This summer, boxing movie enthusiasts will get another potentially great addition as Usher, Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez put their efforts forth in the new biopic treatment of legendary Panamanian fighter, Roberto Durán.
The Jonathan Jakubowicz directed film, Hands of Stone, follows the life of legendary boxer Durán, who made his professional debut in 1968 at just 16 years old and equally-legendary trainer, Ray Arcel’s (played by De Niro,) as they change each other’s lives and form an unbreakable bond, culminating in a 1980 bout with, and subsequent victory over, Sugar Ray Leonard, who is portrayed by Usher.
Although Usher is lackadaisical when it comes to whether the role will place him on the lists for an award, he is excited about the complex role diversifying his already expansive career. In an interview with Men’s Health, Usher shared his thoughts on the leading role, describing it as a “passion project.”
“I don’t know if this is the one that would win me an Oscar or not. I’m going into it offering my interpretation and my hard work and my dedication to be the best Sugar Ray ever,” Usher said . “Or as good as the man can be. I’ve spoken to him, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live up to him. But I’ll try to be better than him. It seems like this is a real passion project. It’s a film that everybody is so invested in, and I have the good fortune of having the character I’m playing still around.”
Roberto Durán who went 103-16-0 as a boxer, with a total of 70 knockouts, was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”). Throughout his incredible career, the Hands of Stone faced off against Sugar Ray Leonard a total of three times, but their most famous fight occurred in 1980, known as the “No Más Fight,” in which Durán called it quits.
Spearheaded by The Weinstein Company, Hands of Stone will be in theaters this summer, although no precise date has been announced yet.
Peep the trailer below.