Edgar Ramirez leads Hands of Stone as Roberto Duran, a Panamanian boxer who grew up in poverty in El Chorrillo, trained to fight at a young age and then, with the help of legendary trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), took the WBC welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) in 1980. He was on top of the world, but when the two met again for a rematch, Duran abruptly and infamously stopped the fight in the eighth round, telling his opponent “no mas.”
As though bringing the true story of two incredible athletes to screen wasn’t high-pressure enough, Ramirez and Raymond were also challenged to fight exactly like their real life counterparts, with all fights choreographed to be identical reenactments of the real thing. During my interview with Ramirez and Raymond, we discussed how they trained to convincingly fight like title-winning boxers on screen and what happened if they suffered an injury. You can catch it all in the video interview at the top of this article.
Hands of Stone hits theaters nationwide on August 26th. The movie is directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz and also stars Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
Here’s the official synopsis for Hands of Stone:
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.)