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Monday, March 19, 2007

Asashoryu roughs up Kisenosato

OSAKA (Kyodo) Yokozuma Asashoryu gave Kisenosato another sumo clinic, disposing of the top-ranked maegashira, but Tochiazuma was toppled for a first defeat by rival ozeki Kotooshu at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Asashoryu got into a street brawl with Kisenosato, hitting the No. 1 maegashira with a series of vicious slaps and controlled the bout from start to finish before pulling his opponent down from behind at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Asashoryu, who improved to a 6-2 mark, gave Kisenosato (4-4) something to remember with a cheeky knee to the chest as the No. 1 maegashira lay on the dohyo surface.

The Mongolian grand champion, who won his 20th Emperor's Cup at the New Year meet in January, is in the hunt for his fifth straight title but is playing catchup after losing his first two bouts at the 15-day meet.

In the day's penultimate bout, Tochiazuma got a hold of Kotooshu's mawashi but could not finish the deal as the Bulgarian ozeki crushed him to the dirt surface on the edge. Kotooshu improved to a 5-3 record.

Tochiazuma (7-1), who came into the Osaka meet facing demotion, needs another win to ease his relegation worries and is in a two-way tie for the lead with ozeki Hakuho.

Meanwhile, Hakuho (6-1) beat Kasugao (3-5).

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