November 2016, Day 11, Myogiryu v Ishiura

Who would have thought that newcomer Ishiura, way down the ranks at M15, would be tied for the tournament lead after eleven days? It remains to be seen if the schedule-makers will give him a high-ranked opponent in the coming days, or if they’ll let him go all the way to the end having wrestled against only the lower half of the top division. Way back in 2000, when M14 Takatoriki became the lowest-ranking wrestler of all time to win a championship, he had to wrestle a Komusubi, two Sekiwake, and two Yokozuna in the last five days. But M7 Kyokutenho, who won the tournament in 2012, only had to wrestle one Sekiwake and one Ozeki in the final three days. So who knows. Either way, Ishiura’s deep left-hand grip keeps working wonders for him, although I do question his decision to shave the beard. Now his awesome nickname, Scruffntuff, doesn’t work anymore.

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