
Chiyoshoma takes on Arawashi!!! They look alike and fight alike; who’ll pull off the throw first? Arawashi holds a narrow 3-2 edge in their previous meetings.
Tochinoshin takes on Ichinojo!!! The strongman vs. the giant! Will they take turns trying to push each other out, or will Tochinoshin try for a throw? I can see this bout lasting a while. Tochinoshin leads 9-4.
Kotoshogiku, who looked genki indeed against Chiyotairyu, takes on Hokutofuji, who’s been quietly putting together a great basho. Keep away from the gaburi attack, Hokutofuji. Kotoshogiku leads 2-0.
Tamawashi takes on Yoshikaze. The former Sekiwake has looked stronger than the current one. Yoshikaze leads 11-8.
Mitakeumi, 4-1, takes on Onosho, 1-4. I expect a good battle, but Onosho really needs to find his balance. Mitakeumi leads 2-1.
It’s Chiyotairyu’s turn to try to slow down Goeido, but he’s looked a shadow of his Aki self. The career series is surprisingly even at 4-3 in favor of the Ozeki.
Takakeisho has lost his one previous matchup with Takayasu, but he’s looked outstanding this basho. Takakeisho needs to keep Takayasu away from his mawashi. Look for a tsupari flurry from both rikishi.
Kisenosato and Tochiozan have met 40 times, and each has won his share, with the Yokozuna holding a 25-15 lead. Kisenosato is clearly not fighting at full strength, and Tochiozan is the only winless rikishi, so who knows what to expect from this bout.
Shohozan will do his best to put up a fight, but he is winless in 12 previous meetings with Hakuho.