A hot, steamy Saturday in Nagoya. It can only mean it’s sumo time!
What We Are Watching Day 7
Tokushoryu vs Terutsuyoshi – Even though day 6 brought Terutsuyoshi’s first loss, I expect him to continue the march towards an early kachi-koshi. Though as you can see from today’s torikumi, with Tochinoshin out we will have daily juryo visitors, which may be Terutsuyoshi’s duty to fight.
Toyonoshima vs Sadanoumi – I keep waiting to see if Toyonoshima is going to “turn the corner” and his sumo will wake up before he is horribly make-koshi and relegated back to Juryo. I know he has the potential and the skill to fight and win in the top division, but something is keeping him from executing.
Chiyomaru vs Kotoyuki – I will admit that Kotoyuki has surprised me thus far, he has (shall we say) exceeded expectations. He has executed well this visit to Makuuchi, and enters today with a respectable 4-2 score to July. Of course, when facing Chiyomaru, his primary weapon is his bulk. But Kotoyuki has a lot of mobility, and good balance traveling at oblique angles to his opponent. I think this is why their career record stands at 4-3.
Enho vs Kagayaki – This will be a good match, a solid match, and a match that might just require more analogies to the Aliens franchise. This is the first time these two have met, and I am curious what kind of approach Kagayaki will try.
Tochiozan vs Yago – Both Tochiozan and Yago seem to be running more cold than hot this basho, although both of them are capable of some very good sumo when they are healthy. Their only prior match went to Tochiozan.
Kotoeko vs Kaisei – Kaisei is hurt, he will struggle for the rest of the tournament, and probably wind up in Juryo, which is too bad as he has been a Makuuchi main stay since 2011, barring a couple of visits to Juryo.
Shohozan vs Takagenji – Okinoumi showed us on day 6 that he was able to stalemate Takagenji and wait for his chance. Now it’s up to Shohozan to see if it works for him, as well. We have not seen a lot of “run and gun” from Shohozan this tournament, and I wonder if it’s due to some injury.
Nishikigi vs Okinoumi – Being patient with Nishikigi won’t have the same effect as Takagenji. I have the opinion that Nishikigi is the kind of fellow who enjoys taking his time, and it’s possible we might see these two go chest to chest and lean on each other for a while today. Out of their 4 prior matches, Nishikigi has taken 3.
Onosho vs Daishoho – In spite of his 3-1 career advantage, I expect Onosho to continue to suffer with balance problems, and I almost wonder if he somehow has an ear / sinus infection that is causing at least part of his problems.
Chiyotairyu vs Tomokaze – Oh yes! This first time match has my attention. Chiyotairyu will come off the line with a lot of power, and Tomokaze will have to find some way to absorb it. I can only imagine Tomokaze figuring things out at Oguruma’s lodgings I the morning, and eventually turning to a neighborhood Daihatsu Hijet to ram into a bracket Tomokaze at 10 kph. Good luck, Tomokaze!
Kotoshogiku vs Shimanoumi – Kotoshogiku looks surprisingly light on day 6, and now I am worried. I think that if Shimanoumi can come in low and get Kotoshogiku back on his heels he could take this one.
Myogiryu vs Ichinojo – Myogiryu tends to win against Ichinojo (8-4), but this version of Ichinojo is really quite a fighter. I would expect that Myogiryu will try to stay mobile before Ichinojo either grabs his mawashi, or starts slapping him in the face.
Meisei vs Takarafuji – Meisei can’t seem to buy a win right now, and I think that may not improve vs Takarafuji.
Abi vs Hokutofuji – Another high interest match, two leading members of the Freshmen cohort going head to head. Both have long arms, and both of them are known for their oshi-zumo. As Hokutofuji likes to use his right hand for his “handshake tachiai”, the opening salvo will likely favor Abi, who tends to seek contact with his opponent’s shoulders from the right.
Ryuden vs Tamawashi – Now the scheduling team are just pouring on the good stuff. I hope that Ryuden did not get his head knocked too hard in his day 6 match with Mitakeumi, and is back to fighting shape. I also truly hope that Tamawashi has re-connected with his sumo. If both are true, these two should have a solid match.
Mitakeumi vs Asanoyama – Mitakeumi took their only prior match, and it was one of only 3 matches Asanoyama lost on his yusho run in May. Mitakeumi is going to have to be sharp off the line to prevent Asanoyama from getting a grip and calling the form of the fight.
Aoiyama vs Takayasu – Aoiyama has the ability to consistently beat Takayasu. In fact, Aoiyama has one 5 of their last 6. If you want to know why Takayasu can’t quite get to the point where he can contend for the yusho? It’s because this giant mountain of a man has his number.
Goeido vs Endo – Goeido needs to work fast today, before Endo can get that front grip that has been part of both of his wins, and a few of his “nearly won” matches. Goeido has looked a big vague the last couple of days, and we may have to add him to the “fighting hurt” list.
Daieisho vs Hakuho – More ballast for The Boss to chuck like a sack of potatoes.
Kakuryu vs Shodai – Shodai may shock everyone by beating Kakuryu for the first time in 11 tries today. Kakuryu’s matches are not as focused on the tachiai, which is Shodai’s weak spot, and this gives him time to set up some offense, which as we have seen, can actually produce results.