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Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010

'Rocky' star Stallone says sumo's simplicity attracts fans

Kyodo News

On a day when Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho won his 16th career Emperor's Cup, the man known for his hard-hitting action films dropped by the autumn meet to witness live bouts in the Japanese national sport.

News photo
Light-hearted moment: Yokozuna Hakuho holds up actor Sylvester Stallone during a photo shoot on Saturday. KYODO PHOTO

"Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone, who is in Japan promoting his new hit movie "The Expendables," said he was impressed by the simplicity of sumo after watching matches at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

"This is the first time I've actually seen sumo live. I was very impressed. It's so fantastic about the fury of the sport," said Stallone. "It's so easy to follow. The rules are simple. It's why people love it. It's man vs. man."

Stallone, 64, is visiting Japan for the first time since 1988, when he was promoting "Rambo III."

He was reunited with former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, currently stablemaster Kokonoe, who he spent time with here on his last trip.

"The last time I saw him he took me to his house. He was in training. I do action in the movies but he does it for real. He's a real superstar," said Stallone, who was accompanied by Dolph Lundgren, who played his adversary Ivan Drago in "Rocky IV."

Hakuho, who has stretched his endless winning streak to 61 bouts, had a photo shoot with the Italian Stallion. The yokozuna lifted up the Hollywood star for the cameras.

"He was heavy. I have no arm strength," Hakuho said.

Stallone, who appears in "The Expendables" with Lundgren, for the first time since "Rocky IV," wrote, directed and stars in the movie.

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