Fight’s over, but to some it looks like love is about to begin.

Just like with boxing, sumo fans attending a match who have a deep love of the sport and deep pockets to go with it sometimes shell out for ringside seats, in order to be as close to the action as possible. However, an important difference between a boxing ring and a sumo one is that the sumo ring isn’t surrounded by ropes, because a wrestler can win a match either by forcing his opponent to the ground or pushing him out of the ring.

But when massive men start pushing each other around and building momentum, it’s not always easy for them to come to a stop once they get going. That means that sometimes a sumo wrestler who gets forced out of the ring ends up plowing into the first row of fans. When this happens, it’s sort of like when a car crash occurs in motorsports. Yes, it’s dangerous, but it also makes for a very dynamic visual.

So when wrestler Terunofuji Haruo sent opponent Tamawashi Ichiro out of the ring with a yorikiri force-out on Thursday, the 12th day of the July sumo tournament being held at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, professional photographers quickly swung their lenses towards the scene, hoping to get a perfectly timed shot of the 169-kilogram (373-pound) Tamawashi colliding with someone seated in the front row. One photographer succeeded, and his photo impressed news organization Nikkan Sports so much that they posted it to their official Twitter account…but to some eyes, it doesn’t look like the agony of defeat so much as the ecstasy of something else.

Given the other man’s attire, he may be a coach or someone else attending the event in an official capacity, and not just an ordinary fan. In any case, commenters were quick to react, though some were unable to express their thoughts in words alone and had to employ kaomoji/emoticons.

“He’s definitely in there.”
“The joy of being mounted.”
“It’s like one of those scenes from, you know…”

It’s not clear if the last comment is referring to material of the live-action or 2-D sort, but if it’s the latter, another commenter was quick to commemorate the moment with fan art.

It’s not like this was the only photo available to Nikkan Sports either, as their photo recap of the day’s matches here has at least three other shots from the match before it was decided. Still, this was one they wanted everyone to see on Twitter, as was this.

Well, can’t say that’s not a photo that grabs your attention, and people can’t have their eyes on a sumo wrestler’s nipples without also having their eyes on the sport, so maybe it’s not such a bad shot after all.

Source: Twitter/@nikkansports via Hachima Kiko, Nikkan Sports (1, 2)
Top image: Wikipedia/Yves Picq
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