It’s the cat—no, the dog—fight of the week. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut versus Takeru Kobayashi. The kings of competitive hot dog eating.
On Monday, at Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Chestnut walked (or, more likely, slowly plodded) away with his fifth title. The San Jose, California native defended his Mustard Belt at the Coney Island event by eating 62 dogs in 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Kobayashi held court in Manhattan. Himself a six-time Nathan’s victor, the Japanese native ended up arrested at last year’s competition for rushing the stage. He had been banned from the competition because of a contract dispute with Major League Eating (MLE), which organizes the event. This year, again unable to resolve his differences with MLE officials, Kobayashi funnelled his angst into eating, setting up an alternate, unsanctioned event at the bar of 230 FIFTH. New York State Athletic Association judges Brian Adams and Tyrone Jackson watched as Kobayashi devoured 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, the Coney Island contest broadcast next to him.
Kobayashi’s performance was a double whammy for Chestnut. Kobayashi not only far suprassed Chestnut’s performance at Coney Island, but he also beat Chestnut’s world record: by a mere single hot dog and bun.
But it now seems that the man counting at the Kobayashi event may have lost track of his dogs. This video alleges to do a more scientific count to conclude that only 65 buns went down the Japanese man’s hatch. A spokesperson told the Daily News that Kobayashi’s camp was surprised, as independent judges confirmed the 69 number.
“I think even Kobayashi would agree that the record still stands at 68,” Chestnut told the Daily News. “And if he wants to compete with me on the Fourth of July, he knows what he has to do — sign a simple contract and man up.”