Maegashira #16 Hoshoryu (Tatsunami), the nephew of legendary Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu, experienced his first top division loss today, following his debut win against Ichinojo on Sunday. Day 2 saw him face 31 year old M15 Shimanoumi (Kise), a relatively late-blooming Maegashira mainstay. Their first meeting in Monday’s second Makuuchi bout was a classic “striker vs. grappler” scenario, Hoshoryu preferring to work throws and force-outs from a right-hand inside belt grip, and Shimanoumi specializing in oshi-zumo.
Hoshoryu’s banzuke climb since debuting in the sport has been fairly quick, and not to mention well publicized, given his family status. The 21 year old weighs in at about 289lbs/131kg, making him one of the lightest in the top division, and as a result, one of the most fun to watch when it comes to crafty fighting styles.
Two time (consecutive) Juryo champion Shimanoumi is the shorter, but heavier fighter, weighing in around 352lbs/160kg. He had a rough start this month, losing to another Makuuchi debutant, Tobizaru on Sunday. The pressure was clearly on for Monday’s match, and Shimanoumi came through just barely!
A straight forward tachiai from both men. Shimanoumi kept up a strong and balanced pushing attack, backing Hoshoryu up and denying him any chance of seizing the belt. At the edge, Hoshoryu grabbed a desperate left overhook and began to pivot, but he was out of room to turn fully. Shimanoumi smothered the smaller wrestler with a yoritaoshi, and the two fell off the dohyo to the ground with a “smack.”
“It was a mistake to be too relaxed,” said Hoshoryu after the match, “I want to think about what’s to come while focusing during my matches.” He falls to 1-1, while Shimanoumi advances to 1-1. A relief to be sure for the older of the two, not having lost to two top division first timers in a row!