Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Lex Vargas (John Leguizamo, who also directed the film) is a promising young boxer living in Jackson Heights, Queens. He works at the family bodega for his older brother, Paulie (David Zayas), but he and his best friend and manager, Loco (Clifton Collins Jr. of The Rules of Attraction), dream of getting out of the neighborhood. Lex wins a PAL championship, and things are looking up, when Paulie is shot by a robber. After Loco convinces him to go on, Lex manages to convince an experienced local trainer, Victor (Nestor Serrano, who starred with Leguizamo in Hangin' with the Homeboys and Empire), to work with him. Before long, Lex has the full attention of Mack (Omar Benson Miller), a shady music promoter who's looking to go into boxing management. Through Mack, he meets Lizette (Vanessa Ferlito), an aspiring singer whose interest in Lex seems tied to his financial fortunes. Before long, Lex finds himself in conflict with Loco and his old friends from the neighborhood, who don't fit in with his lavish new lifestyle. Mack introduces Lex to Seth Green (Robert Forster), a powerful promoter. Before long, Green has Lex fighting for the welterweight title, but the boxer still finds himself torn between his old loyalties and his desire to rise to the top. Undefeated was Leguizamo's directorial debut, and he also worked on the story with screenwriter Frank Pugliese. The film was produced for HBO, and features appearances by HBO boxing commentators Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley.
boxing, dreams-of-success, family-business, loyalty, manager, neighborhood, promoter, shooting [crime]