Kyushu Pre-basho Report (Page 2)
Let's next skip up to the Sekiwake ranks and touch
on Goeido who for better or worse is being put in the same sentence as the word
"Ozeki" again. Like Osunaarashi, Goeido provided a bit of self analysis himself
prior to the basho when he said he just can't be satisfied with his current
level of sumo. Goeido has got to stick to yotsu sumo, and like Osunaarashi, he's
got to avoid pull sumo like the plague. I expected Goeido to ride his current
momentum and put up another 10 wins or so. The Japanese Ozeki are beatable, and
the foreign Ozeki cooperate, so all Goeido needs to do his take care of bidness
against the rikishi ranked lower than he.
Outside of those three rikishi, it's really business as usual for the Kyushu
basho. Hakuho holds all the cards and it's simply up to him and perhaps his
stable master what he's going to do. With this being the last basho of the year,
it's not all that uncommon for rikishi to withdraw early, and Kyushu can often
become a very sloppy basho. I don't expect great sumo in November, and so look
for Hakuho to bring himself down to the competition yet again. I'll give him the
yusho at 13-2 simply because no one else can wrest it from him.
Yokozuna Harumafuji is in a damned if you do damned if you don't position. He's
not a well-liked Yokozuna at all for various reasons: he's got an Asashoryu-like
attitude that turns off the Japanese fans, his Japanese is terrible, and
frankly, he breezed his way into the rank while the Japanese rikishi need help
just to make Ozeki. It's my opinion that he is holding back a bit, but then if
he suffers what seem like untimely losses, he's criticized for not fighting to
the standard of a Yokozuna. It's hard to predict what Harumafuji will do, but
isn't it interesting how we have two Yokozuna on the board yet the yusho race
never seems to come down to just the two of them? I'm gonna say 11-12 wins, but
that's a stab.
I have nothing new to say regarding the Ozeki as each seems to have found their
own little rut..er..niche of late. Kisenosato wins 11, Kotoshogiku wins 10,
Kakuryu wins nine, and since Kotooshu is kadoban, he'll win at least eight with
sumo uncharacteristic of a Yokozuna.
I like Tochiohzan in the Sekiwake rank just because I do think he's one of the
top five Japanese rikishi on the board, but he never seems to fight with a sense
of urgency. The result is his inability to hold the Sekiwake rank and contest
for Ozeki. The difference here will be whether or not he can get out to a fast
start against the rikishi ranked below him, but I see him falling just short
with seven wins as he just plods along.
I like Shohozan in the Komusubi slot just because it gives the Fukuoka fans
something to be proud of. I loved how he came out blazing at the start of the
Aki basho only to remember that his shikona was Shohozan and thus falter at the
end resorting to a tachi-ai henka to pick up his eight wins. Let's hope for a
fast start and consistency throughout the basho. Since he's a Fukuoka native,
let's give him 7-8 wins.
As for Okinoumi, he's simply a horrible sanyaku rikishi because he gives up. He
has no sense of urgency in the ring anyway, and then when your week 1 shejewel
includes two Yokozuna and four Ozeki, he just digs himself a hole too large to
get out of. I see him winning four and five and stinking the place up again.
In the Maegashira ranks, M1 Myogiryu should move back into the Komusubi rank
with eight wins or so. Guys like Aminishiki (M1), Kyokutenho (M2), and
Toyonoshima (M2) surround him, but they can no longer reach the sanyaku. M3
Takayasu can, and so it will be musical chairs as usual among the two Komusubi,
Myogiryu, and Takayasu.
The M4 rank sho am sweet with Homasho in the East and Tochinowaka in the West.
I'd be shocked if either of these guys threatened kachi-koshi, but just outside
of the jo'i, you never know. The basho could use a run by either of these two,
I will continue to mention M6 Chiyotairyu regardless of his rank on the banzuke
until I no longer believe he has a chance to become an Ozeki. He is poised this
far down to really have a swell basho, and I expect a kachi-koshi. And finally,
I'm pretty sure M10 Kotoyuki won't reach Ozeki, but I think he can hit the
sanyaku as long as he fights moving forward and relying on his bread and butter
Of the remaining rikishi on the banzuke, I don't see anyone else worth
commenting on as we'll take care of that each day of the basho. Here are my
predictions for the last tournament of twenty thirteen:
Yusho: Hakuho (13-2)
Back to page