It’s still on: Hot-Dog Eating Champs Go Eye to Eye.
NEW YORK (AP) – They stood toe to toe, eye to eye, and – most important – jaw to injured jaw.
Six-time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi, still unable to open his mouth wide enough for a typical teeth cleaning, joined favorite Joey Chestnut at a Tuesday weigh-in before their Fourth of July hot-dog-eating showdown in Coney Island.
The Japanese title holder declared himself ready to gorge, dismissing suggestions by skeptics that his stiff jaw was nothing more than hot dog head games aimed at rattling world record holder Chestnut.
“I don’t care what they think,” the 29-year-old said through an interpreter. “I just want to battle tomorrow.”
A battle it will be:
The two are among 17 contestants preparing for Wednesday’s eat-off, where the winner must consume the most HDBs – hot dogs and buns. Last month, Chestnut eclipsed Kobayashi’s mark of 53 1/2 in 12 minutes by inhaling 59 1/2.
I love this quote from NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg while introducing the pair at the weigh in:
“Many times … in the annals of sports, the eyes of the world have turned to our great city to watch worthy adversaries square off,” said Bloomberg, tongue in cheek. “What comes to mind is Ali and Frazier, the Yankees and the Mets, the Post and the Daily News.”