Hakuho Wins Battle of Unbeatens to Claim 45th Sumo Title

Hakuho Sho Sumo Title

In an epic final day match-up of unbeatens, sumo legend Hakuho defeated fellow Mongolian Terunofuji in an intense battle to claim a record 45th title at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday in Japan. Both wrestlers had entered the bout with perfect 14-0 marks, one of the rare occasions the finals of a Grand Sumo Tournament featured two competitors with perfect records.

Hakuho came out of the blocks with an immediate forearm to Terunofuji's face followed by a slapping attack. After a belt grip, he secured an overhook on Terunofuji's right arm and finally forced him to the ground with an armlock throw to earn the championship.

At 36, Hakuho is currently the only wrestler holding the title of "yokozuna," sumo's highest rank. He'd been the subject of retirement speculation prior to Nagoya having withdrawn from the last six tournaments due to injury. Terunofuji had already staged his own comeback story. After falling from the sport's upper echelons following knee surgery, he battled back to ozeki status, sumo's second highest rank, winning the last two tournaments. It's believed his 14-1 record at Nagoya may be enough to insure him a promotion to yokozuna.

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