Natsu Day 2 Preview

Day 2… no Abema… I had to resort to re-watching Herouth's older posts. My wife says that I am overly focused on sumo. I tell her she is right, but in my heart I know she is wrong.

(Wakes up)

Oh! Time for day 2 preview. Well good news sumo fans, the top division WILL be televised for all of us around the world to enjoy. There are some fantastic matches for Monday, so let’s get on it!

What We Are Watching Day 2

Ikioi vs Ishiura – For those who did not get to watch Juryo (feels a twinge), it seems Ikioi is just as much of a wreck as he was in Osaka. This is terrible news for him and for fans, as he has been an mainstay for years, and it’s just not quite the same without him around. Well, he’s the Juryo visitor for day 2, and he faces Ishiura, who seems to not quite know what to do with his sumo right now.

Terutsuyoshi vs Tokushoryu – I would guess Terutsuyoshi is going to try to slap or pull down Tokushoryu within the first moments of the match. If Tokushoryu can avoid the pull, I am pretty sure he will use his superior mass and amazingly low center of gravity to carry the match.

Kotoeko vs Enho – Enho electrified the crowd on day one, but given that day 2 is a weekday, we are going to see a larger number of salarymen and little old sumo ladies. If anything, Enho’s cheering section may get louder. Normally Kotoeko holds the advantage in maneuverability, but against Enho, he’s second place. I am curious to see what kind of opening gambit Kotoeko will use.

Shimanoumi vs Chiyomaru – Some fans thought Shimanoumi was unfocused, and his sumo was trying to do too many things at once. I chalk it up to being in the top division for the first time. Coming up against Chiyomaru may seem a bit more comfortable, as they faced off in Juryo. “Big Green” seems to have a solid attack plan – stand them up and slap them down. Will he catch Shimanoumi unprepared?

Kagayaki vs Shohozan – Interestingly, Kagayaki tends to win against Shohozan (7-4), though Kagayaki looked off his sumo on day 1. Shohozan had a good match on day 1, and I think he is in better condition than Kagayaki for now.

Tochiozan vs Onosho – A healthy Onosho at Maegashira 10 should be like a wrecking ball through the middle of the banzuke. A healthy Tochiozan (is he healthy?) is a bit under-ranked at Maegashira 11. Onosho is going to drive inside, and Tochiozan is probably going to work to stalemate him for a time until he can find his opening. This is not a bad bet as Onosho tends to over-commit and find his balance forward over his toes.

Tomokaze vs Asanoyama – A battle of two strong young rikishi should be a fairly stiff battle. I know both of them are going to want to go chest to chest, and it will come down to who gets their grip early. I think Tomokaze may hold a slight edge for day 2.

Takarafuji vs Shodai – Takarafuji is a master technician, but Shodai seems to have some kind of uncanny “ring luck”. Shodai is still struggling to get a decent tachiai, and Takarafuji is seldom fast enough to fully exploit Shodai’s known weakness.

Ryuden vs Abi – Ryuden struggles with Abi-zumo, and after seeing Abi get stuck on day 1 and switch effectively to a “plan B” for the win, I am curious to see what he will do against Ryuden. I am sure Ryuden knows he needs to have a “go to” formula for defeating sumo’s resident stick insect.

Tamawashi vs Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi had no real offense against Kakuryu on day 1, but today is a new day. Some fans suggested that Tamawashi had a bit of a concussion after the round-house blow that Aoiyama delivered in his day 1 win. These two have fought many times in lower San-yaku, and Mitakeumi holds a remarkable 16-2 advantage.

Daieisho vs Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin holds a career lead of 5-1, and it looks like the lift-and-shift sumo king is back in his element. If he can get the left hand grip in, we will see Daieisho catch some air.

Goeido vs Aoiyama – I don’t think Aoiyama has a chance here. Goeido is dialed in and as aggressive as he can be.

Takakeisho vs Kotoshogiku – If Kotoshogiku brings the same intensity that he showed on day 1, Takakeisho is going to have a tough match. But Takakeisho has gotten much faster at “pulling the trigger” on his preferred wave action attack.

Endo vs Takayasu – Takayasu looked like hell on day 1. He needs to get his sumo together and fight with energy.

Hokutofuji vs Kakuryu – Hokutofuji gets the Yokozuna on day 2, and needs something a bit more vigorous than the weak-sauce pull attempt he tried against Goeido. Kakuryu started in the same peak form that he showed in practice matches leading up to the basho. If he is healthy and ready, he will be the man to beat.

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