FUKUOKA – Yokozuna Asashoryu knocked the daylights out of crowd favorite Takamisakari but grand champion Musashimaru suffered an embarrassing second straight defeat at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.
Asashoryu, coming off a loss to giant killer Tochinonada on Monday, was in no mood for games with his komusubi rival in the final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
The Mongolian brawler, who had already injured Takamisakari’s shoulder in a pre-tournament exchange, gave his opponent two hefty shoves to the throat before knocking him out of the ring to improve to 2-1.
Takamisakari, who hyped himself with his pre-bout chest banging antics, slipped to 1-2.
Musashimaru, who is back in action after missing most or all of the last six basho, had no answers for top maegashira Tochinonada in the day’s penultimate bout and was made to look like an overweight ragdoll as he was brushed over the edge with ease.
Rumors abound of the yokozuna’s possible retirement as he is unable to use his injured left wrist effectively.
For Tochinonada, who improved to 2-1, it was his 10th career giant kill, maegashira win over a yokozuna, and second straight after beating Asashoryu on Monday.
In other main bouts, ozeki Tochiazuma (3-0) kept his cool and his balance against Toki and used a barrage of thrusts to oust the No. 2 maegahira to maintain his spotless record. Toki dropped to 1-2.
Ozeki Chiyotaikai got the jump on winless Iwakiyama, unleashing a series of hard slaps before pulling the newly promoted komusubi onto the deck in a lightning-quick attack.
The crowd went bananas for its hometown favorite, who along with Tochiazuma, remains in a five-way tie for the lead at the 15-day tournament.
Musoyama rebounded from two straight defeats with a victory over Mongolian sekiwake Kyokutenho, who fell to 1-2.
The Musashigawa ozeki, who needs eight wins to keep his rank, wrapped his hands around the sekiwake and forced him out in a matter of seconds to improve to 1-2.
Meanwhile, ozeki Kaio (2-1), who is also in danger of relegation, took easy street and sidestepped No. 2 maegashira Tosanoumi (1-2) to post a win for his riled up Kyushu fans.
In another featured bout, sekiwake Wakanosato (1-2) saw his bid for ozeki promotion take another hit after a second straight loss when he backpedaled over the edge with little resistance against third-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima. Tamanoshima improved to 3-0.
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