Welcome to Day 11 of the March Haru bacho 2012. Things are heating up for sure, our lone yokozuna whom we all expect perfection from 100% of the time fell to the rising Kakuryu just 2 days ago. Of course that win kept Kakuru not only in his race to ozeki promotion but also in the yusho race itself. Baruto who is also in the yusho race is gunning for yokozuna promotion. Shotenro is in there too, but even if he manages to survive today he will surly be swallowed whole and spit out backwards tomorrow.
Let me just focus on the fights with significance today. Many guys fighting for KK and many more fighting to avoid MK. Get out your buzzers!!
Hachiyama(3-7) vs Ikioi(3-7)
What better way to start of the day of sumo that with two guys fighting to avoid make-koshi. Sometimes this situation brings out the best in people, sometimes it brings out the Aminishi in people. Often it brings a henka. Not today however a solid start from both. Hachiko drove Ikky back to the back to the bales but couldn’t finish him off. Ikky recovered and drove Hachiko all the way back across to the other side. Again at the bales Hachi counter throws but failed and left himself open to be thrown out, and he was.
Daido(3-7) vs Tenkaiho(5-5)
Daido got the better tachi-ai but had no power, so Tenkaiho was able to absord the initial challenge and force Daido back. Dai then slipped back slightly and got an arm bar hold on Tenkai for enough time to regain himself. Daido forced Ten back but couldn’t finish him off, and changed to a throw instead to get the job done, and live for another day.
Tamawashi(6-4) vs Takekaze(6-4)
Tamawashi destroyed Takekaze with for out pushes.
Chiyonokuni(2-8) vs Takanoyama(3-7)
Takanoyama has an upyama battle in front of him if he is to stay in the division. Coming into today Takanoyama needed to will all of his next 5 bouts to stay in the division. Unfortunately for him, and our very own (your very own?) Dick, it wasn’t meant to be. He hit the much bigger and stronger Chiyonokuni straight on, who just kept moving forward as though only met be thin air. Taka wiggled like only he can, twisting, turning, and slipping under or through the arms of Chiyo, in some sort of move that I thought was only possible in cartoons! When they engaged again Chiyo forced him back and out. He will be hanging out with the Juryo guys in May.
Shotenro(9-1) vs Toyohibiki(6-4)
Shotenro! Shotenro is the guy who back in September 2009 took Hakuho and Kyokutenho and absolutely nobody else, and finished at 2-13. This basho he obviously has been fighting well, but looking at the list of people he beat, there isn’t really anyone of note. He has been thriving on the bottom feeders thus far, and will be meeting more meat eaters as we enter the last 5 days. Today Toyohibiki hit him hard, got a hold of his belt and forced him back. There was resistance, but not even nearly enough.
Kitataiki(7-3) vs Goeido(7-3)
The first 7-3 vs 7-3 battle of the day. These two boyos were both looking to kachi-koshi on Day 11, unfortunately for one it was going to happen for the other. The crowd was obviously all behind Goeido, their home grown rikishi. Both men came in low today, Goeido doing better by getting two hands on the green belt of Kitataiki, who only managed a single handed grip. Goeido attempted a few throws and with the final one found himself with a grip on the back of Kita’s belt. It was easy from there and Goeido will be happy with his KK.
Shohozan(5-5) vs Sadanofuji(3-7)
Sadanofuji attempts to stave off impending MK. Some fine tsuppari attacking in this one. The 4 handed slap fest ended in a brief grip of belts, but quickly returned to handbags. It was a long one, and the two rested in the center of the ring for what seemed like about 5 minutes, occasionally attempting force outs. Surprising neither ever tried a pull down. Eventually Shoho avoids at the bales but allows himself to be thrown to the ground soon after.
Okinoumi(5-5) vs Homasho(6-4)
Oki forced Homasho straight back to the bales. Homey struggled for a while before being forced out. But then a mono-ii was called and the decision was overruled and Homey got the win. Possibly incorrectly as the replay clearly showed that the top of Homasho’s foot touched down before Oki hit the ground.
Toyonoshima(7-3) vs Takayasu(7-3)
The second 7-3 vs 7-3 battle of the day. And this one came down to the wire! A mutual final throw attenpt sent both guys to the clas at what seemed like the hit at the same time. The gyogi pointed to Toyonoshima but a mono-ii was immediately called. But othey eventually agreed with the gyoji! So he picked up his KK.
Kyokutenho(2-8) vs Wakakoyu(4-6)
Wakakoyu pushes up Kyokutenho and then immediately slaps him to the ground.
Tokitenku(2-8) vs Tochinoshin(1-9)
Surly this was the lowlight bout of the day, I mean come on, look at those results! Toki henkas and then slaps Tochi down as he recovered. It was about as exciting as I had imagined… yawn.
Aran(6-4) vs Tochiozan(4-6)
Aran slaps down Tochiozan at the tachi-ai, same as he did yesterday. The crowed booed!
Gagamaru(3-7) vs Yoshikaze(3-7)
The third 7-3 vs 7-3 battle of the day. Yoshikaze was fast enough to hit Gaga before he even moved, but Gaga pushed hard and send Yoshi back, he tried to get out of the way but Gaga got one more shove in and Yoshi was off the dohyo.
Tochinowaka(3-7) vs Aminishiki(4-6)
Today was apparently Aminishi’s 1000th makeuchi fight (488 wins), but who care about Aminishi away. Come on Tochi, TOCHI!!! Ami came out with pushes to Tochis face and neck, completely man-handles him. But Tochi stood strong and absorbed everything until the little girl wore herself out. He then slipped to the side and pushed the snake over the bales. Excellent!
Kakuryu(9-1) vs Myogiryu(3-7)
Now. The fight I had been waiting for, the man the camera had been focusing on for the last 10 minutes or so. The man gunning for ozeki promotion. Kakuryu. We opened with tsuppari attacking and our man… the man.. the Kak… tried a pull down, something that was not a good idea. Myogiryu moved quickly and had the advantage for a half second as the Kak was back-pedalling around the straw with one hand on the back of the Myog’s head. They seperated, and exchanged tsuppari again before the Kak moved to the side and slapped down Myogiryu… phew! Good stuff. That’s 30 wins over the last 3 basho. 4 days to go!
Kisenosato(6-4) vs Harumafuji(8-2)
Harumafuji came in low and got a deep left hand grip, as Kissy struggle without. Haru quickly went for the throw and he got Kisey a little high, but he couldn’t get him over the bales, until the second attempt throwing the other direction. Good stuff! 9th win for Harumafuji.
Baruto(9-1) vs Kotooshu(6-4)
It should come as no surprise that these two giants have a pretty even head-to-head record. Baruto won in their last two meetings if that counts for anything. Kotooshu got a frontal grip from the tachi-ai. Baruto tried to raise up the Bulgarian. As Baruto went to go makekai Kotooshu drove forward and set him out over the bales to hand Baruto his second loss. Basically removing all chances of a Baruto yusho combined with yokozuna promotion. He showed obvious disappointment as he sat back down by the dohyo. We might have to wait for another while before we see the first European yokozuna. Balls to Monty.
Hakuho(9-1) vs Kotoshogiku(7-3)
Kotoshogiku has yet to defeat the yokozuna since being promoted to ozeki. Let’s see how if the Dai-Yokozuna was affected by the previous bout or not. Kotoshogiku also get a frontal grip from the tachi-ai but loses it quickly as Hakuho drives and forces his inside grip. Koto briefly moves the yokozuna back, but when he tries to go makikae loses his advantage. Kotoshogiku made the audience go wild a few times as he pushed Hak back. But when they was done, Hak dropped his hips and drove Koto back and out.
Stop, drop and roll as de Gama will rock your world tomorrow. Bouts of interest will be Kakuryu vs Shotenro and Hakuho will be entertaining Kotooshu, too. Stay tuned.