Central Valley man competing in New York hot dog eating contest July 4th

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – It all started about ten years ago in Fresno at Batter Up Pancakes, where Pablo Martinez from Visalia decided to take on the Batter Up Pancake challenge and finished around seven pounds of breakfast food in under 45 minutes. 

Now, the professional eater is off to New York for the 7th time to participate in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating challenge.

“I remember I went to Batter Up and they were like, you know what you’re doing right?  And I said, I think…and they said only two people have finished it prior and like 300 people have failed,” said Pablo Martinez.

Martinez finished the breakfast challenge with ten minutes to spare.  Batter Up staff said his quest to down the dogs at the Coney Island, New York contest will be fun to watch.

“It’s a completely different world which we didn’t realize that competitive eating was as huge as it is until we started this challenge, but yeah, Valley guy going on to compete, that’s pretty cool,” said Cristina Colla, the co-owner of Batter Up Pancakes.

Standing six feet tall, weighing 165 pounds, Major League Eating currently ranks Martinez as #21 among professional eaters in the world, but Martinez’s number one fan, his father thinks he has the potential to become world champ.

“I wish he would beat Chestnut, Joey Chestnut, he’s the main guy.  If he will beat him, he will be fine.  It’s gonna be hard, but he can beat him too,” said Pablo Martinez, Martinez’s father.

Martinez’s personal best, so far, is thirty hot dogs in ten minutes and he says although it’s competitive, it’s all in good fun.

“I’m not planning on beating Joey Chestnut, that’s not my goal, that’s not my aspirations and honestly, I don’t think anybody can, but as long as my body still allows me to do it and I’m having a good time, I’m gonna keep doing it,” said Martinez.  

Martinez’ main job is being a marriage and a family therapist.

The hot dog eating contest will be aired live on ESPN1 on Sunday, July 4th, 2021 at 9 a.m. PST and usually draws tens of thousands of viewers.

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