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(BBC-US)   After wrestling with knee problems, Sumo wrestling's greatest champion retires. Dammit, they're real to him   (bbc.com) divider line
    More: Sad, 36-year-old, persistent knee injury, Bruce Springsteen, Professional wrestling, Tournament, Afa Anoa'i, injury absences, physical condition  
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377 clicks; posted to Sports » on 27 Sep 2021 at 8:42 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



6 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-09-27 9:38:44 AM  
This really is the end of an era.  There has never been a more dominant Yokozuna than Hakuho.  I bet he was holding on until a new Yokozuna was promoted.  With Terunofuji wearing the rope, I guess now is the time.

I am sad that we won't see any more Hakuho vs. Terunofuji matches as that seemed to be the start of a fun rivalry.

Going forward though, who could realistically challenge Terunofuji with Hakuho out?  Shodai and Takakeisho are too inconsistent, Asanoyama has been banished and there really aren't any Ozeki contenders on the horizon.
 
2021-09-27 9:57:17 AM  
This is a shame but it was clear it was coming.

I'm not sure who steps up. Terunofuji looks pretty dominant right now.
 
2021-09-27 10:35:05 AM  

Bullitt: This is a shame but it was clear it was coming.

I'm not sure who steps up. Terunofuji looks pretty dominant right now.


Terunofuji is clearly another level above everyone else, esp. the two Ozeki, one who shows up once every three basho and one who is clearly Yokozuna level physically and then gets hurt and barely escapes demotion or just mentally checks out for a few days.

The problem with Terunofuji is if you thought Hakuho's knee was bad, let me introduce you to two knees that are worse. He's fighting on borrowed time. He did manage to earn the rope, which will give him some wiggle room if, sorry, when he reinjures them, but between his age and the damage already done, another bad ACL tear and he's retiring as well, and well, who else in the top division do you see rising to Yokozuna right now?

Part of the reason Hakuho was so dominant for so long was that there weren't a lot of guys who were consistently good. Barato, Kotoōshu, Haramafuji, Kakuryu and Goeido could all beat him, but none of them could consistently beat him. Tochinoshin was the guy I thought would provide the biggest challenge to him but that knee injury basically ended his top-level career. Yeah, he's still fighting, but struggling at the bottom of the top division, and will almost certainly retire when he finally gets demoted.

And once they all retired? Nobody came up behind them to even get close to his skill. Arguably, a fully healthy Terunofuji and Tochinoshin would have, but they got hurt and nobody is even close - hell, nobody was even close to beating him when he was old and had a bad knee.

But yes, GOAT is the exact correct description. IIRC, if you throw out every tournament championship that wasn't a perfect 15-0, he's still 7th on the all time championship list. He has twice the top-division 15-0 titles than anyone else. 2022 will be significant in that it'll be the first year without a Hakuho top-level championship since 2005.
 
2021-09-27 11:19:22 AM  

Fisty Bum: This really is the end of an era.  There has never been a more dominant Yokozuna than Hakuho.  I bet he was holding on until a new Yokozuna was promoted.  With Terunofuji wearing the rope, I guess now is the time.

I am sad that we won't see any more Hakuho vs. Terunofuji matches as that seemed to be the start of a fun rivalry.

Going forward though, who could realistically challenge Terunofuji with Hakuho out?  Shodai and Takakeisho are too inconsistent, Asanoyama has been banished and there really aren't any Ozeki contenders on the horizon.


i1.ytimg.comView Full Size

A challenger appears!
 
2021-09-27 11:40:34 PM  
In terms of who steps up, it won't be soon, but if Ura manages to keep his self-injurious heroics to a minimum, he has the variety of technique and drive to make it.  Tobizaru, if he got knocked back down to Juryo for a while and having to earn his way back up for some humility, I think that Flying Monkey could get there and remain a good draw.  It really pained Mrs. Monkey and me that Tochinoshin appears to be on his last legs (no pun intended).  We remain huge fans but the writing on the wall is rather large.
 
2021-09-28 7:07:25 AM  
I'm glad to see a sumo thread!  Not getting a lot of traction trying to talk my buddies into watching it, but Mrs. Tank and I love it.

We only saw Hakuho in the July tournament, we were looking forward to seeing more of him.  I agree that Terunofuji will only last as long as his bandaged knees...
 
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