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18 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

People continue to doubt Abi and I don't know why. All he's done throughout his career is perform at every level. 

Here's what he accomplished prior to his suspension:

  • Jonidan yusho
  • Sandame yusho
  • Makushita yusho
  • Juryo yusho
  • Kinboshi (2)
  • Special prize (2)

And here's Abi since his suspension:

  • Makushita yusho (2)
  • Juryo yusho
  • Makuuchi jun-yusho (2 in a row)
  • Kinboshi
  • Special prize (2)
  • Record: 62-12

Of course it remains to be seen if he can make Ozeki because only a few select rikishi do, and next basho in Joi will tell us a lot about where he is, but I remain bullish on his chances to at least put together a strong run at it over the coming year barring injury. 

For me that's exactly why I remain sceptical. For all he's accomplished we know very little of his ability to maintain a good record in the joi/sanyaku. Except that his sumo is still relying on the same throat attacking with some pulls mixed in. It may work well against the higher ranks but it also might not take him anywhere in the longer term. 

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1 hour ago, dingo said:

For me that's exactly why I remain sceptical. For all he's accomplished we know very little of his ability to maintain a good record in the joi/sanyaku. Except that his sumo is still relying on the same throat attacking with some pulls mixed in. It may work well against the higher ranks but it also might not take him anywhere in the longer term. 

He was putting up consistent 9-6s at komusubi against arguably a tougher slate of opponents, and only really dropped away (if I remember right) due to injury. He looks stronger now, and whenever he's been called upon to fight higher up the banzuke recently he's done really well. I think he's got as much chance as anyone except maybe Hoshoryu.

 

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37 minutes ago, Octofuji said:

He was putting up consistent 9-6s at komusubi against arguably a tougher slate of opponents,

I don't know about that, I recall the contemporary opinions being more that Abi was one of the beneficiaries of the high rankers beginning to fall apart. If we look at his big joi run from Natsu to Kyushu 2019 (10-5, 8-7, 9-6, 9-6), then his results by opponent were (W-L-no meeting):

1-2-1 vs Hakuho (the sole win was by fusensho)
0-2-2 vs Kakuryu
1-2-1 vs Goeido (retired one basho after this stretch)
2-1-1 vs Takayasu (lost his ozeki rank at the end of this stretch)
3-0-1 vs Tochinoshin (one win by fusensho, Tochinoshin lost his ozeki rank during this stretch)
1-0-3 vs Takakeisho
2-1-1 vs Mitakeumi
1-2-1 vs Asanoyama (just starting to gear up for his ozeki run)

Excluding the non-meetings against Mitakeumi and Asanoyama (both in Natsu) which were a function of rank and not absence, that's still 11 matches Abi didn't get to have against top-rankers in just four tournaments, including two which outright resulted in free wins, not just weaker replacement opponents.

Edited by Asashosakari
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4 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

I don't know about that, I recall the contemporary opinions being more that Abi was one of the beneficiaries of the high rankers beginning to fall apart. If we look at his big joi run from Natsu to Kyushu 2019 (10-5, 8-7, 9-6, 9-6), then his results by opponent were (W-L-no meeting):

1-2-1 vs Hakuho (the sole win was by fusensho)
0-2-2 vs Kakuryu
1-2-1 vs Goeido
2-1-1 vs Takayasu
3-0-1 vs Tochinoshin (one win by fusensho)
1-0-3 vs Takakeisho
2-1-1 vs Mitakeumi
1-2-1 vs Asanoyama (just starting to gear up for his ozeki run)

Excluding the non-meetings against Mitakeumi and Asanoyama (both in Natsu) which were a function of rank and not absence, that's still 11 matches Abi didn't get to have against top-rankers in just four tournaments, including two which outright resulted in free wins, not just weaker replacement opponents.

That's a fair point, although that still makes 11 wins (2 fusensho) vs 10 losses against that lot.

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I personally don't see Abi as an Ozeki for the same reason that I use for practically everyone: he didn't get to the joi early enough in his life, and he had a long enough stretch in Ozumo for that to have been possible.  If after his first promotion to Juryo he had continued on to Makuuchi and up to the top of the banzuke by around the end of 2017, that would be a much better sign that he has the ability to make Ozeki.  Instead, he fell back to Makushita and languished for over a year, including an MK at Ms21.  He seemed to turn it around then, but unless there was some injury that was bugging him during that year that miraculously got better, it looks like he simply doesn't have the talent to make it, and needed more physical development to be able to get further up the banzuke.   While he did have some KKs in the joi, he never had double digits (unlike Meisei and Takanosho), and had a 7-8 at M4 right before the suspension, which looks to me like he simply had a good run that finally ended.  He hasn't had a full schedule of tough opponents, and a few of the new joi regulars weren't around back in his previous days (Meisei, Takanosho, Hoshoryu).  While because of the lack of competition he might be in the top 5 of rikishi today, the next 5 after that are so close in strength it's hard for anyone to push through without a significant advantage. 

 

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11 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

You could add 2nd most wins of the year in 2019, 1 behind the leader Asanoyama with 55, though that year was a record low.

Also forgot to add winner of the prestigious Fuji TV one-day tourney!

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5 hours ago, dingo said:

For me that's exactly why I remain sceptical. For all he's accomplished we know very little of his ability to maintain a good record in the joi/sanyaku. Except that his sumo is still relying on the same throat attacking with some pulls mixed in. It may work well against the higher ranks but it also might not take him anywhere in the longer term. 

I suppose it's reasonable to be skeptical of every rikishi making Ozeki until they finally do. You never know at which level, despite dominating at lower levels, a rikishi might plateau. The only further arguments I'll make in Abi's defense are the following:

1) He's put on significant size since his suspension but without loss of mobility

2) He just appears to have a completely different attitude since his suspension, and that, more than anything, may have been held him back before. 

In any case, as an unabashed Abi fan I'm enjoying his resurgence, and look forward to seeing what he can do in the coming year.

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7 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

...

2) He just appears to have a completely different attitude since his suspension,

...

At least some of that must be down to becoming a father which changes a lot of people.

It can't have been easy being under house arrest in the heya and unable to go and see his new child without the permission of his stable master.

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In any case, next basho should put Hoshoryu and Abi square in the middle of the joi (M1/K/S) where they can both prove themselves and start their own ozeki runs. We shall see.

Edited by Seiyashi
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On 24/01/2022 at 15:56, Kaninoyama said:

Consistency and weight go hand in hand in Hoshoryu's case. And it's not even weight he'll have to to to extreme to gain. He's still young and still growing into his sumo body. An extra 10 kilos over the next year or two will be part of his natural progression, and with it the added strength and stability needed to take his already elite belt game to the invincible level of someone like Terunofuji. 

And I suspect with his added weight and strength he'll be able to rely less on his fancy play syndrome as you suggest and be able to to dominate with his added strength and brilliant technique. 

+1.   

BTW, I don't see any "fancy play syndrome."  I see Hoshyoru trying his best to win any way he can. He just happens to have more techniques in his arsenal.  

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