Photo: Usher Hits Boxing Gym for Role as Sugar Ray Leonard in ‘Hands of Stone’

Usher, Boxing

Usher puts on the boxing gloves to prepare for his forthcoming film role in Hands of Stone , where he’ll play the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard .

The sports-drama about Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, one of Leonard’s biggest rivals, has forced the R&B star to drop about 25 pounds before shooting begins in October.

The Jonathan Jakubowicz -directed film also stars Edgar Ramirez ( Zero Dark Thirty ) as Duran, Robert De Niro ( Silver Linings Playbook ) as Duran’s trainer Ray Arcel , Ryan Kwanten ( True Blood ) as Scottish boxer Ken Buchanan , and Cuban actress Ana de Armas as Felicidad Iglesias .

Duran, who went on to defeat an unbeaten Leonard in June 1980 and claim the WBC welterweight title, lost the rematch several months later in the infamous “no mas” fight.

To be filmed entirely in Panama and set to premiere in 2014, Hands of Stone serves as Usher’s first lead feature and De Niro’s third boxing film.

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Editor-in-Chief at Sinuous Magazine, designer, and founder of NYC-based boutique design firm theComplex Media & Design. I've been designing for 13 years, writing on the internet for about the same, and I appear on radio and podcasts under the name "Lanae Mc'Levans." Photographer and overall geek who is passionate about art, music, politics, technology, fashion, and women's issues. A serial day-dreamer. Foul-mouthed. Opinionated.