Former ozeki Takayasu continued to be a thorn in the side of current ozeki Hoshoryu on Friday as he handed the joint overnight leader his first loss of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Takayasu's victory left sekiwake Kotonowaka and No. 14 maegashira Ichiyamamoto tied for the lead as the only unbeaten wrestlers through six days of the 15-day tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
Hoshoryu took the early initiative as he pursed No. 3 Takayasu (3-3) around the ring, but the 33-year-old veteran from Ibaraki Prefecture kept his cool and countered successive throw attempts before lifting the star Mongolian grappler by the leg and dropping him to the clay.
The result gave Takayasu an 8-2 advantage in head-to-head meetings with the nephew of former yokozuna Asashoryu.
Ozeki Kirishima also suffered a day 6 upset, dropping to 4-2 courtesy of No. 4 Gonoyama (2-4). The former second-tier juryo division champion landed a strong opening hit before thrusting down his more fancied opponent.
"I'm very happy that it all came together," Gonoyama said. "My mounting losses were becoming a bit of a problem, so I needed to stop that."
Ozeki Takakeisho stayed one win off the pace by overpowering No. 3 Tobizaru. The maegashira initially slipped to the side but made little ground with his attempt at a rear push out against Takakeisho, who pivoted back around and shoved Tobizaru (2-4) over the edge.
Kotonowaka had to dig deep in his win over komusubi Hokutofuji (2-4). The powerfully built sekiwake, chasing a maiden Emperor's Cup and ozeki promotion, was driven to the edge but rallied back to earn victory with a push out.
Last November's champion, komusubi Abi (2-4), snapped a four-match losing streak by beating sekiwake Wakamotoharu (3-3) with an arm-lock throw. The other sekiwake, Daieisho, dropped to 4-2 with a slap-down loss to No. 2 Shodai (2-4).
No. 8 Atamifuji (5-1) relinquished his share of the lead, taking his first loss at the hands of No. 11 Sadanoumi (3-3).