In keeping with the recent vogue for political sports biopics (Race, 42), this drama about boxing legend Roberto Duran connects his popularity in his native Panama to the country’s renewed national spirit when the U.S. ceded control of the Panama Canal in 1977. But the movie’s best moments are all intimate, tracing the rocky friendships that Duran (Edgar Ramirez) forged with his longtime trainer and mentor, Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), and his most notorious opponent in the ring, Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond). Like Mike Tyson, Duran grew up in dire poverty and, catapulted into fame and fortune, struggled to control his own erratic, self-destructive behavior—most notoriously, when he forfeited his welterweight title to Leonard in the eighth round of their 1980 rematch in New Orleans. Jonathan Jakubowicz, directing his own script, focuses on Duran’s inner circle as they try to contain him, and on the fighter’s growing maturity as he begins to taste defeat. With Ellen Barkin, John Turturro, and Rubén Blades, quite good as Duran’s shiftless manager.