Today looks like a day where the decided to take folks who have last fought against each other in Osaka, and run them through the mill. Not that I am complaining one bit! Highlight matches for me are going to be Mitakeumi vs Hokuseiho, Onosho vs Takayasu and Kirishima vs Hokutofuji.
What We Are Watching Day 3
Daishoho (0-2) vs Chiyoshoma (1-1) – As the last man on the banzuke, Daishoho needs to find a win or two in short order. With a 0-2 start, I am sure that he feels the pressure. He has an even 4-5 record against Chiyoshoma, who seems to be fighting well enough even though he lost is day 2 match against Kotoshoho. They have had 3 prior matches, two of which went to Chiyoshoma.
Aoiyama (0-2) vs Tsurugisho (1-1) – Yes, its the same story as Nagoya. Giant blobby fellow from Central Europe, whose sumo career is getting long in the tooth, has a cold start and Bruce gets worried. Will Big Dan rally back again this time? He has beaten Tsurugisho in 6 of the 9 prior fights, and won 2 of the 3 fights this year.
Kagayaki (1-1) vs Nishikifuji (1-1) – Both men come into day 3 with 1-1 records, and I would like to see Nishikifuji pick up a white star today. Granted, Kagayaki won their first and only match, Osaka day 8, but Kagayaki’s sumo is looking shabby and poorly focused right now.
Myogiryu (1-1) vs Atamifuji (2-0) – First ever match between a long serving veteran and a new rising star. Fans of Atamifuji seem to really be strong backers, and I am sure he will have a crowd of them in the Kokugikan for Tuesday. He also brings in a 2-0 record that underscores that he may be able to stay in the top division on his second attempt.
Kotoshoho (1-1) vs Sadanoumi (2-0) – At 36, I continue to be impressed and humbled that Sadanoumi not only mounts the dohyo each day, but fights with such power and skill. Getting beat up daily is a young man’s occupation but he manages to stick with it. He has an even 4-3 record against Kotoshoho, but he lost the only prior match against him this year – day 7 of Osaka.
Mitakeumi (2-0) vs Hokuseiho (1-1) – What a fun match. It’s a first time battle between a former Ozeki and the runner up for the tallest building in Japan. Rumors are flying that the on again, off again romance between Hokuseiho and the Tokyo Skytree are hotter than ever, so the big man may be slightly distracted. Has Hokuseiho fought a tadpole before?
Takarafuji (1-1) vs Endo (0-2) – Twenty Five career matches, with a 15-10 advantage to Endo. Mind you, Endo has yet to find his first win of the tournament, and there’s a chance that’s down to an injury that has been sapping his performance. But today may be his first win, as all of their matches since 2021 have gone to Endo (5 in a row).
Kinbozan (2-0) vs Hiradoumi (1-1) – Kinbozan entered the top division with a lot of well earned buzz. In his debut in March of this year, he had 8 consecutive kachi-koshi tournaments, and 2 lower division yusho. Then came 2 make-koshi tournaments, and the blazing new star has possibly settled into the reality of the tough competition he will face for the rest of his top division career. Their only prior match was day 13 of Osaka, which went to Kinbozan.
Kotoeko (1-1) vs Midorifuji (0-2) – I wish Midorifuji was in better health. He’s been a shambles since Osaka, and I am not sure he is clear of whatever injury befell him following March’s tournament. But he’s back to being at least a step too slow and a 50斤 to soft. So I think Kotoeko has a good chance of picking up his second win today, and relegating Midorifuji to a pitiful 0-3.
Oho (0-2) vs Ryuden (0-2) – The good news is – one of these 0-2 guys will get their first win today. Both of them seem to be up to fighting competitively at their rank, but for various reasons have yet to find their first white star. They have an even 2-2 career record, with Oho taking their only prior match this year, Natsu day 10.
Onosho (2-0) vs Takayasu (2-0) – Both start the day with 2-0, and bring an even career 4-4 record to the clay. I sort of want Takayasu to go “wild man” today, and really give Onosho a big blast at the tachiai. I am certain that Onosho is planning something similar, so lets have these two super jumbos just slug it out.
Shonannoumi (1-1) vs Ura (1-1) – A pair of 1-1 rikishi looking for their second win, and I would like to think that Ura may have the mojo to put on a couple of highlight reel worthy matches this basho. Of course I hope they are ones where he wins, but I would be willing to settle for some footage of him flying through the air and landing on the posture lady. Shonannoumi, you have your cue.
Takanosho (1-1) vs Gonoyama (1-1) – A portion of my sumo brain (such as it is) wants to see Gonoyama get to double digits from M5 this September. The 25 year old Goeido disciple came into pro sumo as a SD100 tsukidashi, and proceeded to grind through the ranks. This included picking up a Makushita yusho (no easy feat). He’s been straight kachi-koshi since becoming a sekitori, and blasted into the top division after a 14-1 Juryo yusho from J1E. That being said, I hope Takanosho gives him a good fight today.
Nishikigi (1-1) vs Asanoyama (2-0) – You know they are going chest to chest at the tachiai. You now Nishikigi is going to go for the arm bar, and Asanoyama is going to go for ukiyo-e. They last fought on day 4 of Natsu, 2019, during Nishikigi’s last magical tour through the joi-jin. Now he’s a Komusubi, and I want to see if he can make progress on his 2-6 career deficit to Asanoyama today.
Shodai (0-2) vs Wakamotoharu (0-2) – Well, neither guy has a win. Both are looking quite a bit below their expected performance level. Ring rust? Injury? We may never know. At least one of gets a win today. They share a 3-3 career record, with each winning 2 so far this year.
Daieisho (1-1) vs Abi (1-1) – No matter what else happens, we know its going to be big power forward from both men today. I will likely come down to who connects with power first, with Daieisho having an edge today. Daieisho leads the 10-8 career record, and has won 2 of the last 3.
Kotonowaka (1-1) vs Tamawashi (0-2) – With all of the over 35 rikishi who are struggling, I worry that they are on the sunset ride down the banzuke and into retirement. Tamawashi seldom wins over Kotonowaka, with Kotonowaka having a 7-3 career lead, and Tamawashi coming into day three winless.
Meisei (1-1) vs Takakeisho (1-1) – Takakeisho needs 7 more to clear kadoban, and he’s got a numbers advantage over Meisei with a 9-45 career advantage. My favorite fact on their match ups – on day 10 of Hatsu this year, Takakeisho won against Meisei with a kotenage. I bet you remember the now that I mentioned it, yes? Not everyday you see our Grand Tadpole with with a throw.
Kirishima (2-0) vs Hokutofuji (2-0) – Kirishima needs to be on his guard, as Hokutofuji’s 12-3 jun-yusho / yusho dotten hot streak from Nagoya still seems to be running at full throttle. He has already collected two Ozeki scalps, and I am sure he wants to complete the set. Kirishima has a 3-1 advantage over him on the clay.
Tobizaru (1-1) vs Hoshoryu (1-1) – The big battle at the end of the day has a lot of potential. Tobizaru has demonstrated that his mad cap combo sumo can take down Hoshoryu from time to time (7-10 career record), and he defeated Tamawashi yesterday. But in reality, Hoshoryu has won 4 of their last 5 matches, and will likely pick up his second win today, unless Tobizaru can get a quick slap down or catch Hoshoryu with his feet in the wrong spot.