Few sports are as inherently cinematic as boxing. Whether you care for it or not, two men entering a ring armed only with their strength, their speed, and their raw determination is just plain dramatic. It’s a game of stunning comebacks and upsets. It’s a world of dizzying highs and painful lows. Boxing stories, whether they’re based on truth or constructed for the screen, make for good movies.
Hands of Stone is based on one of those “too weird to be anything but true” sports stories, telling the story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, who famously fought Sugar Ray Leonard twice in 1980 with, well, peculiar results. The trailer for director Jonathan Jakubowicz‘s film is edited to make this look like a more traditional story, but if he follows the facts, there’s going to be a lot more going on here.
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Roberto Durán went 103-16-0 as a boxer, with a total of 70 knockouts. Durán, who started his boxing career at the age of 16, was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”). Throughout his incredible career, the Hands of Stone faced off against Sugar Ray Leonard a total of three times, but their most famous fight occurred in 1980, known as the “No Más Fight,” in which Durán called it quits.
Now, The Weinstein Company has made a film about Durán, starring Edgar Ramírez and Robert De Niro, and the historic 1980 boxing match looks like a prominent storyline in the biopic.
Watch the Hands of Stone teaser trailer below.
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Briefly: That shot above is the first look at Hands of Stone, in which Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) plays Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán, who fought some of the top talents in boxing (from Sugar Ray Leonard to Hector Camacho to Thomas Hearns) and fought during five decades and held world titles in four different weight classes: lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight.
In 1980, Durán beat Sugar Ray Leonard in a 15-round fight to win the world Welterweight title. Later that year, in November, a rematch went the other way when Durán returned to his corner in the eighth round to quit the fight. While his precise words at the time have been contested over the years, what has gone down in history is that he said “no más” to stop the bout.
Robert De Niro co-stars as Duran’s trainer Ray Arcel (who trained the boxer until that botched rematch with Leonard) in the film directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Hands of Stone also features Ruben Blades, Ellen Barkin, and John Turturro. [Collider]
With The Fighter getting some attention and Warner Bros. developing Grudge Match, are we soon going to see a mini-glut of boxing movies? There are worse things, if so. The latest to hit the development decks is Hands of Stone, which would see Gael Garcia Bernal playing Roberto Durán, who famously lost to Sugar Ray Leonard in the ‘No Mas’ fight in 1980. Read More »