“It’s some of the best exercise you can get,” says Hugh on boxing

USA Today has published a new article highlighting Hugh’s efforts in Real Steel. Sugar Ray Leonard throws his two cents in on training Hugh to become a top fighter (“He delivered a punch… That’s all I care about,” he said of the RAW appearance). Director Shawn Levy and co-star Evangeline Lilly are also mentioned in the article. At the end, it might be worth checking out how Hugh has fared in other “battles” in life, including a locker and a drunkard at an English pub. Check out an excerpt below, or visit one of the two sources for the articles. They have both been added to the press archive.

“Ah, that smell,” he remarks as he wades into the musk amid the gym’s leather punching bags.

Did his nostrils flare just a little bit? Is the famous Jackman smile turning into a devious snarl? It’s not clear. But when he eyes his boxing opponent for the morning — a nervous reporter — the full animal reveals itself.

“Do you know what I did to the last guy I fought?” Jackman deadpans as the gloves are laced. “You best look out.”

The world should be on notice. Jackman, 42, has perfected his knockout punch to prepare for his role in Real Steel, opening Friday. He’s buff, he’s throwing punches (professional wrestler Dolph Ziggler took a Jackman blow to the jaw last month), and he has truly tapped into the sweet science. Jackman’s preparation for playing a washed-up fighter who finds redemption in training a boxing robot culminated in a master class with Sugar Ray Leonard. The legendary teacher (and film consultant) was impressed with his sparring student.

“For starters, he’s in great condition. Look at his body — it’s a thing of envy,” Leonard says. “If he had a boxing nickname, it would be ‘Sweet’ Hugh Jackman.”