The International Sumo League (ISL), a new venture debuting in the United States early next year, will host three inaugural events in January and February, headlined by a “World Championship Sumo” event on Sunday, February 18th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Leading up to the February 18th event, the first “Club Sumo” tournaments will take place on Thursday, January 25th and Thursday, February 8th at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, New Jersey. Tickets for the live event at Prudential Center will go on sale this Friday, December 8th at 12 p.m. ET and will be available through Ticketmaster.com. Fights begin at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets for the live events at White Eagle Hall will go on sale this Friday, December 8th at 12 p.m. ET and will be available through SeeTickets.com. Fights begin at 8 p.m. ET.
Sumo, a larger-than-life global sport spectacle, is already contested in over 84 countries around the world. All three events will feature rikishi (Sumo wrestlers) squaring off in fast-paced action-packed matches with the winners advancing to the next round of the competition and culminating in crowning first, second, third and fourth-place winners. All three events will include a minimum of 12 fighters competing across as many as 42 one-on-one bouts.
ISL President Noah Goldman, who has dedicated himself to promoting and growing the sport of sumo wrestling, especially in North America, traveled to or made contact with over 25 countries including Japan, India, Egypt, Brazil, Bulgaria, Russia, France, England, Georgia, and Germany to scout and sign top rikishi. A full roster of participants from around the globe will be announced shortly.
“I am excited and thrilled to bring World Championship Sumo to the world and showcase the very best Rikishi exhibiting their explosive power, strength, size and athleticism in every match,” said Goldman. “I’m also very excited and happy to be working with the talented Prudential Center team, and the HSBE universe, in delivering World Championship Sumo to Newark and the entire tri-state area. Audiences will be exhilarated and entertained by the explosiveness and speed of every fight. Be prepared to be thrilled and amazed by our Fighting Giants.”
“HBSE takes immense pride in showcasing a diverse array of events across all our venues. As such, we are thrilled to partner with International Sumo League to bring the best sumo wrestlers in the world to New Jersey,” said Dylan Wanagiel, VP of Sports Properties & Special Events for HBSE/Prudential Center. “Sumo brings a thunderous clash of titans in a tradition dating back over 2,000 years. To be able to deliver this dance of giants, a test of gumption, strategy, and the steadfast spirit which defines this global sport to both Prudential Center and White Eagle Hall for the first time is exciting for our company.”
Sumo (Ozumo) is an ancient form of wrestling whose origins go back to the Yayoi period (c. 300 BCE – c. 300 CE). Sumo is the national sport of Japan, and as such sumo wrestlers continue to be regarded as sacred in Japan today, especially those who win tournaments and acquire the prestigious title of Yokozuna, or grand champion.
The modern form of the sport took shape around 1684, when rules were created that are still adhered to today. After a series of varying rituals, two sumo wrestlers face each other standing on a raised square platform made of compact clay that measures precisely 18.7 feet on each side. The ring, or dohyo, is a perfect circle with a diameter of 15 feet.
The winner of the bout must either push his opponent out of the ring or force him to the ground within three minutes. If any part of a wrestler's body besides his feet touches the floor, he has lost. The winner of a sumo match wins at least two of three bouts between the competitors.
Giants of the sporting world, sumo wrestlers generally weigh in at approximately 330 pounds, but some of the largest competitors can tip the scales at over 450 pounds.
World Championship Sumo is supercharged with power, skill, and unbelievable energy, like watching two large trucks colliding over and over again all evening!
Additional information on all World Championship Sumo activities will be announced in the coming weeks.