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Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 03/26/2012

Usher to play Sugar Ray Leonard in boxing film

Usher is gearing up to play legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film about Panamanian fighter Roberto Duran.

Boxer and former Sportsman of the Year Sugar Ray Leonard attends the 2011 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award presentation at The IAC Building on December 6, 2011 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin - GETTY IMAGES)
Leonard is a world champion in five different weight classes and is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He retired in 1997.

In preparation for the role, Usher told the BBC: “If you guys see me running around London, that’s what it is.”

The film is called “Hands of Stone,” in reference to Duran’s nickname. Duran and Leonard fought two legendary fights in 1980. Duran defeated Leonard in the first bout, winning the World Boxing Council’s Welterweight title in a split decision.

Leonard reclaimed his title easily in a rematch later that year. Duran quit in the eighth round of that fight, famously telling the referee “no mas.”

Filming is scheduled to start later this year.

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By Fahima Haque  |  12:53 PM ET, 03/26/2012

Categories:  The Root DC Live

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