Ozeki Takakeisho continued his unbeaten start to the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament by winning a tough battle against No. 2 maegashira Shodai on Monday.
The winner of the September meet, who is gunning for yokozuna promotion and a fifth Emperor's Cup, landed a strong opening hit but was jostled onto the back foot before he pulled former ozeki Shodai (0-2) to the clay.
All three current ozeki remained spotless on Day 2 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, with Hoshoryu defeating No. 1 Ura and Kirishima taking care of komusubi Abi.
The trio at sumo's second-highest rank shares top billing while sole yokozuna Terunofuji remains sidelined by lower back pain. The injury-prone Terunofuji has not completed a tournament since winning the Emperor's Cup in May.
Hoshoryu won an entertaining bout against the nimble Ura (0-2), winner of their September meeting, keeping him off his belt before shoving him from the dohyo.
Kirishima barely broke a sweat as he pushed out Abi (1-1), repelling his opening hit and quickly driving him over the edge.
All three sekiwake were also victorious on a day free of major upsets, with Daieisho and Kotonowaka both staying unbeaten and maintaining their slim chances of ozeki promotion. Both will need to be near-perfect at the 15-day tournament to move up to the second-highest rank.
Daieisho pulled down No. 4 Gonoyama (0-2) after the judges ordered them to re-do their initial bout, while the powerfully built Kotonowaka looked impressive as he pushed out No. 3 Takayasu (1-1).
The other sekiwake, Wakamotoharu, bounced back from his opening day loss by forcing out No. 2 Meisei (0-2), who remains winless from seven head-to-head meetings between the pair.