Abi Masatora

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Abi Masatora
阿炎 政虎
Abi-Masatora20180526.jpg
Abi in 2018
Personal information
BornKōsuke Horikiri
(1994-05-04) May 4, 1994 (age 27)
Koshigaya city, Saitama Prefecture
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight149 kg (328 lb)
Career
StableShikoroyama
Current ranksee below
DebutJuly, 2013
Highest rankKomusubi (July, 2019)
Championships1 (Jūryō)
2 (Makushita)
1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonidan)
Special PrizesFighting Spirit (2)
Gold Stars(2) 1 Hakuhō
1 Kakuryū
* Up to date as of April 26, 2021.

Abi Masatora (Japanese: 阿炎 政虎, born May 4, 1994 as Kōsuke Horikiri (堀切 洸助, Horikiri Kōsuke)) is a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Saitama Prefecture. He made his debut in May, 2013 and wrestles for Shikoroyama stable. He reached the top makuuchi division in January 2018 and has two special prizes for Fighting Spirit and two gold stars for yokozuna upsets. His highest rank has been komusubi.

Early life and sumo experience[edit]

Kōsuke Horikiri was born as the youngest of four children, born into a family that ran a construction company. He was a head taller than most of his classmates as a student. Unlike other members of his family, he was not inclined towards sports as he was somewhat overweight and didn't like running. He tried judo, but found he excelled more at sumo; taking the children's sumo championship in his city in both his first and second years of primary school. Though he was skilled at sumo, he didn't like the sport at first, especially practice, and would often try to avoid it. As the sumo at the city level was not challenging enough he began participating in national children's sumo tournaments but achieved little success. He did not see sumo in his future but as most of his friends were involved in the sport, he continued. Having a very gregarious nature, he made friends quickly at tournaments, among them being future makuuchi wrestlers Daieishō and Hokutōfuji.[1]

In junior high school Horikiri began to find sumo more appealing, placing well in tournaments. This culminated in taking 3rd place in the national junior high school sumo tournament in Kagoshima. Horikiri recalled being so certain he would be eliminated on the first day, that he brought a swimsuit for swimming in the nearby sea so he would have something to do for the rest of the tournament.

He transferred to Nagareyama High School and joined the sumo club. One of his classmates there was future Daishōhō. He was successful at the high school level, often placing in the best sixteen. In his 3rd year of high school, he placed 3rd in the 61st Towada Sumo Tournament in the individual category, losing to the future san'yaku wrestler Ichinojō.

His family hoped he would go on to university and continue sumo there, but Horikiri instead expressed interest in taking over the family business. Not long afterwards, without consulting his parents he made the decision to enter Shikoroyama stable because his sumo coach was close with its head, the former Terao. His parents had not expected this sudden change and were reluctant to meet with his coach at first, but Horikiri convinced them of his fervor.[1]

Career[edit]

In his first tournament in July 2013 he achieved a 6–1 record, losing only to Ikeru (who himself was also in his debut and went on to win the jonokuchi championship). In the following tournament in September, in the jonidan division, he had a 7–0 record, and took the championship, beating Aokishin in a playoff. In the next tournament, which was his sandanme debut, he only achieved a 4–3 but following that in January 2014 he got another perfect record and took the sandanme division championship. Over the next year, he posted four winning tournaments out of six. He was promoted to the salaried ranks of jūryō for the March 2015 tournament along with Amakaze and Ishiura. On this promotion, he chose the shikona of Abi which was the idea of his coach the aforementioned former sekiwake Terao. Abi was pronounced the same as Shikoroyama coach's nickname. The characters used were chosen in the hope that Horikiri could be strong like the many armed Asura (of which the first character is the same as in Abi's first character) and "on fire" in the ring (the second character means "flaming").[2]

Though he lasted four tournaments in the division, he only managed one winning tournament and was demoted back to makushita after the September 2015 tournament. He spent the next eight tournaments moving up and down the top third of the makushita division. In the March 2017 tournament at makushita 16 he got a 7–0 record and took the championship. He would follow this with a strong 5-2 in May, which would finally garner re-promotion to jūryō in July 2017, in which he achieved a winning tournament (8–7). In the next tournament in September at jūryō 11 he posted a 10–5 record and on the final day beat both Homarefuji and Kotoyuki in a playoff to take the championship. An 11–4 record at jūryō 5 in November would propel him to the top flight makuuchi division for the first time. In his debut in January 2018 at maegashira 14 he had a record of 10–5 and earned the Fighting Spirit Prize along with Ryūden.[3] Another 10-5 for the March 2018 tournament saw him promoted to maegashira 2 for the May tournament,[4] where he recorded only seven wins but earned his first kinboshi by defeating the yokozuna Hakuhō on day 6.[5] He won his second kinboshi in consecutive tournaments in July 2018 with a victory over Kakuryū on Day 5.[6] In May 2019 he won ten bouts and shared the Fighting Spirit prize with tournament winner Asanoyama and top division debutant Shimanoumi. Abi clinched the prize on the final day by defeating Tamawashi, and said he was inspired by Asanoyama, who is the same age.[7] This performance earned him promotion to the sanyaku ranks for the first time at komusubi. He followed up with 8–7 and 9–6 records in the next two tournaments but did not get promoted to sekiwake as there were no openings at that rank (with it being filled by Mitakeumi and the demoted ōzeki Takakeishō in September and Tochinoshin in November).

He was reprimanded by the Japan Sumo Association in November 2019 after he posted an image on Instagram of his friend and fellow wrestler Wakamotoharu tied up and gagged with tape as a prank. It was deemed inappropriate and Abi and Wakamotoharu apologized in person to JSA chairman Hakkaku and the board for the incident. The JSA has advised wrestlers not to post on their individual social media in future, although accounts run by the stables are not affected.[8] In the following November tournament in Kyushu he produced another 9–6 record from the rank of komusubi East. He was ranked at komusubi on the January 2020 banzuke for the fourth tournament in a row; the first time this has happened since Kisenosato spent four straight tournaments at komusubi from July 2006 until January 2007.[9] In February 2020 he was reprimanded again after he told reporters, unprompted, that he had slept through a workshop organized by the Sumo Association to explain the changes to their social media policy that he had instigated.[10]

He was withdrawn by his stablemaster partway through the July 2020 tournament after he admitted to twice visiting a hostess bar with a low-ranking wrestler from another stable, against the guidance on nonessential travel given by the Sumo Association to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.[11][10] The Sumo Association chairman Hakkaku called his actions "unpardonable."[12] Abi submitted a retirement notice through his stablemaster on August 4, which was not immediately accepted.[13][10] Later that week, the Sumo Association suspended Abi for three tournaments and reduced his pay and that of his stablemaster while rejecting his resignation.[14] It emerged that he had gone out several more times than the two occasions to which he had admitted.[14] Despite having recently got married, he was told to move back into his stable and be under strict supervision. His retirement papers are being kept on file by the Sumo Association and will be activated if there are any further transgressions. Abi was next eligible to compete in the March 2021 tournament, where he was ranked at makushita 56.[15]

Family[edit]

Abi was married in June 2020 after a three year relationship.[16] They have one daughter.[17]

Fighting style[edit]

Abi is a tsuki/oshi specialist, meaning he prefers to slap and push his opponents rather than fighting on the mawashi or belt. His most common winning kimarite are oshi-dashi (push out), hataki-komi (slap down) and tsuki-dashi (thrust out).

Career record[edit]

Abi Masatora[4]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2013 x x (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #19
6–1
 
West Jonidan #33
7–0–P
Champion

 
East Sandanme #34
4–3
 
2014 West Sandanme #23
7–0
Champion

 
West Makushita #13
3–4
 
East Makushita #18
5–2
 
West Makushita #11
5–2
 
East Makushita #7
3–4
 
East Makushita #11
6–1
 
2015 West Makushita #2
5–2
 
East Jūryō #12
7–8
 
East Jūryō #13
8–7
 
West Jūryō #10
7–8
 
West Jūryō #11
5–10
 
West Makushita #1
3–4
 
2016 West Makushita #4
4–3
 
East Makushita #2
2–5
 
East Makushita #12
5–2
 
West Makushita #4
1–6
 
West Makushita #21
3–4
 
West Makushita #28
4–3
 
2017 East Makushita #24
5–2
 
East Makushita #16
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #1
5–2
 
East Jūryō #14
8–7
 
West Jūryō #11
10–5–PP
Champion

 
West Jūryō #5
11–4
 
2018 East Maegashira #14
10–5
F
East Maegashira #7
10–5
 
West Maegashira #2
7–8
East Maegashira #3
6–9
West Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #7
6–9
 
2019 West Maegashira #10
10–5
 
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
West Maegashira #4
10–5
F
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
9–6
 
East Komusubi #1
9–6
 
2020 East Komusubi #1
5–10
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
East Maegashira #5
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Maegashira #5
3–4–8
 
West Maegashira #14
Suspended
0–0–15
West Jūryō #11
Suspended
0–0–15
2021 East Makushita #16
Suspended
0–0–7
West Makushita #56
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #7

 
x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 『相撲』2018年3月号 p.14-15
  2. ^ Abi, Amakaze, and Ishiura jūryō debut Nikkan Sports 2015-1-28
  3. ^ "Champion Tochinoshin finishes New Year Basho in style". Japan Times. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Abi Masatora Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2018-03-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Tochinoshin grabs sole lead as Hakuho takes first loss". Japan Times. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Sumo: Abi upsets grand champion Kakuryu on Day 5 in Nagoya". The Mainichi. 12 July 2018. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Asanoyama falls on basho's last day". Japan Times. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "JSA not laughing after wrestler posts 'bondage' video on SNS". Asahi Shimbun. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "2020 January Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 30 December 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ a b c "Abi asks to retire from sumo after violating coronavirus rules". Japan Times. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Sumo: Hakuho, Asanoyama remain in 3-way tie for lead July meet". Kyodo News. 25 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Abi criticized by sumo officials after violating coronavirus guidelines". Japan Times. 26 July 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "キャバクラ通い阿炎が引退届 6日理事会で処分決定". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 4 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b "Sumo: JSA rejects Abi's resignation, hands wrestler 3-tourney ban". Kyodo. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  15. ^ "阿炎が復帰 西幕下56枚目からの出直し/新番付 ("Abi returns at Makushita 56 on new banzuke")". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "阿炎が結婚…同じ埼玉出身20代一般女性と3年の交際経てゴールイン". Yahoo! Japan (in Japanese). 28 June 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "阿炎、幕下から出直し 妻子と別居24時間親方監視…"次はアウト"最後通告付き処分". Hochi (in Japanese). 7 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

  • Abi Masatora's official biography (English) at the Grand Sumo Homepage