Usher has signed on to play boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in a forthcoming movie, the BBC reports. The singer confirmed the casting in an interview, explaining that if people see him running around London, it’s part of his training for the role. “I’m in preparation for a very incredible role,” Usher told the BBC. “If you see me in the corners boxing, I’m doing that while working on this album.”
The film, called Hands of Stone, will begin filming later this year. Usher will star opposite Robert De Niro and Gael García Bernal in the picture, which tells the story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán.
Usher will also release his seventh studio album later this year. “Climax,” the Diplo-produced first single from the as-yet-untitled record, is on the charts now.