May 2016, Day 15, Hakuho v Kakuryu

Spectacular finish to a spectacular tournament for Yokozuna Hakuho. He wins his 37th top-division championship with his 12th perfect 15-0 record. On the final day against fellow Yokozuna Kakuryu he’s already got the tournament locked up, so he’s really just adding to his legacy. The two wrestlers both have left-hand underhand grips off the tachiai, and both shift their right arms underneath to end up in equal migi-yotsu grips. This is the classic sumo pose, and it’s a contest of strength. Kakuryu attacks first, pushing Hakuho right to the edge, but when Kakuryu tries the outside leg trip that worked against Kisenosato yesterday Hakuho responds by lifting Kakuryu off the ground, twisting around backwards, and depositing Kakuryu on the other side of the tawara for the utchari win. I can’t fathom the core strength it takes to pull off this move. The smallest of smiles crosses Hakuho’s face as he stands up. Congrats to the champ.


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