Usher, Boxing

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.

First Look: Usher as Sugar Ray Leonard from ‘Hands of Stone’ [PHOTOS]

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 ArcelRyan 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.