Rank-and-file wrestler Hokutofuji continued to plow forward in a no-nonsense win Sunday to improve to 8-0 and retain his sole lead on the eighth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

The 30-year-old No. 8 maegashira failed to gain any advantage on the opening charge, but was able to steadily push No. 6 Endo (3-5) backward and force him over the straw bales.

Hokutofuji is one win ahead of fellow maegashira Tamawashi. Six wrestlers are another win further back at 6-2 in the 15-day tourney at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, while the sole yokozuna, Terunofuji, is three wins off the pace at 5-3.

After suffering his first loss on Saturday, No. 3 Tamawashi appeared eager to get this one over in a hurry. His charge struck No. 5 Sadanoumi (4-4) before he could react, and the Mongolian ironman swept him out of the ring in one go.

No. 4 maegashira and former ozeki Takayasu failed to keep pace, suffering his second defeat despite pushing ozeki Takakeisho (6-2) to the limit. Takayasu came out like a man possessed, giving as good as he got from sumo's pushing-and-shoving master. But when he appeared to have the ozeki on the ropes, Takayasu overplayed his hand. As he lunged forward, Takakeisho stepped aside and pulled him down.

Terunofuji wrapped up the day's proceedings in style with a win over No. 4 Nishikigi (4-4), seizing a left-handed overarm grip from the jump, and, after a moment's resistance, throwing his opponent to the sandy surface.

Mitakeumi, wrestling as a demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki in need of eight wins here, fell to 3-5, outclassed by sekiwake Wakatakakage (5-3). On the back foot for much of the bout, the sekiwake twice avoided defeat, once by threatening to trip the ozeki, and once via pure strength and skill, before seizing control and forcing Mitakeumi out.

Sekiwake Daieisho (2-6) shoved out ozeki Shodai, handing him his seventh straight defeat in a battle between struggling wrestlers in the upper ranks, while new sekiwake Hoshoryu fell to his fourth loss.

Komusubi Ichinojo, July's Nagoya tourney champion, fell to his sixth defeat, and fellow komusubi Kiribayama suffered his third.

Aki Basho: Day 8 Makuuchi Results