Grammy winning crooner Usher may have built a career out of being a knockout on charts and dancefloors, but now the smooth singer will be taking his moves to the boxing ring. Indeed, reports have surfaced indicating the ‘Trading Places’ performer will see his name placed on the bill of new film “Hands of Stone” portraying celebrated fighter Sugar Ray Leonard.
The movie, based on the life of great boxer Roberto Duran, will be directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz and also feature the likes of acting legend Robert De Niro in its cast.
Set for release in early 2014, Ush took to Billboard to share his thoughts on the announcement. His words below…
“You couldn’t find a more stylized boxer than Sugar Ray Leonard,” Usher said by telephone. “He was an incredible motion guy, the way he moved around the ring, and I think my dancing will make it easier for me to pick up his moves. I’ve been working on familiarizing myself with the ring, sparring and just understanding how to move in the ring.”
“He had such incredible discipline, and he was flashy and classy at the same time,” said Usher, who’s been studying videos from Leonard’s boxing days. “I want to be as passionate and dedicated in preparing for this role as he was every time he stepped into the ring.”
“I’m up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I think my overall feeling is one of anticipation. It seems like this is a real passion project. It’s a film that everybody is so invested in, and I have the good fortune of having the character I’m playing still around.”