Boxing is the most popular sport in Mexico, followed by association football. There are, however, geographical variances. Baseball, for example, is the most popular sport in the country's northwest and southeast. Football is extensively watched and played throughout the country, and it is the most popular sport in the majority of states. Basketball is popular in some parts of Mexico.
In terms of numbers participated in, boxing is far ahead of its rivals. According to reports published by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), there are around 1 million amateur boxers in Mexico alone. This makes it the largest sports organization of its kind in the world. In fact, there are more than 2 million boxers worldwide affiliated with organizations such as the WBO, International Boxing Association (AIBA), World Boxing Council (WC), and others.
The Mexican National Team is one of the most successful in international competitions with a record of being undefeated after five games at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The team's nickname is "La Furia Roja" (the red fury).
There are several professional boxing leagues in Mexico, but only two have significant followings: the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO). The biggest names in boxing are usually assigned to fights held under these banners so they can be recognized by their audiences. However, many top fighters work without a manager or promoter, so other organizations may show interest in signing them up.
The most popular sports in Mexico
Baseball has long been recognized as the most popular sport in several parts of Mexico, namely in Sonora and Sinaloa, but also, possibly, in Oaxaca, Yucatan, Campeche, and Tabasco, where football is also popular. In fact, according to some sources, football is more popular than baseball.
The first professional baseball league in Mexico was founded in 1946. Since then, many famous players have come from Mexico including Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Paul Blair, Luis Gonzalez, Jose Mesa, Felipe Alou, Mike Ivie, Mark Belanger, José Canseco, Manny Ramirez, and Vlad Guerrero who were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.
About the only thing that can compete with baseball in popularity is American football which is played by hundreds of thousands of fans every week throughout Mexico.
There are two major leagues in Mexico: The Mexican League (which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball) and a local league called the Pacific Coast League (which is not affiliated with any major league). The best players in both countries often play for each other's teams. For example, when the Oakland Athletics made their last trip to Mexico in 1996, they played a series against the Seattle Mariners. The A's won both games thanks in large part to three outstanding performances by their Mexican players.
Football is the most popular sport in Mexico (called futbol in Mexico). Mexico's top division competitions are Liga MX for men and Liga MX Femenil for women as of 2020. Football was first recognized as a professional men's sport in 1943. It broke world attendance records for women's professional football matches. In 2015, more than 100 million people around the world were estimated to have watched some form of soccer.
The national team, known as La Roja, has won the gold medal in each of the last two World Cups of Nations. They also finished as runners-up in the 1960 tournament. Mexico has never been eliminated from a major competition.
The country's most famous player is Diego Maradona who was part of Los Millonarios club team that contributed to Mexico's second division title in 1979. He later played for Naples and Argentina in his career which lasted from 1980 to 1991. Currently he is the coach of the Mexican national team.
Mexico has hosted several international tournaments including the 1940 FIFA World Cup and the 1970 FIFA World Cup. More than 70,000 people died during the French invasion of Mexico in 1847. This number does not include those killed during the subsequent war with America.
There are currently more than 22 million fans in Mexico following their favorite teams. Most clubs hold training sessions on Sunday afternoons and play one game per weekend.