A much-anticipated documentary on legendary Panama boxer Roberto Duren is heading for screens, promising an inside look at one of the country’s most influential and controversial sports figures.
Directed by veteran British sports documentarian Mat Hodgson, the film features interviews with a wide variety of sports and Panamanian luminaries, including Sylvester Stallone, Sugar Ray Leonard, Don King, and former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega. Hodgson talked to Noriega in prison in what was certainly one of his last interviews, shortly before he died.
Duran is often described as an “enigmatic figure” – a four-time world champion who shocked fans when he said, “no mas” in his rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. Duran was a poor kid who came up from the tough streets of Panama City and inspired many young Panamanians by reaching international fame. He was known for Manos de Piedra”—Hands of Stone.
The 2016 film “Hands of Stone” created a fictional account of Duran’s life, with Robert DeNiro starring as his trainer, Ray Arcel. But “I am Duran” is going to tell the real stories of “one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters ever and shows how Roberto Duran used his “Hands of Stone” to become a national hero and beloved son of Panama,” notes BoxingNews24.
Duran’s story is also a story about Panama. “As Roberto Duran rose, fell, and rose again… so did his beloved Panama,” the synopsis notes. “A country brought to its knees as a pawn in violent regional and international politics and suffering from the harsh yoke of dictator Manuel Noriega’s ruthless regime, in its darkest hour Panama needed a hero, a voice, and an identity.”
“I am Duran” will become officially available in June, but click here to view the trailer.