Yokozuna Hakuho overcame a determined effort by rank-and-file opponent Myogiryu to stay unbeaten Thursday at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.
In the final bout of Day 5 at Edion Arena Osaka, the grand champion showed strength and willpower to maintain his pursuit of a record-extending 42nd top-level title.
The Mongolian superstar led with his right forearm, pushing and slapping Myogiryu to the edge. But the No. 2 maegashira stood his ground, attempting to topple Hakuho with his arm on the inside.
The two became separated before a fierce exchange of blows that ended with Hakuho thrusting Myogiryu (2-3) to the clay.
Also remaining unbeaten at the 15-day tournament is ozeki Goeido, No.4 maegashira Ichinojo and No. 8 Kotoshogiku.
Local favorite Goeido delighted his home crowd with a dynamic push-down win over No. 3 Shodai.
The ozeki, a native of Osaka's Neyagawa city, followed his customary hard shoulder charge with a quick shove that sent the winless Shodai tumbling over the straw.
Towering Mongolian Ichinojo was barely troubled by No. 5 Onosho (3-2), quickly slinging him to the ground after the opening collision.
Continuing a run of decisive wins, former ozeki Kotoshogiku turned around No. 9 Ikioi (1-4) and forced him out from behind.
Grand champion Kakuryu improved to 4-1 with an easy slap-down win over No. 2 Daieisho.
After the pair inadvertently butted heads at the jump, Daieisho (2-3) surged forward but was sent flying as Kakuryu slipped to the side.
In a battle of the two komusubi, Hokutofuji pushed out Mitakeumi to improve to 2-3. Following a hard impact, the pair jostled for a hold, but it was Hokutofuji who found an opening to drive Mitakeumi (3-2) from the dohyo.
Tamawashi, winner of the previous tournament in January, defeated fellow sekiwake Takakeisho, who is seeking promotion to ozeki.
Takakeisho (3-2) came in low and hard, driving Tamawashi back, but the Mongolian dug in at the edge of the straw before reversing the momentum.
The pair exchanged a series of hard slaps and shoves before Tamawashi (2-3) forced Takakeisho's back foot outside the straw.
Ozeki Takayasu improved to 4-1 by defeating No. 3 Nishikigi (0-5) with a frontal force out.
Driving hard with his right shoulder, Takayasu got hold of both of Nishikigi's arms and quickly bulldozed him out backwards.
Injury-hampered Georgian ozeki Tochinoshin picked up his third win by outmuscling Brazilian No. 1 maegashira Kaisei (0-5).
The two powerfully built wrestlers both gained belt holds after a hard impact, but it was Tochinoshin (3-2), with his right leg heavily bandaged, who used his stronger position to get the win by frontal force out.