Given that it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S., this is just a short preview. Tomorrow, I’ll recap where things stand going into the final weekend.
Before he faces the two Ozeki, 11-1 Hakuho gets M5 Takarafuji. They have faced off 14 times, with Hakuho winning 12.
One of the two 10-2 chasers, Hokutofuji, goes up against Yoshikaze. Both have a lot at stake, as Yoshikaze desperately needs a win to have a shot at attaining his kachi-koshi and maintaining his Sekiwake rank, while Hokutofuji now leads the race for promotion to San’yaku. Let’s hope Yoshikaze didn’t injure himself too badly. The other chaser, Okinoumi, faces an increased level of competition in M6 Tochinoshin, who showed his old strength in defeating Asanoyama.
In other notable upper-rank bouts, the two Ozeki face off when Goeido takes on Takayasu. After losing his last 3 matches, and 5 of the last 7, Goeido still needs a win to achieve his kachi-koshi and avoid becoming kadoban. I’m sure he doesn’t want to have to try to do it on senshuraku against Hakuho! Mitakeumi, who still needs a win to maintain his rank, takes on Ichinojo. Onosho, who needs to win all of his remaining matches, faces Shohozan, and Takakeisho is matched up against Tochiozan.
One of my candidates for bout of the day pits M1 Tamawashi against M9 Endo, who’s won 6 in a row. Both men already have their kachi-koshi, so this battle of contrasting styles is over how big their promotions will be. Endo is really being tested here by being matched with an opponent much higher up the banzuke. Will Tamawashi’s furious attack prevail, or will Endo find a way to turn this into a test of mawashi skills?