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Jun 12, 2024 6:49 pm

Hot diggity dog: Joey Chestnut, Takeru Kobayashi to meet in eating contest

Joey Chestnut

On Tuesday, competitive eater Joey Chestnut was a champion without a competition.

That all changed Wednesday when Netflix announced it will live stream a winner-take-all hot dog eating contest between Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi, who was the dominant force in competitive eating before Chestnut, on Labor Day.

The start time and location were not announced.

The event, called “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef,” came to be after Major League Eating — which sanctions the annual July 4 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at New York’s Coney Island, announced Chestnut would not be competing this year.

That’s because Chestnut, a 16-time Coney Island champ, has an agreement to represent rival Impossible Foods.

“For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions. However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship,” MLE said in a statement.

He had an enthusiastic statement of his own on Wednesday.

“Through all of my years in competitive eating, Kobayashi stands out as my fiercest rival,” Chestnut said in a news release. “Competing against him pushed me to be so much better. I know that fans have waited a long time for another chapter of our rivalry and I can’t wait for our massive showdown live on Netflix! It’s time to give the people what they want!”

Kobayashi, 46, won the Nathan’s contest six times, all consecutively beginning in the early 2000s. Chestnut first beat Kobayashi in 2007, but they haven’t displayed their eating skills in the same event since 2009.

Kobayashi previously announced his retirement, citing health issues, but said Wednesday he has another contest against Chestnut in him.

“Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time,” Kobayashi said. “This rivalry has been brewing for a long time. Competing against Joey live on Netflix means fans all over the world can watch me knock him out.”

–Field Level Media

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