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Grand Champion Sumo Wrestler Got In A Drunken Brawl At Tokyo Nightclub

SPORT SUMO JAPAN

The last thing you would ever want to see while spending a night out clubbing is a shitfaced, 330 pound sumo wrestler looking to beat the living snot out of you. Just a hunch.

But that was the situation one unlucky soul found himself in on the evening of January 16th, when Asashoryu, a grand champion who is notoriously known as sumo wrestling’s “bad boy,” drunkenly pounded on the poor fellow outside a Tokyo club after an evening of heavy drinking.

Despite the fact that the victim was allegedly paid to not file a police report, the severity of the beating has left the police pondering whether or not to question and possibly charge Asashoryu. The attack left the victim with a broken nose, a split lip and bruises on his face, but if you ask me, considering the girth of the Mongolian wrestler, he’s probably lucky that’s all that happened to him. The guy could have been flattened, for crying out loud.

The Japan Sumo Association, which oversees the national sport, is quickly growing tired of Asashoryu’s antics, especially considering that controversy seems to follow this guy wherever he goes. In fact, Asashoryu should have been training for a fight later that same day when the drunken assault occurred. Despite his lack of preparedness, he still one the tournament, so I guess all’s well that ends well, right?

Wrong.

The Association will likely have tremendous pressure exerted upon them to do something about the troublesome sumo wrestler regardless of whether or not charges are ultimately filed – the sport has had its fair share of public relations disasters in recent years.

The controversy surrounding one of sumo’s finest exponents will do little for attempts to widen the sport’s appeal amid declining audiences and lack of interest among Japanese boys.

Sumo has been at the centre of persistent – but unproven – match-fixing claims, and in 2008 three Russian wrestlers tested positive for marijuana use. A year earlier, a 17-year-old trainee died after being beaten by fellow wrestlers on the orders of their stable master.

The dearth of talented Japanese wrestlers has paved the way for an influx of foreigners. Sumo has not had a homegrown grand champion for more than three years; of the four top wrestlers, three are Mongolian and one is Bulgarian.

Heh. The thought of marijuana use by sumo wrestlers amuses me to no end. You have to find some way to keep up the appetite, right?

Obviously, this recent controversy couldn’t have come at a worse time for sumo wrestling’s governing body, who would probably prefer that this latest black eye for the sport just quietly went away. But considering the troubled past of Asashoryu (the 29-year-old’s real name is Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj), who has been a thorn in their side for years now, they may have little choice but to deal with this issue head on.

In 2003 he pulled the topknot of a fellow Mongolian wrestler during a bout and continued to scuffle with his opponent in the communal bath. Four years later he became the first grand champion to be suspended after he was filmed playing in a charity football match, dressed in a Wayne Rooney replica England shirt, despite pulling out of a goodwill sumo tournament claiming he was injured.

His suspension triggered a nervous breakdown, from which he recovered by taking refuge at a luxury spa resort in his native Mongolia.

When a sumo wrestler has a nervous breakdown, do you think you can feel it miles away?

These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night, folks. Well, that and because of this story, the thought of pissing off a drunk-off-his-ass sumo wrestler, I guess.

Scary.

Sumo wrestling champion could be banned after nightclub attack [The Guardian]