Top-division debutant Takerufuji's perfect run at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament came to a thudding halt Thursday at the hands of ozeki Hoshoryu.

The bottom-ranked No. 17 maegashira dropped to 11-1 as he was tossed from the ring by the Mongolian-born ozeki in the day's most anticipated bout at Edion Arena Osaka.

Takerufuji nevertheless remains on target to become the first debutant in the elite makuuchi division to win the Emperor's Cup since Ryogoku in May 1914 after his closest rival coming into Day 12, No. 5 maegashira Onosato, lost to ozeki Kotonowaka.

That result left Takerufuji two wins clear of the 9-3 Onosato, Hoshoryu, Kotonowaka and Gonoyama with three days of the 15-day competition remaining.

Looking to make history with the most consecutive wins by a top-flight debutant from the opening day of a tournament, Takerufuji started promisingly with a strong initial charge.

He drove Hoshoryu back, but the ozeki displayed his outstanding grappling skills as he twisted Takerufuji around and sent him flying with an arm-lock throw.

The 24-year-old Takerufuji on Wednesday beat Kotonowaka to tie legendary yokozuna Taiho's record of 11 straight wins without a loss in a makuuchi debut, set in January 1960.

Kotonowaka bounced back with an impressive underarm throw against Onosato, snaring the powerful youngster as he charged and dumping him to the clay.

Demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki Takakeisho (7-5) still needs one more win to keep his place at sumo's second-highest rank after being forced out by sekiwake Wakamotoharu (7-5).

Komusubi Abi (8-4) cemented his spot among the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna by pushing out No. 8 Takayasu (8-4) for an all-important eighth victory.

No. 6 maegashira Gonoyama claimed his highest-ranked victim of the tournament by slapping down sekiwake Daieisho (5-7), who is on the verge of a losing record and potential demotion.