Mexico City punches its way to a new Guinness record

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Mexico City has set a world record for hosting the largest boxing class ever, with 14,299 people taking part in a massive lesson in the capital's central plaza, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Saturday.

That huge turnout easily surpassed the previous record, set in Moscow in 2017 when 3,000 people showed up for boxing class.

After Saturday's attendance figure was certified by a Guinness World Records team, Sheinbaum posted a video thanking "the champions and those who made this great triumph possible."

Hundreds of people had gathered early for the enormous class in Zocalo plaza, which began with a tai-chi warmup, followed by a review of basic boxing movements and then practice in various combinations of blows.

Among the professional boxers who led the session were Mariana "La Barby" Juarez, a three-time World Boxing Council (WBC) champion in the flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight categories; Ana Maria "Guerrera" Torres, a two-time WBC super flyweight champion, and David Picasso, a two-time junior champion.

The turnout Saturday impressed many attendees.

"I didn't think many people would show up," 52-year-old Araceli Salazar told AFP. "I'm pleasantly surprised."

Carmen Perez, 16, an urban dance devotee, said she was thrilled to take part.

"There is a very beautiful energy -- very joyful, a lot of joy," she said.

The event was organized by the Mexico City government, which had recruited such prominent figures as American actor Sylvester Stallone -- Rocky Balboa on the big screen -- and boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to promote it.

Afterward, dozens of people swarmed the many professionals present to seek autographs.

Mexico City, with nine million residents, holds several Guinness records.

They include the biggest serving of packaged tacos (2,712 pounds or 1,230 kilograms), the largest number of free Wi-Fi hotspots in an urban area (21,500), and the largest number of people playing foosball simultaneously (1,080).

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