Tochinoshin to Face Hakuho on Day 12!

Not sure what the schedule makers are thinking, but arguably the highlight bout of the basho will take place well before the final weekend, on Day 12. I’m surprised, as this would make a lot more sense as a Day 14 bout, especially with Hakuho yet to face Ichinojo. Anyway, even if tomorrow’s matches don’t alter the yusho race, this one on Thursday is certain to.

In other matches of note, Ikioi takes his turn in the joi against Kakuryu, and a lot of rikishi mass will be on the dohyo when Ichinojo faces Kotoshogiku.

23 thoughts on “Tochinoshin to Face Hakuho on Day 12!

  1. The top Yokozuna (in this case Kakuryu) always fights his last opponents in reverse order at the end, so Hakuho on Day 15, Tochinoshin on 14 and Ichinojo on 13. Unfortunately this means we’ll get Hakuho-Ichinojo on 14 and Hakuho-Tochinoshin on 12.

    I wish they’d be more flexible and have say Hakuho-Ichinojo on 12. Kakuryu -Tochinoshin on 13 and then the reverse Y-S matches on 14, but it’s hard to buck with tradition.

  2. Isn’t anyone else worried about Tochinoshin ruining his back? Lately his go to move is to simply pick everyone up and set them out of the ring like delivering packages- it’s the kuroneko technique!
    Seriously, how long can his back last doing this?
    Any mortal would already be on disability.

    • I’m concerned by how exhausted he appears to be after any bout that goes more than a few seconds. I love Tochinoshin and sincerely hope he has enough left in his tank to make a good fist of being an Ozeki. If he can stay in shape I think he has every chance of getting the white belt, but that’s a very big IF

      • Does he truly want the white belt, though? My understanding so far is that he eventually means to make a life back home and beyond sumo; surely that’s a consideration on both sides. (At this point, I swear I will be happy if the usual committee deliberation shenanigans are surmounted and the gentleman gets hus Ozeki promotion. You know there’d be someone trying to throw a spanner in the work even were he 15-0, so…

      • I agree. But I can’t see how he doesn’t end up ozeki.
        I would really hate to see him disabled though. There’s no way his back is going to hold up if he doesn’t get back to basics.
        Yokozuna? Right now, I don’t see why not. (If all things remain steady and his back holds up). Not even Hakuho seems like much of a threat to him these days. We’ll see soon enough about that though.
        Regardless, it’s great to see him doing so well. If only some of the others would find that genki juice, too.

        • I think the reality of doing sumo is that everyone no matter the level may only ever be one injury away from intai at any point – it is a contact sport, and these guys give it their all, and that’s why we love it. So, we see how high and how far they can go.

          Hiro Morita said today he thinks if Tochinoshin continues at the current pace, he doesn’t see any reason why he couldn’t start 2019 as a Yokozuna, and that even Hakuho may not be better than him in their current form. I think the former claim may be a bit much but I guess we’ll find out about the latter claim tomorrow.

          • Tochinoshin and Hakuho recently (November maybe?) had a match in which Hakuho deliberately went to the mawashi to demonstrate that he could defeat Tochinoshin even on the latter’s “home ground”. I think if he tries that this basho he might get a different result…

            In January Kakuryu beat Tochinoshin by keeping him off the mawashi; in March he tried to beat him on the mawashi and couldn’t do it.

            Gonna be an exciting third act!

            • (Hakuho’s last meeting with Tochinoshin was actually in July. That basho Tochinoshin was at M2 and went 9-6 but did enough damage to his leg that he went 4-11 in August. Hakuho won the yusho with a 14-1 record, losing only to Mitakeumi, which loss delayed his breaking of the record for most career victories by a day.)

    • Completed tournaments out of the last six (Natsu 2017 – Haru 2018):

      Tochinoshin 6/6
      Goeido 6/6
      Takayasu 4/6
      Hakuho 3/6
      Kakuryu 2/6
      Kisenosato 0/6

      Tochinoshin is probably not the one we should be worrying about.

      • And there we have it folks! By the numbers, the Yokozuna and Ozeki corps is in a bit of trouble. Adding a strong rikishi who seems to always be ready to fight will do wonders for sumo. Adding two or three would be even better.

  3. I have a (probably stupid) theory why they would have Tochinoshin meet Hakuhō already on day 12:
    To test if he is mentally up for if he loses to the yokozuna or if he pulls an Ichinojo and starts doubting himself and loses the rest too. And if he should happen to beat Hakuhō for the first time, well ōzeki material he is .


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