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Robert De Niro & Edgar Ramirez Land 'Hands of Stone' Boxing Drama

by
April 9, 2013

Robert Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

Over two years ago, Al Pacino and Gael Garcia Bernal were attached to a boxing drama called Hands of Stone, a film about five-time world boxing champ Roberto Durán. Bernal was playing Duran while Pacino was slated to be his trainer Ray Arcel. However, last spring, we missed a report about the cast switching up and Robert De Niro taking Pacino's role instead. Now Deadline reports De Niro is still attached (we're not sure if names like Usher, Ryan Kwanten and Michelle Rodriguez are still involved), but Duran will now be played by Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty) when the film shoots in Panama this fall.

Panama-born Roberto Durán made his professional boxing debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying "no mas," and eventually quitting the sport entirely. It was a sad end to a career that saw him become one of the most respected international fighters in the ring. That pinnacle, career-ending fight will be the crux of the story as Venezuelan-born filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz, who also wrote the script, says,"The infamous 'no mas' fight is the biggest enigma in the history of boxing. This movie will answer that enigma."

De Niro is no stranger to the boxing ring after his iconic turn as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, and he'll also be seen with the gloves back on facing Sylvester Stallone in the sports comedy Grudge Match from Tommy Boy director Peter Segal. But this will be the first time he's actually taking the trainer role as opposed to one of the fighters in the ring. We'll see who else ends up being finalized for the cast, but for now, the prospect of Ramirez and De Niro working together is interesting, and it's been a few years since we had a good boxing drama, so we're due for one. Cool?

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  • Eddie Ramon
    My name is eddie ramon, i was a 15 year old flyweight fighter in the 70's, i remember entering the ring and the announcer introducing me and i always made sure they would mention durans name as my favorite boxer, till this day i love watching his fights, i wish they would show his fights on ESPN classic fights but oh well, i'm very excited that this movie is in the making, thanks again, roberto duran #1 fan !
  • Connie Finch
    Mr Anderton, PLEASE do your homework. Check your facts and your math. The No Mas fight, although it looked to be a disgraceful end at the time, was by no means the end of Duran's Career. That fight was his 73rd professional fight and brought his record to 72-1. That fight was in 1980. He redeemed himself against great odds and retired in 2001 at the age of 50. That is 21 years AFTER the No Mas Fight against Leonard. Duran had 46 more fights and despite fighting way longer than he should fighting Hagler, Hearns, etc. etc. etc. He won an upset victory over Light Middleweight Champion Davey Moore in 1983 with a stunning 8 round TKO. Six years after that in 1989 he gave a beating to Middleweight Champion Iran Barkley who had knocked out Tommy Hearns and thus won his Middleweight Championship, his 4th recognized World Championship. 20 years later in the year 2000 he avenged a previous loss to Pat Lawlor to win the NBA Super Middleweight Title. His Fifth World Championship in 5 weight classes. As far as Duran eventually quitting the sport entirely as the result of the No Mas fight??? He fought for 21 more years AFTER that fight (fans were begging him to quit), had 46 more fights and won 3 world championships!!! He finally retired at 50 years old. How long was he supposed to fight, till he was 60?
    • Luis 1952
      One of the BEST BOXER in his day and after! I agree completely w/you, Eddie, watching fights since the age of ten,( I'm Sixty now) with my Dad and older Bro. Fights from the Forum w/Jimmy Lennon, class, his son, too. So many great fights, but the ONE, is the Ken Buchanan vs. Duran. Duran's first Championship, and a CLASSIC, We would love to see that fight. Its too bad it's not SHOWN on Boxing channels. S. Sanchez and Monzon, etc. those were the days of fighting!!! Thank You for educating the ones that were not around or just plain ignorant. By the way HAGLER won that FIGHT AGAINST LEONARD And yes that's my OPINION.. Thank You, L.M. Diaz.

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