Haru Day 11 Preview

It’s the opening day of act 3 for this 2021 Haru basho. In act 3, we sort everyone into make/kachi-koshi, and someone takes home the yusho. Fans of Takayasu are on pins and needles, as of today, he is 2 wins ahead of everyone else. Being a supporter of the big hairy guy has been a rough road. Much like his senpai, Takayasu has never quite been able to win a yusho. He has done quite well multiple times in his career, but never well enough to best everyone else. With 5 matches to go, he has a chance to do it this March. I caution myself and other Takayasu fans – a lot can happen in the next 5 days. I personally think Takayasu will lose at least one more match. The group 2 behind him have a tall order if they want to snatch the yusho away from him – they more or less have to win out and hope that the former Ozeki loses twice. He has beaten 2 of the 3 Ozeki, with only Shodai left to face on day 11. He has Takanosho, Hokutofuji and Wakatakakage yet to fight. Good luck sir!

Haru Leaderboard

At this point I like to start trying to guess the winning record. Right now Takayasu has 9-1, so theoretically he could go 14-1. I personally think the winning score will be 12-3 for this basho, and that opens the possibility of one rikishi in the group 2 behind might be able to challenge. Call me a twisted sumo fan, but part of me wants to see Takayasu fight Tobizaru. Their only other match ended with a Takayasu loss via kekaeshi in November.

Leader: Takayasu
Chasers:
Hunt Group: Asanoyama, Terunofuji, Tobizaru, Chiyonokuni

5 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 11

Hidenoumi vs Chiyoshoma – Hidenoumi has been running an odd pattern this basho: win 2, lose 2. As he just picked up his second win in a row yesterday against Midorifuji, I am calling for him to hit the clay today against Chiyoshoma, who holds a marginal 6-4 career record advantage.

Terutsuyoshi vs Kaisei – Kaisei looked a bit shaky against Hoshoryu on day 10, I think he suffers from stability problems this basho, compounded when he is forced to move laterally. I am sure this was not unnoticed by Terutsuyoshi, and I suspect we may see Terutsuyoshi try to keep Kaisei chasing him in search of a hand hold.

Yutakayama vs Aoiyama – Yutakayama has put forth a notable effort to attempt to save his Maegashira status. In spite of a 1-5 start, he has won 3 of the last 4. Today, he faces a pretty tough fight against a genki Aoiyama, who has a good recipe of standing Yutakayama up, and batting him down.

Akiseyama vs Tsurugisho – Every time you can start to think that Akiseyama is just a ridiculous fat guy who somehow wandered into the Kokugikan, he shows some really impressive sumo. Day 10 against Tochinoshin is an example. It was not pretty, but it got the job done. A bit like Akiseyama. He holds a 10-3 career advantage over Tsurugisho.

Chiyonokuni vs Daiamami – I have a hunch that the schedulers are saving a match or two for Chiyonokuni later in act 3 that could have high impact. I am not sure, but maybe Terunofuji (2-1 advantage). Daiamami should be an easy mark for the Grumpy Badger today. Kachi-koshi for Chiyonokuni if he can make it happen.

Kotoeko vs Tobizaru – Kotoeko has won the last 3 against Tobizaru, using a variety of kimarite. If Tobizaru hopes to be in a spot to try and snatch the yusho in the final weekend, he needs to overcome this disadvantage and put Kotoeko out today. A Tobizaru win today is kachi-koshi.

Kotonowaka vs Ryuden – A loss today would be make-koshi for Kotonowaka, who needs to regroup, heal up whatever is plaguing him, and try again in May. Ryuden has to win 4 of the next 5 to avoid make-koshi himself.

Midorifuji vs Kagayaki – Two more rikishi who I had expected at the start of the basho to perform well, but have been sputtering during acts 1 and 2. This is their first ever match, with a Kagayaki loss today netting him a make-koshi for March.

Tochinoshin vs Chiyotairyu – Also right at the make-koshi line is Tochinoshin. He can take some comfort in his 8-3 career record over Chiyotairyu, who I fully expect will be a Darwin candidate for Sunday.

Hoshoryu vs Okinoumi – Okinoumi surprised Chiyonokuni on day 10, pulling the Grumpy Badger out of the hunt group, and saving himself from his 8th loss. He gets a first ever match against Hoshoryu today, and it will come down to Okinoumi getting a controlling grip within the first 2 steps.

Meisei vs Ichinojo – Both men enter todays match with 6-4 records, and Meisei having a history of beating Ichinojo. But the Ichinojo of this Haru basho is more genki than I have seen in some time. I am looking for a good fight, and maybe a “Bad Pony!” ending.

Tamawashi vs Wakatakakage – Is anyone else looking at today’s torikumi and saying: “Wakatakakage at 6-4? How did that happen?”. But it did happen. This should be a roving oshi-zumo slap and smash festival for the middle of our sumo day.

Takarafuji vs Shimanoumi – Well, at least the schedulers put two of the sadder cases together for this day 11 match. Maybe Takarafuji can rally enough to supply his second only win of this basho and send Shimanoumi to make-koshi.

Onosho vs Daieisho – I almost wonder if already make-koshi Onosho can stop Daieisho’s rally today. He has a 9-5 career advantage, and was one of an elite group of rikishi who beat Daieisho on his way to the cup in January.

Hokutofuji vs Mitakeumi – Their history favors Mitakeumi, but I am hoping that Hokutofuji can make a strong showing of today’s match. As is too frequently the case, Mitakeumi’s sumo has been all over the map this basho, which is sadly why he is not Ozeki Mitakeumi.

Terunofuji vs Takanosho – In four attempts, Terunofuji has not been able to beat Takanosho. In addition to getting double digit wins, Terunofuji needs to show strong, good form to qualify for Ozeki promotion. I think a first ever win over Takanosho would help make that case. Terunofuji still needs to find 3 more wins out of the 5 remaining matches to hit double-digits.

Shodai vs Takayasu – There are 19 prior matches between these two, and they favor Shodai 11-8. But looking a bit deeper, Shodai has won the last 7 consecutive matches against Takayasu. If Takayasu is going to realize his hopes of taking home the yusho, he will put Ozeki Shodai down today.

Takakeisho vs Kiribayama – Takakeisho fans are just hoping he can find 2 more wins and get his 8 for March. Can he pick up another white star today against Kiribayama? Yes, if he can keep Kiribayama away from his belt.

Myogiryu vs Asanoyama – For yet another basho, Asanoyama finds himself chasing the yusho race leader, having to win out to have a chance to contend for the cup. As we are now on the cusp of a “Nokozuna” age, one of these guys needs to become consistent and start dominating tournaments. At one point I was certain it would be Asanoyama, but he seems to have fallen into the Ozeki trap – fighting well, but just well enough.

Haru Day 10 Highlights

Well, Takayasu is on a roll. Eight straight wins after he dropped his Day 1 match to Meisei, and he finds himself in the lead, and first with a kachi-koshi. Terunofuji and Chiyoshoma are nipping at his heels . More importantly, he shows no signs of the arm or knee injuries from the past. He cleaned up when he was fighting lower maegashira and has now found his sumo and is beating up the varsity squad. Can he keep this streak alive and claim his first Emperor’s Cup? Even if he comes up shy, he’s got to be looking at starting another Ozeki run. It would be wild to have two former Ozeki win yusho and then be re-promoted to the rank.

As for our incumbent Ozeki, Asanoyama seems to be turning things back on and may find himself in the hunt. Takakeisho is on a path to clear the kadoban status, while Shodai is playing with fire. They’re not the dominant forces we’d come to expect from ozeki like Kisenosato…steadily picking up 10 wins and often featuring late in the yusho race. However, they may soon have company at the rank with Terunofuji 2 or 3 wins away…and now Takayasu’s looking like the strongest guy in the sport.

Day 10 Bouts

Ishiura defeated Yutakayama: Yutakayama had one strategy today, go for Ishiura’s head. After a solid tachiai, Yutakayama’s started in on Ishiura’s face and pursued him around the ring. However, as Ishiura cycled toward the tawara, Yutakayama’s upper body pitched further and further forward until Ishiura’s shift at the dohyo made Yutakayama flop onto the dohyo. Hikiotoshi.

Daiamami defeated Terutsuyoshi: Similar to Yutakayama, Daiamami was focused on a single strategy, driving his forearm into Terutsuyoshi’s upper body. With his superior footwork, he was able to drive Terutsuyoshi out…to Terutsuyoshi’s complete and utter disbelief. I thought it was pretty obvious Daiamami won but Terutsuyoshi clearly had his doubts and hung around, hoping the gyoji would spin his way? Kimedashi.

Aoiyama defeated Kotoeko: It only took two big shoves from Aoiyama to push Kotoeko out. Wow, that one was quick. Oshidashi.

Hidenoumi defeated Midorifuji: Hidenoumi took his time with this. He quickly wrapped up Midorifuji’s arm but patiently waited for the perfect time to twist and drive Midorifuji backwards. Midorufuji landed square on his butt and was slow to get up and slow to walk back to his starting position. Oshitaoshi.

Tsurugisho defeated Ryuden: Straightforward tachiai and Tsurugisho drove forward into Ryuden. As Ryuden fought back, Tsurugisho put his big paw on the back of his head and drove down, backing up a bit. THAT is how you execute a pull. Kotenage?

Hoshoryu defeated Kaisei: Wow, Hoshoryu took on Kaisei’s power sumo head on. With a twist at the center of the ring, he threw the much bigger Kaisei. Just wow. Shitatenage.

Tobizaru defeated Chiyoshoma: About a dozen body blasts weren’t getting us anywhere. So Tobizaru went for the belt and pulled Chiyoshoma backwards over the tawara and down while he also kicked his leg out from under him. That was pretty. Komatasukui.

Akiseyama defeated Tochinoshin: A frantic Tochinoshin tried to power Akiseyama out. He could get him back to the tawara but Akiseyama fought back. Tochinoshin drove Akiseyama back again to the edge but Akiseyama pivoted and threw Tochinoshin off the dohyo. Shitatenage.

Chiyotairyu defeated Kagayaki: Rather than expend energy with some protracted, entertaining oshi battle, Chiyotairyu executes the hated early pull. Unfortunately for Kagayaki, he wasn’t ready for it at all and fell flat on his face. Hatakikomi.

Ichinojo defeated Kotonowaka: Ichinojo says, “Get out of the ring!” He drove Kotonowaka back with a fierce nodowa but Kotonowaka somehow resisted and stayed in. As he slipped to his right, Ichinojo continued to bull forward…until he’d decided he had enough and slapped Kotonowaka’s head down and rolled back across the dohyo. Hatakikomi.

Okinoumi defeated Chiyonokuni: Okinoumi drove forward and played spoiler today. He resisted Chiyonokuni’s pull and accompanying hatakikomi attempt. Come on, we were over quota anyway. It wasn’t going to work again. With Chiyonokuni’s back to the tawara, it only took one well-timed shove to knock him over onto his butt. “Ow, my pride hurts.” – Chiyonokuni Oshitaoshi.

Kiribayama defeated Tamawashi: Tamawashi fought a Tamawashi bout and battered Kiribayama like there was no tomorrow. Somehow Kiribayama withstood the assault but rapidly grew tired of playing punching bag. He basically threw himself onto Tamawashi in a Domino-like attack. “If I go down into him, he’ll go down.” It worked. Sotogake.

Meisei over Endo: Endo’s kyujo. A late scratch. He’s not been performing well since that calf injury before the tournament. Good call, but probably a week late, if it is the calf. It is a bit odd, since, as Bruce mentioned, Endo’s been having a little rally. Fusen.

Wakatakakage defeated Takarafuji: Wakataka-.38 calibre. Wakatakakage shot out of his tachiai like a bullet, completely overwhelming Takarafuji. “You got me, kid. You got me.” Takarafuji fell back out of the ring like a bad guy in an old Western. Yoritaoshi.

Daieisho defeated Hokutofuji: Hokutofuji came into the bout, slapping himself, stomping, getting all hype…for a pull? You pull after the (weak) tachiai? Daieisho was entirely justified in pushing that lame business out. Oshidashi.

Mitakeumi defeated Onosho: Maybe Mitakeumi’s right leg isn’t as bad as I’d thought. Or Onosho is over his head. Onosho gave it a valiant attempt with the nodowa, but Mitakeumi bulldozed straight through. Yorikiri.

Shimanoumi defeated Terunofuji: Kaiju drove Shimanoumi back to the edge immediately. Shimanoumi tried over and over to drive forward but could not get any relief from the edge. Terunofuji kept up the pressure. Time and time again, it looked like Shimanoumi’s foot would be headed out, only to find secure purchase at the top of the tawara. (I don’t think his feet are as big as Tochinoshin’s.) Then, as Shimanoumi shifted to his right, and Terunofuji shifted with him, he tugged a weary Terunofuji a bit further forward and the great Kaiju fell to the clay. It was as if the longer Shimanoumi stayed in it, the closer his odds of winning approached 1 from starting at just about 0.000001. Tsukiotoshi.

Takayasu defeated Takakeisho: T-Rex tired. Takayasu fought Takakeisho’s fight, the two throwing wild haymakers at each other. Until both men tired and settled into an odd-oshi grapple. Head-to-head, literally, each man had their right hand on the opponent’s left shoulder. Then Takakeisho lashed out, pushed Takayasu’s head down and tried to kick his right leg from under him. Takayasu maintained his balance throughout and as Takakeisho settled into his arms for another cuddle, Takayasu rolled him gently to the floor. Uwatenage.

Asanoyama defeated Takanosho: Solid tachiai with Takanosho launching a nodowa at the Ozeki. However, Takanosho’s gabburi hip-thrusts were going nowhere. Asanoyama shifted right and twisted, bringing Takanosho down. Sukuinage.

Shodai defeated Myogiryu: “Defeated” is such a strong word and I don’t think it really applies in this case. Shodai absorbed Myogiryu’s tachiai, then pulled. Myogiryu recovered and began battering the Ozeki as punishment but Shodai pulled again, driving Myogiryu into the dohyo. Katasukashi.

Wrap-up

What a wild day! There was some excellent sumo today. While the drama lessons as Takayasu pulls out in front, that doesn’t lessen the excitement. Takayasu might win his first yusho! That is incredible after he’s come so far, not only in overcoming injuries but in his personal life as he and his wife recently had their first baby.

Tobizaru and Hoshoryu demonstrated amazing sumo and we’re eager to see rejuvenated Ishiura and Enho climb back from the club team. Late news that Ura will be back tomorrow.

Haru Day 10 Preview

The March tournament has reached the end of the second act, and what a ride so far! Act 2 narrows the field to find out who has what it takes to compete for the yusho, and to start sorting the survivors from the damned. I say – “Mission accomplished!” We have a working yusho race, and a growing number of rikishi sorting themselves to either side of the make/kachi-koshi line. With act 2 coming to a close, the scheduling committee tends to start loosening up the torikumi, and we get matches meant to drive the yusho race, or to pit interesting competitors together. We see some of that today, and there is a lot of potential for sparks to fly in today’s matches.

Haru Leaderboard

Takayasu remains in sole possesion of the lead, with Terunofuji and Chiyonokuni just one win behind. I fully expect Takayasu to take at least one loss between day 10 and senshuraku, so do look for there to be another shuffle of the leaderboard or two before the chairman hands someone the Emperor’s cup.

Leader: Takayasu
Chasers: Terunofuji, Chiyonokuni
Hunt Group: Asanoyama, Takakeisho, Takanosho, Hokutofuji, Tobizaru, Terutsuyoshi

6 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 10

Yutakayama vs Ishiura – For most sumo fans, the Juryo guys fly under the radar anyhow. With little coverage save the YouTube channels, it’s tough to know what is going on in the next division down. But Ishiura has been fighting well, and is pretty good form this March. He comes to visit and take on the struggling Yutakayama, and I think there quite be quite a battle at hand for the first match of Makuuchi.

Terutsuyoshi vs Daiamami – Terutsuyoshi is part of the 6-3 cohort, and I think has a fair chance to make double digits in March. He has an even 3-3 record against the struggling Daiamami, who has lost the last 3 in a row to Terutsuyoshi. Daiamami has at least 50 kg on Terutsuyoshi, but the littler guy has a way to yorikiri Daiamami when he needs to.

Kotoeko vs Aoiyama – Ooh, how did both of these guys start strong, but are now at 5-4? No matter, I think it’s going to be a real toss up, and their career record of 2-2 does not help in the least in figuring out whose sumo will carry the day.

Midorifuji vs Hidenoumi – We have only seen one kainahineri from Midorifuji, on day 9 against Daiamami. This might have something to do with his 4-5 record. I would hate to see him relegated to a “Darwin” match on day 15, but these guys straddling the make / kachi koshi line need to get it in gear!

Tsurugisho vs Ryuden – The scheduling team prove once again they can be complete bastards. Both of these guys had cold starts, and are in the midst of 2 match rallies. So sure, lets have them go head to head! Ryuden holds a 7-0 career lead over Tsurugisho, but both of them look less than genki this March.

Kaisei vs Hoshoryu – As seems to be the theme today, both men are at 5-4 coming into day 10. I think that Kaisei will have a clear advantage as long as Hoshoryu does not get him moving around. A steady and strong Kaisei carries this match.

Chiyoshoma vs Tobizaru – Oh good, both are highly mobile and have shown they are ready to dial up the offense to win a match. Tobizaru holds a 4-0 career advantage, and tends to pick off Chiyoshoma when he is on the move.

Tochinoshin vs Akiseyama – Both of them are going to go straight for the mawashi, and it will come down to who gets their favorite grip. This March, everyone has been able to find a way to frustrate Tochinoshin and shut down his left hand outside grip. A skilled operator like Akiseyama will likely do the same.

Chiyotairyu vs Kagayaki – Why is Kagayaki at 3-6? I think because everyone has figured out that he will be coming in with solid fundamentals, and have ways to stop is opening gambit now. As a result, a lot of rikishi have raised their games, and sumo is better for it. But it’s time for Kagayaki to evolve.

Kotonowaka vs Ichinojo – This match is a great test of how shambolic Kotonowaka really is this March. He comes in at 3-6 with a 3-0 career advantage over Ichinojo. But the difference is: Kotonowaka is fighting poorly right now, and Ichinojo is looking better than he has a a fair amount of time.

Chiyonokuni vs Okinoumi – Chiyonokuni, with his banged up right hand, remains tenaciously locked into the cohort 1 win behind Takayasu. He has a 5-5 career record against Okinoumi, but the difference in their sumo this Haru is stark. I would love to see Chiyonokuni hang in until Takayasu hits the clay again. A win today is kachi-koshi for Chiyonokuni.

Kiribayama vs Tamawashi – Kiribayama seems to struggle any time he is ranked above Maegashira 8, and maybe its a question of him evolving to the next level of sumo. I know that Tamawashi has never lost to him, and I don’t expect that to change today.

Meisei vs Endo – The theme for day 10 continuses, as both men are 5-4 heading into this match. Endo has a 1-4 career advantage, but I think more importantly, Endo has won the last 3 in a row, and may be in the middle of a solid rally.

Takarafuji vs Wakatakakage – Wow, Takarafuji is having a miserable basho. This happens to him from time to time, and I just hope he can squeeze out a few more wins so the demotion velocity is not too terrible. Like some others, Wakatakakage is in a bit of a mid-way rally, having won the last 3 in a row.

Hokutofuji vs Daieisho – Daieisho looks charged up and ready to dominate the dohyo. Hokutofuji has been putting in good sumo for every match, and is looking to keep in a winning groove (5 of the last 6). But i have to think that a genki Daieisho may blast Hokutofuji from the ring before Ol’Stompy can muster a working offense.

Onosho vs Mitakeumi – I think this may be the last of our tadpole battles. I know I will be happy to see Onosho start to regroup, but it won’t be with this match. While Mitakeumi only has a 4-5 record starting today, he is fighting better than Onosho is.

Terunofuji vs Shimanoumi – How do these guys have a 2-2 record? Ah, Juryo. Yeah, well Kaiju is on a mission, and that means that the under-performing Shimanoumi may find himself down or out in the fewest possible steps. A win today would be kachi-koshi for Terunofuji, and leave him just 2 wins from the Ozeki target.

Takakeisho vs Takayasu – I think this is going to be a big match. I like that Takayasu has remembered just how effective he can be chest to chest with his opponents. I think this is his path to success, and have for years. This is also the route of doom for Takakeisho. I expect the Grand Tadpole will work to stay mobile, and use his thrusting attacks to keep Takayasu reactive and away from his belt.

Takanosho vs Asanoyama – What a great match. Asanoyama has been fighting well, but not quite as well as everyone has expected him to fight. But as we have been writing about since the start of the basho, Takanosho tends to just quietly and consistently go about his brand of sumo. Out of their 4 career matches, Asanoyama has won 3, but i want to see the sparks fly with this one! Both are part of the hunt group 2 wins behind Takayasu.

Shodai vs Myogiryu – I think fans are starting to wonder if Shodai is headed for kadoban. In fact, I think the chances are pretty good that is the case, and it’s possible it might come in some kind of day 15 doom match. He is an even match with Myogiryu, who has won 3 of their last 4 matches.

Haru Day 9 Highlights

All of the story lines advanced by 1 win today, as the entire top division marched on toward tomorrow’s close of act 2, and the start of the final run to the cup on Sunday. Terunofuji now needs 3 wins to seal the deal for Ozeki, and Team Tachiai expect that he can win at least half of his 3 remaining matches if he does not come up injured. Kadoban Ozeki Takakeisho needs 2 more wins to clear kadoban. Word on sumo Twitter is that he injured a thumb in his match against Mitakeumi, and everyone hopes he can plow through that injury to win 2 more out of the final 6 matches. Yusho race leader Takayasu also won today against Onosho, and remains in sole possession of the lead at 8-1.

Highlight Matches

Hidenoumi defeats Daishomaru – It was not much of a contest, with Daishomaru going down like a “sack of taters” after a brief struggle at the tachiai. Hidenoumi improves to 5-6.

Tsurugisho defeats Kotoeko – I am beging to think Tsurugisho is going to break out and rally going into the second week. Kachi-koshi is still possible, but he’s got to win most of his remaining matches. Tsurugisho rocked Kotoeko at the tachiai, and immediately pulled him down for win number 4.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Chiyoshoma – Excellent tachiai from Terutsuyoshi, and he immediately began a slow spiral that pulled Chiyoshoma to the clay. Terutsuyoshi improves to 6-3.

Aoiyama defeats Akiseyama – Two giant men a slapp’n and a whollop’n each other for a spell, then the bigger one done grab the other’s belt and a’run the other’n out a town! YEE HA! Aoiyama improves to 5-4.

Yutakayama defeats Chiyotairyu – Woa, that was unexpected. Maybe I was lulled by Yutakayama’s poor start, but i do believe he has decided he’s going to plow through whatever problems he has and fight with everything he needs to win each day. Now up to 4-5 after laying on volley after volley against Chiyotairyu.

Midorifuji defeats Daiamami – Daiamami had Midorifuji on the run in reverse gear, and somehow Midorifuji uncorked a kainahineri in that mess. Both end the day 4-5.

Kaisei defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki overpowering effort to drive a hand inside Kaisei’s defensive hand placement unbalanced him, and a quick shove from above sent Kagayaki to the clay. Kaisei improves to 5-4.

Ryuden defeats Tochinoshin – Ryuden got a right hand inside at the tachiai, and rode it all the way to a win. Tochinoshin was fighting like mad to break that grip, and I bet Ryuden’s arm was sort tonight. Ryuden improves to 4-5 with a painful looking yorikiri.

Hoshoryu defeats Ichinojo – Ichinojo’s gambit at the tachiai to land a left hand outside grip failed, and I think that set up the loss. Hoshoryu found his mark with a right hand inside, and took control of the match. Both end the day 5-4.

Chiyonokuni defeats Tamawashi – Chiyonokuni’s hit and shift tachiai left Tamawashi atypically off balance, and Chiyonokuni wisely did not give him two steps to recover. Down goes Tamawashi with a hikiotoshi, and Chiyonokuni joins the 7-2 club.

Tobizaru defeats Okinoumi – Great example of Tobizaru’s hit and move offensive style. Okinoumi found it tough to focus his attacks on center-mass, as Tobizaru was forever in motion. Over time he worked Okinoumi to be progressively more off balance, and finished him with a hikiotoshi to improve to 6-3.

Endo defeats Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka seems robbed of his sumo, as he gets behind Endo, but can’t do anything to use it to his advantage. He ends up chest to chest with Endo, which is usually right where he wants you to be. Endo improves to 5-4.

Wakatakakage defeats Meisei – Wow, strong attack from Wakatakakage today, driving with power and good body position against center mass. Meisei can’t find a way to deflect any of it, and takes the express over the tawara. Both end the day at 5-4.

Hokutofuji defeats Takarafuji – As predicted, it was Hokutofuji who supplied the make-koshi match for Takarafuji. Takarafuji put up a competent defense for a time, but Hokutofuji kept up the pressure and drove him from the ring. Hokutofuji improves to 6-3, and Takarafuji make-koshi at 1-8.

Takayasu defeats Onosho – One step behind Takarafuji on the make-koshi train is Onosho, who can’t seem to find his balance this March. After a strong open, Onosho lost his footing, and Takayasu never let him get it back. Takayasu improves to 8-1, is kachi-koshi, and in sole possession of the lead.

Takanosho defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama attempted some manner of face-focused opening combo, and that left his body wide open for Takanosho to press the attack. Left without an effective defense, it was a fast run to the border for Kiribayama. Takanosho improves to 6-3.

Terunofuji defeats Myogiryu – The kaiju train shall not be stopped, it shall not be derailed. Terunofuji established the kimedashi by the third step, and everyone knew that Myogiryu was headed out in a hurry. Terunofuji improves to 7-2.

Asanoyama defeats Shimanoumi – Fast, hard and powerful tachiai from Asanoyama today, Shimanoumi had no answer at all, and was quickly moved over the bails. Asanoyama improves to 6-3.

Daieisho defeats Shodai – The Daieisho rally gains strength, as he drives his arms into Shodai and puts him out before Shodai can really try to counter attack. Thats 3 in a row now for Daieisho, and both end the day 4-5.

Takakeisho defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi could not prevent Takakeisho from getting his hands inside. Once the Grand tadpole had locked into Mitakeumi’s center mass, he was time for the wave action tsuppari. It only took a moment to accelerate Mitakeumi up to the point where he had nowhere to go but out. Takakeisho improves to 6-3.