It looks like Robert De Niro has hung up the phone in this first still for the boxing drama Hands of Stone, but it’s hard to tell because it’s only a still, and some of us can’t scrape the afterthought of Grudge Match out of our brains yet. But if De Niro was looking for a story that could legitimately propel him back into the Oscar conversation, he could have chosen some much worse stories. Like, for instance, Last Vegas 2: Viva Viagra. Don’t get any ideas, Hollywood.
In Hands of Stone, De Niro plays boxing trainer Ray Arcel who was in legendary boxer Roberto Durán’s corner for his infamous 1980 WBC World Welterweight title rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard, in which the latter was beating Durán through eight rounds and eventually forced him to just quit the fight once he began taunting and frustrating him. While people still argue about this strange fight to this day, it is believed that Durán said, “No más” as he walked to his corner, because he was embarrassed and didn’t want to fight Leonard anymore. Durán will be played by Édgar Ramírez, while Leonard will be portrayed by Usher. No word yet on whether or not Justin Bieber will play his swaggy trainer.
I’m obviously not doing this bizarre fight any justice with such a brief description, but thankfully there was an entire 30 For 30 documentary about it that you can watch on YouTube, or you can watch the highlight reel of Durán/Leonard II here.
Additionally, here’s an interview with Leonard about the 30 For 30 documentary, in which he talks about his own demons and how this documentary went down.