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Sumo champ's big business plans

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Sumo champ's big biz plans
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj was sumo's most successful wrestler known as Asashoryu
  • Now building a business empire in his native Mongolia
  • Owns a circus and other real estate and has set up an investment bank

(CNN) -- Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj a big man with big ambitions.

In Mongolia there is no one is more famous than Dagvadorj, who is probably best known by his Japanese name, Asashoryu.

For 15 years Dagvadorj dominated sumo wrestling and became the most successful grand master the sport had ever seen. He retired in 2010 after the controversial wrestler was involved in a brawl outside a Tokyo nightclub.

It brought the champion more bad publicity in Japan, but in his native Mongolia he is a hero. Locals call him simply "The champ".

Still only 30, he is now embarking on a second career as a businessman.

RELATED TOPICS
  • Asashoryu Akinori
  • Asia
  • Mongolia

"My whole generation has experienced the opening of Mongolia," he says. "So I feel it is a great honor to be alive in this new free country. I feel blessed."

He has slimmed down since his professional sumo days, but his appetite for success is as big as ever.

"It is difficult to say if I will become world famous billionaire," he says.

"Sumo and business are completely different, different worlds but it is my ambition to become a big businessman. We should all strive for success especially as Mongolia has such a bright future."

Around twenty years ago, Mongolia abandoned a Soviet-style system and embraced economic and political reform. Vast quantities of minerals are driving the country's economic growth and with that wealth comes the potential for businessmen like Dagvadorj to make their mark on modern Mongolia.

Dagvadorj owns a circus in the capital Ulaanbaatar and is behind a project to build a huge residential and entertainment complex. To finance it all he has started his own investment bank.

He laughs at the idea that he might one day be president, but doesn't rule it out.

"Maybe," he says. "Maybe."