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Fighting in the final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena, Asashoryu burst out of the blocks and stunned Tochiazuma with a crushing blow before forcing the sekiwake wrestler out to remain perfect at 12-0 in the 15-day event.
Asashoryu, who won five of six tournaments last year, has looked unstoppable in this tournament and can clinch the title on Friday with a win over sekiwake Wakanosato.
Mongolian Hakuho and South Korea's Kasugao both won Thursday and still have a faint glimmer of hope after improving to 9-3.
Sekiwake Tochiazuma, who headed into Thursday's bout with a 7-6 record against Asashoryu, dropped to 8-4.
In other major bouts, komusubi Hakuho did his part to keep things interesting for another day when he overwhelmed Kotooshu at the faceoff and bulldozed the Bulgarian-born grappler out to pick up his ninth win against three losses.
No. 4 maegashira Kotooshu fell to 6-6 with the defeat.
In an earlier bout, Kasugao, a 14th-ranked maegashira, also kept his slim hopes alive by muscling out No. 16 maegashira Aminishiki, who slid to 5-7 with the loss.
No. 4 maegashira Kakizoe (6-6) read Chiyotaikai (6-6) like a book at the faceoff and stepped to his side as the ozeki grappler fell to the dirt.