Sumo star Hakuho lifts trophy, then Stallone

Sumo star Hakuho lifts trophy, then Stallone

Hakuho cleans up at the autumn Tokyo tournament, then tackles Sly Stallone at "The Expendables'" press shoot
sly stallone expendables meets sumo hakuko
sly stallone expendables meets sumo hakuko
sly stallone expendables meets sumo hakuko
sly stallone expendables meets sumo hakuko
hakuho sumo sly stallone
hakuho sumo sly stallone
hakuho sumo sly stallone
hakuho sumo sly stallone
"The Expendables" stars Sly Stallone and Dolph Lundgren meet sumo giant Hakuho.

Mongolian sumo wrestler Hakuho achieved a stunning 15-0 victory clean sweep at the autumn sumo tournament in Tokyo on September 25, taking his tally of victories to 62 straight -- the second-longest run ever -- before tossing around Hollywood actor Sly Stallone that same evening. 

Stallone was in town with fellow action hero throwback Dolph Lundgren to promote "The Expendables," an action film that sees the 1980s stars, along with Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke, share the big screen together with more current movie hardmen Jason Statham and Jet Li. 

Click "View Gallery" above for images from the tournament, and from "The Expendables" premiere. 

The movie premiere took place at Tokyo's Shibuya AX the same day as the finale of Tokyo's sumo honbasho, and Sly Stallone took the chance to watch it live, commenting, "It’s so easy to follow. The rules are simple. It’s why people love it. It’s man versus man." 

Stallone though, found himself up against a man mountain later when sharing a stage with Hakuho, who had just won his 16th Emperor's Cup, presented to him by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at Ryogoku Kokugikan. The cup itself is so huge it seems only sumo wrestlers could possibly hold it aloft.

sly stallone expendables meets sumo hakuko Sly Stallone gets thrown around by yokozuna Hakuho at a "The Expendables" press conference.

Hakuho aims to break all the records

Hakuho was able to easily lift up the 64-year-old veteran Stallone though, after being mock punched by the actor during the photo session.

His next challenge will be to win his first eight bouts at the next tournament in Fukuoka in November to beat the all-time record of 69 straight wins by former yokozuna Futabayama in the 1930s. 

Hakuho, the only practicing yokozuna -- sumo's highest rank -- and still only 25, has some way to go on the all time tournament victories list though.

This was his 16th Emperor's cup, placing him sixth on the all time list behind Takanohana who has 22. The 1960s wrestler Taiho tops the list with 32.

The world of sumo has been going through troubled times of late, but has vowed to sever all ties with local yakuza to restore it's image.

In an interview with CNNGo last year, Hakuho spoke of the need to be gentle outside the ring. To read the full interview, click here.

 

Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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