May 9th, 2012
09:27 AM ET
Think Usher could take Floyd Mayweather Jr. down?
Well, maybe not, but the man the pop star is trying to morph into, legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, might've been able to in his heyday.
The singer is attempting to channel Leonard for a big screen biopic that's expected to come out next year, Billboard reports. Called “Hands of Stone," it co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Robert De Niro.
The role is also requiring Usher to lose some weight, dropping down from 176 pounds to welterweight status at 161 pounds. In order to pull it off, the R&B crooner has been shunning carbs and sugar and consuming Kale salad, steamed spinach, and lean, organic proteins instead.
After all, the singer says, if you want to win, you’ve got to be focused - whether that's in the ring or the studio.
"It's all about striving for greatness and offering the best I have,” he tells the magazine. “It's no different than a boxer: Standing in front of the person trying to tear his head off, he has to give his all to make it out of that ring."
One way to do that is to take chances musically. Usher says he plans on stepping outside of his comfort zone, incorporating all sorts of different sounds into his next offering, including electronica.
"Electronic music has given me a new story," he said. "A new opportunity to build something I think a mass audience will understand."
The singer is also happy with the changes he’s made to his management situation: now his reported girlfriend Grace Miguel leads that front, rather than his long-time manager, aka mom.
"In life we have to grow," Usher says of his reshuffled team. “And one thing that's been beautiful is that I've been able to grow along with my mother and people of my past. They're proud of me as I move forward, and are able to acknowledge the work I've been doing and say, 'I like what you're doing, and I like that you've been able to pick it up and continue to move on," he added.
Usher will release his seventh studio album, “Looking 4 Myself,” on June 12.
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