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What are the 5 most popular sports in Mexico?

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Bullfighting
What are the 5 most popular sports in Mexico? Photo/ Good News Network.
  • Sports have strongly influenced the evolution of Mexican culture over the years and are part of the country’s history
  • Bullfighting was the most popular sport in Mexico during the colonial period
  • However, the practice of bullfighting is controversial because of concerns such as animal welfare, religion and funding

Sports have strongly influenced the evolution of Mexican culture over the years, but what are the most popular sports in Mexico?

Sports in Mexico are part of the country’s history. Bullfighting was the most popular sport in Mexico during the colonial period, which is why most people think of physical exertion involving riding a bull as Mexican’s idea of sports.

However, there are other less-risky sports practised in the country bordered to the north by the United States. Putting into consideration fan following and participation, let’s look at the top five most popular sports in Mexico.

1. Football 

Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Mexico, and this can be shown by how everything comes to a halt in most parts of the country when the national team is playing. The Mexican national team has produced good performances in the FIFA World Cup, CONCACAF, Pan America and NAFC Championship.

Mexico has produced several big names in the football world, including former Manchester United star Javier Hernandez.

Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez is one of the greatest Mexican footballers of all time. Photo/ Goal.com.

In Mexico, football does not only inspire children and adults but it also brings the whole nation together. According to the Sporting Blog, 58% of people living in Mexico are football fans and over 40% of Mexicans create time to watch football games on television.

LIGA MX is the most famous football league in Mexico and it has 18 teams. The teams with a substantial following in Mexico are Monterrey, Atlas, Tijuana, Cruz Azul, Juarez FC and Guadalajara.

2. Boxing 

Boxing has been an integral part of Mexico’s sporting culture over the years. According to reports, 48% of people living in Mexico love watching boxing matches.

Mexican professional boxers have won many international championships over the years. They have formed an iconic rivalry with Puerto Rican boxers, making a spectacle of bandying blows when they meet in the ring.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame currently has 14 Mexican boxers. Some of the most famous Mexican boxers are Julio Cesar Chavez, Raul Garcia, Juan Manuel Marquez and Salvador Sanchez.

3. Baseball 

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Mexico. It gained popularity in certain regions, especially in the north, after being brought by American soldiers during the Mexican war.

The Mexican Baseball League plays a significant role in promoting the sport in the whole country. As of now, there are two baseball leagues in Mexico – the Summer League and the Winter League. The Summer League has 16 teams while the Winter League has eight teams.

Baseball

Mexican baseball players. Photo/ NBC Sports.

Mexico has produced several professional baseball players who play in the Major League Baseball (MLB).

4. Lucha Libre 

Lucha libre, a Spanish term for free wrestling, is a way of life for many Mexicans. It is one of the most popular sports in Mexico and has the second-highest spectator rate after football.

The most famous Mexican Lucha Libre promotion is Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. Most Lucha libre fights, which are organized weekly, attract between 1,000 and 3,000 spectators. However, the most famous fights attract over 17,000 fans.

Lucha Libre

Lucha libre wrestlers wear masks with unique designs. Photo/ ESPN.

In Lucha libre, wrestlers wear masks with unique designs in appreciation for local beliefs and traditions. It is believed that these masks can transform an ordinary wrestler to one of the best.

5. Bullfighting 

Well, you can’t talk about the most popular sports in Mexico and fail to mention bullfighting. There’s no saying about the popularity of this traditional sport.

Bullfighting was brought to Mexico more than 500 years ago and is currently one of the most profitable sports in the country. However, the practice of bullfighting is controversial because of concerns such as animal welfare, religion and funding.

Countries such as the UK, US, Australia and Canada view bullfighting as something that should be done away with. Even though bullfighting has a massive following in Mexico, some Mexicans believe that it is unnecessary.

Bullfighting

Bullfighting in Mexico. Photo/ Good News Network.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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