Robert De Niro Trains Roberto Duran For His Fight Against Usher In The First Trailer For ‘Hands Of Stone’

It was more than two years ago when we posted the first still from Hands of Stone, starring Robert De Niro as Ray Arcel, the famed trainer who was in Roberto Duran’s corner for his epic war against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980. Now we have a teaser trailer. No word on why it took this long, but maybe the timing will help Robert De Niro erase the collective memory of all that bad anti-vaxxing publicity.

Edgar Ramirez plays the legendary Panamanian boxer in the film, though to me, he’ll always be the Point Break remake’s Eurotrash Bodhi, waxing philosophic about the Ozaki Eight and taking Johnny Utah to a yacht party with a skateboard ramp during a 50-foot Tahitian swell. I selfishly hope Duran dedicates all his victories to Chowder. R.I.P., Chowder, you were the gnarliest of us.

And yes, Usher plays Sugar Ray Leonard. Which isn’t the worst casting if the biggest consideration was whether he sort of looks like the guy, which he definitely does. Whether he can act is more of an open question. He was last seen as the usher in Muppets Most Wanted and Ira the Janitor in Scary Movie 5. I didn’t catch either of those, but is it cool if I continue to hate him for trying to legitimize Justin Bieber?

In any case, it looks like this biopic, from relatively unknown writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz, is told mostly through the eyes of Duran’s trainer, the mentor/protege relationship being the standard format of Race, Eddie The Eagle — basically every sports biopic ever made. But what Hands of Stone presupposes is… maybe the hero is Latino? I’m not saying it’s a huge twist, but it’s a twist.

HANDS OF STONE follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no más” (no more.)
(official synopsis via ThePlaylist)

Hands of Stone is set to open Aug. 26. If it ends up sucking, at least we’ll always have the awesome 30 for 30 about the same subject, No Más. Which, by the way, Duran claims he never said. That it was the referee who asked it as a question, and Duran who confirmed the sentiment with a hand wave. In any case, it’ll be nice to see De Niro in a movie where he doesn’t get stabbed in the boner, or put his boner on Zac Efron’s pillow. Basically, if De Niro gets through an entire movie without mentioning his boner these days it’s a miracle.