Terunofuji remained in the basho for day 7, and picked up a much needed win over Ichinojo to keep himself with a minimal winning record. But I have to call out to watch Midorifuji fight Hoshoryu. Some of the better sumo you are going to see this September from two solid rikishi. Further down the banzuke we had the final winless rikishi in Takarafuji pick up his first win in the battle of the limping giants.
Tomorrow is the middle day of the basho, so our first look at the leaderboard in tonight’s preview!
Hiradoumi defeats Chiyomaru – Hiradoumi really wanted that left hand belt grip, but the bulbous belly of Chiyomaru is like a great bollard protecting his mawashi. Hiradoumi settles for a double dumpling handful of breast meat and pushes iwth all he can muster. Chiyomaru goes out and Hiradoumi improves to 4-3.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Mitoryu – Terutsuyoshi showed up today with a loose mawashi. Maybe he was trying to prevent any kind of leverage for Mitoryu. But it was clear early on they were trending toward a wardrobe malfunction at a rapid pace. The gyoji stops the match to thankfully prevent the world from getting more than it bargained for on day 7. Following the garment adjustment session, Terutsuyoshi charged straight ahead and brought Mitoryu down. Both end the day at 3-4.
Chiyoshoma defeats Ichiyamamoto – Ichiyamamoto’s long arm thrusts worked very well at the tachiai. But Chiyoshoma was able to escape the third volley, find a body grip on Ichiyamamoto, and dive forward to bring Ichiyamamoto out. Chiyoshoma improves to 5-2.
Ryuden defeats Tsurugisho – This was a great incremental fight. Neither man was able to get a working grip at the tachiai, so they both began chipping away at each other’s defense. Tsurugisho had the better hand placement, but Ryuden had the better body position. With Tsurugisho standing nearly upright, Ryuden converted his strong left hand grip into a solid uwatedashinage, landing Tsurugisho with a meaty thud. Ryuden now 3-4.
Yutakayama defeats Chiyotairyu – Yutakayama finally picks up his second win, at the expense of Chiyotairyu somewhat disorganized sumo. Chiyotairyu got a few big hits in, but was unable once again to hold ground. Yutakayama advances to 2-5.
Kotoshoho defeats Oho – Oho picks up his second loss in 2 days when Kotoshoho lands a big double hand hit center mass at the tachiai. Oho gets completely disrupted, rocked back and stumbles to the rear. Kotoshoho follows up with a second hit, and Oho it out on the west side. Kotoshoho earns a glorious 4th win to end the day 4-3.
Nishikifuji defeats Okinoumi – Nishikifuji’s tachiai was not very strong, and he quickly tried to pull against Okinoumi. This nearly cost him the match, but he was able to recover and establish a left hand inside grip. Okinoumi was not even near his normal self today, as he bypassed at least 3 chances to win this match, and he allowed Nishikifuji to walk him out. Nishikifuji up to 5-2 now.
Kotoeko defeats Myogiryu – A rare Kotoeko win against Myogiryu, he’s only now managed it twice in 10 attempts. Myogiryu covered Kotoeko’s shift to the left at the tachiai, but Kotoeko had a working grip and surged forward, catching Myogiryu without his feet set. A quick run across the tawara, and Kotoeko improves to 3-4.
Hokutofuji defeats Takanosho – Hokutofuji is so hit-or-miss from basho to basho, I almost forgot how unusual some of his sumo can be. I note with great interest how bent over he was this entire fight, minimizing his upper body’s attack profile for Takanosho. It worked a treat as Takanosho struggled to set up any real offense against Hokutofuji, and found himself trying anything to stop Hokutofuji’s advance. It ultimately failed, and Hokutofuji picked p an oshidashi win to stay perfect at 7-0.
Tochinoshin defeats Wakamotoharu – Clever sumo from Tochinoshin today. He gave Wakamotoharu a big hit at the tachiai with a forearm to the upper body, which stood him up. As Wakamotoharu dialed up the forward power, Tochinoshin pulled the forearm down, releasing the support and Wakamotoharu crashed to the dohyo. Tochinoshin improves to 3-4.
Sadanoumi defeats Onosho – Onosho came in hard at the tachiai, got a left hand under Sadanoumi’s arm and drove forward. One thing that is consistent about Onosho’s sumo, at some point he is going to put every ounce of power he can generate into a big forward push. Sadanoumi was counting on it. He set his feet and pivoted against the push, applying an uwatenage to send Onosho cartwheeling over the bales. Nice match strategy. Sadanoumi now 4-3.
Takarafuji defeats Aoiyama – Well, the good news is that Takarafuji finally got his first win. The bad news is that both of these guys are a shambles right now, with matching 1-6 scores. If we use this match as a gauge, Aoiyama is in somewhat worse condition than Takarafuji. Neither man could hold much forward power, and it was pretty much injury sumo showcase from these two.
Takayasu defeats Endo – Takayasu breaks through Endo’s somewhat disorganized tachiai, getting his hands high on Endo’s chest. From there it’s a train of powerful pushes from Takayasu, moving Endo back and over the bales 5 steps later. Takayasu at 6-1, and nobody look, but he trails the unbeaten Hokutofuji by one win.
Tobizaru defeats Meisei – Tobizaru was a bit wild and disorganized today, and twice came close to losing the match. First when he pulled Meisei on the second step, the second just before Meisei stepped out when Tobizaru lost his balance and took a mis-step. But Meisei did step out, and Tobizaru picks up a much needed win to improve to 4-3.
Kotonowaka defeats Daieisho – Daieisho is only hitting his big thrusts with a fraction of his peak power, which we saw when he took the yusho in January of 2021. Today he lost an arm bandage during the fight with Kotonowaka, who stood his ground masterfully, and waited for Daieisho to be off balance, shoving him out in between steps. Kotonowaka improves to 4-3.
Midorifuji defeats Hoshoryu – Midorifuji showed no fear of shin-Sekiwake Hoshoryu today, taking the fight to his opponent and moving him back from the tachiai. Hoshoryu rallied, but could not get underneath Midorifuji. Hoshoryu tried a shoulder throw, but to no avail. This was, simply, a fantastic battle. It ended with Midorifuji getting a lateral hold on Hoshoryu, freezing him in an off balance position and then driving forward while Hoshoryu struggled to keep his feet. Brilliant win by Midorifuji to move to 3-4. Yes, Hoshoryu has never beaten Midorifuji in (now) 5 attempts.
Wakatakakage defeats Tamawashi – Tamawashi picks up his first loss of the basho, and I think it came when he decided to take a yori against Wakatakakage rather than continue to engage him in hit-and-shift sumo that he prefers. Wakatakakage quickly converted Tamawashi’s forward pressure to power a throw which sent Tamawashi to the clay. Wakatakakage now with 4 straight wins at 4-3.
Kiribayama defeats Mitakeumi – Future Sekiwake Mitakeumi lets Kiribayama get a left hand outside grip, and does not stagger his feet to counter. With his hips high, his weight on a line, he’s an easy pick up for Kiribayama who makes light of Mitakeumi’s 175 kg frame and walks him out. Kiribayama at 5-2.
Nishikigi defeats Shodai – Congratulations on Nishikigi to for a big win on your “Magical Mystery Tour” through the named ranks. I again noticed that Shodai cannot maintain any forward pressure for more than a moment, and once Nishikigi captures him, Shodai is unable to stop him from pressing ahead. 4-3 for Nishikigi. He has Terunofuji tomorrow, maybe his second kinboshi?
Takakeisho defeats Ura – Takakeisho with excellent foot work today, keeping Ura back and centered for maximum attack pressure. Ura gave it his all to break contact and get inside to attack, but the Ozeki was having none of it. Takakeisho at 5-2.
Terunofuji defeats Ichinojo – I can’t decide if I want Terunofuji to give up his 4th kinboshi of the tournament tomorrow to Nishikigi or just call it done now that he defeated last basho’s champion. Note how he goes to great length to keep all pressure off of that right knee in this match. Ugly stuff. Terunofuji at 4-3.