Forgive us if we fail to perish from shock, but it would seem that reports of pro glutton Takeru Kobayashi's withdrawal from the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest due to contract disputes centered around a year long non-compete clause may have been a tad premature.
A press release from Kobayashi's camp states, "'This is not about the money,' Kobayashi emphasized. 'I told MLE [Major League Eating – competitive eating's ruling body / PR agency] I would take a reduced fee and then offered to participate with no fee at all.'”
"As to where things stand at the moment, Kobayashi has traveled from Japan to New York and is ready to participate this 4th of July at Coney Island. He is hopeful something can still be worked out. All he needs is for MLE to lift the restrictions on his other activities."
As we'd noted before, we share reigning chomp champ Joey Chestnut's suspicion that Major League Eating's declaration of Kobayashi's retirement from the competitive eating arena is likely little more than a psych-out technique and/or attempt at hype. We fully expect to see the two gustatory gladiators going to the dogs on Independence Day.
If that doesn't happen, we'll eat our hat. Or perhaps ten of them.
Previously – Joey Chestnut talks hot dog strategy and Kobayashi's hot dog bow-out
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