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Estonian Baruto upset Hakuho on Nov. 27, giving the Mongolian a 14-1 record in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Hakuho has already clinched his 21st title on Day 13 of the basho, but was striving to mark his first 15-0 record in 2011.
Back after a six-month hiatus due to a match-fixing scandal, Japan’s ancient sport is looking to restore its tarnished image but large swaths of empty seats at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament this week indicate the sport has much work to do.
The 15-day tournament in Osaka was scheduled to begin on March 13, but the JSA reached its decision to axe the basho at an emergency board meeting as the national sport faces a public-relations nightmare.
Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hanaregoma pledged on Wednesday to do his utmost in conducting an investigation into match-fixing in the national sport and promised to severely punish those involved, if the allegations are proven to be true.
Hanaregoma said he could not confirm the existence of alleged match fixing after questioning 12 people over cell phone text messages that appear to imply that bouts have been rigged.