Follows the life of Roberto Duran, who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In June 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' (no more). Written by
Writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz has captured the true story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán and has been able to turn this rags to riches to dissipation and back story into far more than just a boxing story. This is a film that focuses on the interpersonal and professional relationship between a fighter and his trainer and it works well.
The story is a rise, fall and rise again story of legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez) who climbed into notoriety in 1968 as a 16 year old in his first controversial appearance at Madison Square Gardens. 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 the November rematch, saying 'no mas' (no more): he was retiring from boxing. By the time of his actual retirement in 2002 at the age of 50, he had 199 fights under his belt with 103 wins and four titles as a lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight. The film however focuses on his relationship with legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) whose own exploits in the boxing world made him the first trainer to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
The cast is splendid – and in addition to Ramirez, Raymond, and De Niro there are fine supporting roles by Ana de Armas as Roberto's wife, Rubén Blades as Carlos Eleta, John Turturro as Frankie Carbo, Pedro Perez as Plomo, and Ellen Barkin as De Niro's wife, and Reg E. Cathey as Don King.
For boxing fans and for those who respect the history of sports this film is a must. But beyond the boxing and historical aspects, the interacting between Ramírez and De Niro is richly rewarding and Oscar worthy performances. Grady Harp, December 16
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