Ozeki Takakeisho joined seven other wrestlers with one loss to lead the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament after three rank-and-filers lost their perfect record after five days on Thursday.
Demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki Takakeisho (4-1), who needs eight wins this month to stay at the sport's second-highest rank, withstood a late pull-down attempt from Abi (3-2) as he bulldozed the No. 2 maegashira out at Ryogoku Kokugikan in a push-out win.
Three ozeki all won for the first time at the 15-day tournament in Tokyo with Hoshoryu (2-3), albeit still not quite convincing, ending his three-bout losing streak. The new ozeki backed off momentarily after pushing veteran Tamawashi (0-5) to the edge, but made a second foray to see off the No. 3 also in a push-out.
Another kadoban ozeki Kirishima (3-2) avoided three straight defeats after outlasting No. 2 Asanoyama (2-3). Following a whirlwind start, Kirishima kept grips on both his belt holds against the tenacious former ozeki before eventually producing an outside leg trip to settle the bout lasting over a minute.
Three overnight leaders all lost earlier in the top-tier makuuchi division. No. 6 Onosho (4-1) made a decent opening charge but was met by an even stronger and lower drive from No. 5 Gonoyama (4-1) as he was overpowered and fast thrust out of the raised ring.
Kinbozan from Kazakhstan (4-1) had the better of the opening clash against Endo (2-3), but lacked the final push at the edge and failed to pull down the fellow No. 10 before getting forced out.
No. 15 Atamifuji (4-1) fell to his first defeat after No. 16 Tsurugisho (4-1) grabbed the left overarm belt hold straight away en route to a force-out.
No. 7 Takayasu and No. 11 Mitakeumi, both former ozeki, improved to 4-1.
New sekiwake Kotonowaka (3-2) could not stand his ground as he was slapped down by komusubi Tobizaru (3-2), while new komusubi Nishikigi (3-2) was grappled out by sekiwake Wakamotoharu (3-2).