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Usher to play Sugar Ray Leonard in upcoming biopic

Grammy winning R&B singer Usher will be portraying the legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in an upcoming boxing film, "Hands of Stone".

The movie will be about Roberto Duran, who was nicknamed "Hands of Stone". He was a world champion in four divisions rising from the slums of Panama to beat an undefeated Leonard in 1980 to claim the WBC welterweight title.

Usher, who is honoured to play the role, had reportedly been preparing for the part for more than two years at Decatur Boxing Club outside Atlanta according to TMZ. This is also his first lead in a feature film.

Xavier Biggs, owner of the boxing club said the singer's gotten so good he can hang with the pros.

"You couldn't find a more stylized boxer than Sugar Ray Leonard," Usher mentioned. "He was an incredible motion guy, the way he moved around the ring, and I think my dancing will make it easier for me to pick up his moves. I've been working on familiarizing myself with the ring, sparring and just understanding how to move in the ring."

"Zero Dark Thirty" actor Edgar Ramirez has been casted to play the titular figure with Robert De Niro as Duran's Hall of Fame trainer, Ray Arcel.

"He had such incredible discipline, and he was flashy and classy at the same time," said Usher, who's been studying videos from Leonard's boxing days. "I want to be as passionate and dedicated in preparing for this role as he was every time he stepped into the ring," as quoted by Usher in a Billboard article.

The biopic, written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, and is expected to release this year after being delayed for its initial release in 2014.

(Photo Source: eurweb.com)
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