Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán is considered, by many, to be the greatest lightweight of all time. In 1980, he became most infamous for abruptly forfeiting his welterweight title in the middle of his rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. After defeating Leonard in Montreal, Leonard initiated the rematch clause, and a second bout took place at the Superdome in New Orleans.
“You’re going to see blood in this fight,” threatened Durán to Leonard (played by Edgar Ramirez and Usher Raymond IV, respectively, in Hands of Stone) during the press conference ahead of their historic face-off. “When you come into the ring, you come to fight, not to dance or to clown,” he added, suggesting his opposer was emulating Muhammad Ali’s fighting style. “I’m going to knock you out, because imitators are losers.” Leonard, in response, quipped: “Well, I think Durán is a loveable guy. I want my son to be just like him.”
On behalf of the Weinstein Company and their new film, VIBE VIVA premieres an exclusive look at actors Ramirez and Raymond as boxing champs Roberto Durán and Sugar Ray Leonard, below. Hands of Stone opens on Aug. 26.
‘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 mas” (no more.)