Hatsu Day 11 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Day 11 brings a full spread of our lower division “Ones to Watch” with 7 matches across Sandanme and Makushita, with many of today’s matches deciding make / kachi koshi. We are likely not going to see Ura again at Hatsu, following re-injury to his right knee. Wakamotoharu is looking likely to join his brother in Juryo for March, and Ichiyamamoto is on track to climb closer to the top of the Makushita “wall”.

Wakamotoharu vs Tochihiryu – Wakamotoharu is in the thick of the yusho race with a 5-0 record, and a likely promotion to Juryo in the balance. His opponent, Tochihiryu, is a former Juryo man himself, and is looking for a path back to the salaried ranks.

Akua vs Daiseido – The loser of this 2-3 bracket match will walk away with a make-koshi today. Akua’s hope to return to Juryo are likely on hold for now, but he still needs to overcome Daiseido to remain in the hunt for promotion after Osaka.

Ichiyamamoto vs Kairyu – A 4-1 bracket match, both rikishi already kachi-koshi, so this is all about fighting for rank in March. Kairyu is a former Makushita yusho winner, and a veteran of 52 basho at this rank. This will be a fierce match.

Hoshoryu vs Kizenryu – There are plenty of indications that Hoshoryu was rattled by the outcome of his match with Ura, that saw the fan favorite hauled away in a wheel chair after re-injuring his right knee. The winner of today’s match will lock in their kachi-koshi, so we hope that Hoshoryu can set aside his worries and gamberize.

Wakatakamoto vs Obamaumi – Another 3-2 bracket match with kachi-koshi on the line. The lowest ranked Onami brother faces off against Sakaigawa’s Obamaumi, who had to re-start his career after an injury.

Musashikuni vs Masutoo – A 2-3 bracket match, where the loser will be make-koshi for Hatsu. Musashikuni had a tough start, but has rallied and won his last 2 matches. If he can win out the rest of the tournament, he can still end Hatsu with a winning record.

Naya vs Amanoshima – Naya looked less than awesome day 10, and now he finds himself in the 2-3 bracket working to avoid make-koshi and a return to Sandanme. As the last man on the Makushita banzuke, he is most certainly on the bubble.

Shoji vs Tagonofuji – The second Musashigawa rikishi on our list today (Wakaichiro has the day off), Shoji is already kachi-koshi, and going for more promotion points today. His opponent is Tagonoura heya’s Tagonofuji, who has settled in to being a Sandanme mainstay.

Hatsu Day 10 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Ura vs Hoshoryu Day 10… Can You Feel The Hype?

The “Ones to Watch” have a light roster for day 10, but what we lack in bulk we make up in intensity. That’s right, the much hoped for Ura vs Hoshoryu is on the torikumi for day 10.

Shoji vs Kototaiki – Both rikishi have 3-1 records, so this match is for kachi-koshi. Kototaiki had to re-set his sumo career in 2015 when he took an extended leave to treat an injury, and re-entered via maezumo. Now a Sandanme mainstay, he’s fighting at close to his highest career rank.

Naya vs Mitotsukasa – A 2-2 bracket match, Naya (Makushita) is taking on a Sandanme rikishi for his day 10 match. Irumagawa heya’s Mitotsukasa is a former university rikishi, who is working to return to Makushita. Should be a solid match.

Wakatakamoto vs Okinofuji – Another 2-2 bracket match, the lowest rank of the Waka* brothers takes on Makushita mainstay Okinofuji. Okinofuji has spent most of the last 2 years in mid Makushita, and will be a tough competitor.

Ura vs Hoshoryu – Maybe the biggest hype around a Makushita match this basho. We have Ura, who has hit the point of his recovery where he actually is having to work for a win, and we have young dynamo Hoshoryu who has reached a rank where his overwhelming natural ability is no longer enough. I am going to guess this match will only last a blink of an eye, but everyone will be watching.

Ichiyamamoto vs Mugendai – A 3-1 bracket match, with kachi-koshi on the line. Mugendai is a solid fighter who was formerly in Musashigawa heya, whose highest ever rank was Makushita 5.

Akua vs Kaisho – The top Makushita match of day 10, Akua’s bid to return to Juryo for Osaka needs him to win out, and to get there he needs to take down Tomozuna heya’s Kaisho, who is fighting well at his highest ever rank.

Hatsu Day 8 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Day 8, Nakabe – the middle day of the basho, is upon us, and the scheduling team has gone wild putting most of our “Ones to Watch” on the torikumi. Are we excited? Yes indeed! We almost got Herouth’s hoped for match of Ura vs Hoshoryu, but Hoshoryu is taking on Ichiyamamoto (also one of our ones to watch) instead. Should they both win or both lose, they could face each other next.

We also have fan favorite Wakaichiro fighting early in the day, along with several of his Musashigawa stablemates. It’s going to be wall to wall, and Tachiai will be glued to our streams from the start.

Hattorizakura vs Shishimaru – What would nakabe be without the perpetual parade of defeats brought to us by the little guy? We would all love to see him win for a change, but first he must WANT to win.

Wakaichiro vs Asanoshima – I can’t describe how excited I am to see the rikishi from Humble, TX face off against 3-0 Asanoshima. This is in fact a rematch, with Wakaichiro winning their prior match. Asanoshima has been in sumo since the mid 2000s, so it’s youth against experience tonight.

Shoji va Saionji – A 2-1 bracket match pits Musashigawa’s Shoji against Sandanme mainstay Saionji from Shikihide heya. This will probably come down to the all important tachiai, as the two are fairly equally matched.

Torakio vs Kaizen – The scion of Naruto heya faces Asakayama heya’s Kaizen in this 2-1 bracket match. Kaizen has been flipping between Makushita and Sandanme, and tends to get a kachi-koshi at this rank. I predict it will be a bit of an uphill challenge for Torakio.

Musashikuni vs Aozora – A note on Musashikuni (nephew of former Yokozuna Musashimaru), he seems to have suffered a foot injury a few weeks a go, and it has been negatively impacting his sumo. Coming into this match 0-3, make-koshi is on the line, and we hope Musashikuni can find a way to endure the physical challenge and win.

Midorifuji vs Kainoryu – Ushering in the fan favorite section of Makushita, Midorifuji will take on Kainoryu in a 1-2 bracket match. Kainoryu is fighting at his highest ever rank, and looking to pick up 3 wins from the last 4 matches. But former Kinki University rikishi Midorifuji will be no easy mark.

Ura vs Kairyu – This 2-1 bracket match is back to back with another pair of high interest rikishi, and I suspect the atmosphere in the Kokugikan may be closer to that of a top division match for a few minutes. Ura’s opponent is a 28 year old veteran who has been ranked as high as Makushita 2, and represents the kind of rikishi he will have to fight is way past to return to the Juryo ranks.

Hoshoryu vs Ichiyamamoto – Immediately following the Ura match, fan favorite Hoshoryu mounts the dohyo for another 2-1 bracket match. He faces another of our “ones to watch”, former Chuo University star Ichiyamamoto. This one has a lot of potential as well!

Hatsu Day 6 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

We start act 2, and some of our lower division “ones to watch” are getting ready for their 3rd bout of the tournament. On day 6 we can enjoy some great matches, and we all hope that Kenho’s mawashi is tightened up today.

Hattorizakura vs Yuriki – Sumo’s eternal loss leader will once again show the offensive power of a discarded sock with a hole in the toe.

Wakaichiro vs Fudano – Wakaichiro finds himself in the 2-0 bracket, after surprising everyone by winning his previous match fighting on the mawashi. That match was rough and chaotic, but it was a win. Will he try it again against veteran Fudano?

Kenho vs Kasugamine – Kenho “The Package” squares off against 34 year old veteran Kasugamine in this 0-2 bracket match. Kenho has a distinct size advantage, and Kasugamine has had trouble holding rank above the bottom of Sandanme.

Torakio vs Denzan – In a 1-1 bracket match, Naruto beya’s man from Bulgaria tries to pick up his second white star. He faces Denzan, a veteran of 89 basho who at one time ranked securely in mid-Makushita, before injuries and poor performance relegated him to Sandanme.

Shoji vs Izumigawa – Another 1-1 bracket match, Musashigawa’s Shoji will take on Minezaki heya’s Izumigawa. Izumigawa is another young, up and coming rikihsi who is working his way through Sandanme. Should be a fairly even fight.

Musashikuni vs Okinofuji – It seems to be Musashigawa day at the Kokugikan as the heya’s scion Musashikuni competes against Hakkaku’s Okinofuji. Sadly this is an 0-2 bracket match, and Musashikuni has struggled thus far at Hatsu.

Ura vs Kitaharima – Ura picked up his first loss in several months on day 4, dropping to 1-1. Now he faces Kitanoumi’s former Juryo rikishi Kitaharima. Ura has probably reached a level of competition that is finally a challenge for him at this level of post-operative training and conditioning. So he will be working much harder to win from here on out.

Ichiyamamoto vs Hamayutaka – Ichiyamamoto dropped his first match (day 2) and now finds himself in the 1-1 bracket for his 3rd match. He will need to best Tokitsukaze heya’s Hamayutaka, who is fighting at close to his highest ever rank. They are roughly the same size and weight, so it could be a real battle.

Hatsu Day 3 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Wakaichiro-2018

Day 2 was a non-stop feast of some bright young stars of sumo. We got to see Ura blast someone off the dohyo, we saw Hoshoryu struggle, and we saw Akua stuff Chiyonoo into dumpster. Onward to day 3, it’s another great night of lower division action, with may of the rikishi we are tracking back on the dohyo for more battles.

Wakamotoharu vs Takanofuji – All three Waka* brothers will fight on day 3, with Wakamotoharu just withing reach of joining his brother as a Sekitori. Takanofuji’s only trip to Juryo was interrupted with an injury that pushed him back down the pile. He’s hungry.

Akua vs Seiro – It’s steak, and lobster with both Akua and Wakamotoharu in action. It will be worth staying up just to see this match. Seiro is a former lower Maegashira, a Mongolian from Shikoroyama heya. He dropped out of Juryo in September following an injury, and like most of the “Wall” crew, he is ready to tear his opponent’s head off to return to Sekitori status.

Ura vs Chiyosakae – Ura submarined and ejected Takakento like a JMSDF torpedo, and on day 3 he draws Chiyosakae, a Makushita veteran from Kokonoe heya. He has been ranked as high as MS7 last year, but has been struggling to produce much above a 4 win kachi-koshi.

Wakatakamoto vs Hokutokawa – Another Waka* brother on the dohyo! this time he faces off against Hakkaku heya’s Hokutokawa. Hokutokawa as been unable to rank above mid-Makushita, and will provide a fairly solid opponent.

Naya vs Dairaido – Former Juryo Sekitori Dairaido will be quite a test for young Naya. This opponent will be no easy push over, in spite of the fact that he sufferd a significant injury in 2016 that saw him drop back down to Jonidan.

Shoji vs Okinoiwa – Okinoiwa is a mid-Sandanme mainstay, and I will be interested to see of Shoji can bounce back from his first match loss.

Torakio vs Kotonoumi – Torakio takes on a young rikishi from Sadogatake heya, who has never ranked above Sandandme.

Wakaichiro vs Miyakogawa – Wakaichiro looked strong and confident in his day 1 win, and we are all hoping that he has overcome the mechanical injuries he had been nursing at Kyushu. Day 3 he’s against Miyakogawa, from Isenoumi heya. Another newcommer, Miyakogawa has yet to break out of Jonidan, and had a fairly rough time of it in Kyushu.