A few years ago, Usher was tapped to play legendary boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard in a film titled Hands Of Stone, chronicling the match ups between Leonard and fellow boxer Roberto Duran. Nearly three years later, the world is finally getting a first look at the finished product.
Speaking to Men’s Health back in 2013, Usher says he hit the gym hard to prepare for the role. “I train like an athlete every day, believe it or not,” he told the magazine. “My commitment to this character demands that I not only physically get ready, but also become him. The hair, the personality, the manner he conducts himself in — all that. He’s an incredible man.”
Photos and video clips of Usher training for the role have been surfacing online since news of him landing it broke in 2013, and judging from this first preview, all of his hard work has paid off. Take look at Usher’s transformation in the official trailer below.
The film itself is a biopic of sorts based on Duran’s boxing career, but his bouts with Leonard were undisputed highlights that shook the sports world like never before. Actress Jurnee Smollett will play Leonard’s wife in the movie, while Robert DeNiro will play the role of Leonard’s infamous trainer.
Hands Of Stone is set to hit theaters this summer.
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