Ozeki Harumafuji knocked the daylights out of Takayasu to remained undefeated Tuesday, but yokozuna Hakuho took a spill for his first loss at the hands of Tochiozan on the 10th day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Harumafuji, who is making his third bid at promotion to sumo’s highest rank of yokozuna after a 15-0 tour de force at the Nagoya Basho in July, improved to 10-0 with five days remaining at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hakuho’s defeat, meanwhile, was a major blow to the lone yokozuna who is seeking his 23rd career title.
Hakuho (9-1) is tied with ozeki Kisenosato and veteran maegashira Kyokutenho, who also fell out of a share of the overnight lead in a loss to ozeki Kakuryu.
In the day’s penultimate bout, Harumafuji walloped Takayasu with a left hand to the face, causing the No. 9 maegashira’s knees to buckle as he followed through with a powerful underarm throw. A dazed Takayasu, who had to be helped to his feet by the gyoji, slipped to 8-2.
In the day’s final bout, Hakuho never got a grip on his opponent’s mawashi when he lunged forward at the face-off and was abruptly sent sprawling with a smack-down.
“I just focused on not being late at the tachiai (face-off),” said Tochiozan, who got his first kinboshi, a maegashira victory over a yokozuna, in 15 bouts against Hakuho. “I tried not to let him get his right hand inside. I just want to continue to fight solid sumo with good tachiai.”
Kisenosato bounced back from his defeat to Homasho on Monday, deploying a beltless arm throw against sekiwake Goeido (6-4) on the edge to stay hot on the heels of Harumafuji.
Earlier, Okinoumi was smacked down to a second defeat immediately out of the crouch by Aminishiki, who improved to 7-3.
Myogiryu (7-3) was stopped dead in his tracks by Tochinoshin (3-7) when his Georgian komusubi opponent got his left hand around on the mawashi and tackled the sekiwake over the edge in dynamic fashion.
Homasho (6-4), who has beaten three ozeki here, absorbed a salvo of thrusts from Yoshikaze (5-5) before getting a hold of his opponent for a firm frontal force-out.
The Autumn Basho is without ozeki trio Kotoshogiku, Baruto and Kotooshu, all of whom pulled out with injury.