The world’s largest ever boxing lesson will take place in Mexico City’s central square Saturday morning.
More than 19,000 people have registered and received kits with an official T-shirt, hat and number, the director of Mexico City’s Institute of Sport, Javier Hidalgo, told a press conference Friday.
A turnout of that size will easily beat the existing Guinness World Record for the largest boxing lesson, which was set in Russia in 2017 with 3,000 participants. Based on whether they received a green, white or red t-shirt, registered participants will be directed to one of three different sections of the central square for the lesson. Collectively they will form a representation of the Mexican flag. A fourth section just off the zócalo will be open to people who haven’t registered.
Three champion boxers – Ana María Torres, David Picasso and Mariana Juárez – will lead the lesson, which will commence at 8 a.m. Many other past and present professional boxers will be on hand to offer tips to budding boxers, including former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, a Mexican American.
Boxing legend Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez has promoted the boxing class and there has been some speculation that he would attend, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Sylvester Stallone, who stars in the Rocky boxing movies, also appeared in a promotional video for the event, telling his Mexican friends to show up at 8 a.m. and “keep punching.”
Among the promising pugilists who will be at the zócalo bright and early Saturday are about 10 residents of a Mexico City shelter for homeless people. The young men have been training under the watchful eye of a man affectionately called El Profe (The Teacher), a boxing enthusiast who moved to the same shelter when the hotel where he was living shut down.
Canelo’s advice in a social media video message to promote the #ClaseMasivaDeBox appears to have resonated with the men.
“Sport is the best way to better yourself in life,” the 31-year-old Guadalajara native said in the promotional video. “A true champion puts addictions out of the fight. … That’s why I want to invite you to the Mexico City zócalo for the world’s largest boxing lesson. Don’t miss it!”