May 2017, Day 12, Tochiozan v Hakuho

Somehow I doubt Yokozuna Hakuho bothers with watching tape of his upcoming opponents, but Tochiozan lost yesterday in almost identical fashion. Hakuho puts his left hand in Tochiozan’s face as a distraction, to block Tochiozan’s vision from the big right shoulder that follows. Tochiozan survives the blow and hangs in there until Hakuho slaps down and drives him into the clay by hatakikomi. Still perfect at 12-0 and in sole possession of the tournament lead, a win by Hakuho tomorrow will eliminate all but five wrestlers from championship contention: Yokozuna Hakuho (12-0), Yokozuna Harumafuji (11-1), Ozeki Terunofuji, Sekiwake Takayasu, and M10 Ura (all 10-2). Harumafuji’s Day 12 bout was a no-contest victory over Takanoiwa, who had to drop out due to injury.

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