The marquee matchup in the Jonokuchi division tonight was Shunrai vs Mogamizakura. As we’d discussed in previous installments, Mogamizakura had been a co-leader until he went head-to-head with an undefeated Tanimoto from Jonidan. He, and everyone else with one loss still had a hope of a play-off, if he could beat Shunrai.
However, Shunrai has looked very solid this tournament, rarely finding himself “in trouble” against an opponent. Today, at the initial charge, he tried an ottsuke with his right to lock Mogamizakura’s arm inside but Mogamizakura reached outside and around to grab for his belt.
“Ooo, we might have a great belt batt…oh, no, he gave it up. Oh no, he lost.”Andy, while watching the Yusho bout
About as quickly as he grabbed the belt, Mogamizakura gave it up when Shunrai reached in and wrapped up his upper torso. I wish he’d kept that grip and used his size to drive forward. But instead, Shunrai launched a quick attack of his own, dumping Mogamizakura at the edge of the dohyo. He has shown to be quite the belt technician so far and has won five bouts by either yorikiri or yoritaoshi, and the two others with throws, one sukuinage, and one uwatedashinage. It will be very interesting to watch him develop.
I hope everyone enjoyed the Jonokuchi division coverage. I’m eager to see where scrappy Byakuen ends up in September. He’s fun to watch.