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Boxing was the "second most popular sport in the nation," the first was baseball. In the 1930s America was "the undisputed center of world boxing," its popularity was immense and this opened the doors to many including Hispanics and African- Americans. The popularity of boxing was seen in the film through the immense amount of crowds that would place bets on fighters and the groups of people that listened to it on the radio. This popularity is seen when James J. Braddock has his biggest fight and his wife goes to pray for him at the church, but the church is already full of people who are there to pray for him. The immensity of the popularity is seen clearly throughout the scene in the background.