Alan Jouban to appear in film about bareknuckle boxer in concentration camp

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

It’s now fairly common to see a veteran fighter take a bout with a young up and comer, especially if that veteran has lost a couple in a row. However, Alan Jouban enters this weekend’s fight with Dwight Grant, coming off of a highlight reel knockout of Ben Saunders. So why is it that he’s seemingly taking a step back to fight a guy with just one UFC fight under his belt?

“I was having kind of a tough time finding an opponent because I had a short window,” Jouban explained to The Top Turtle MMA Podcast. “I needed to fight end of March, I wanted to be on that card in Philly or this one.”

The small window comes as a result of another of Jouban’s outside the cage pursuits. This time, he’ll be featured on the silver screen.

“Afterward, I have some stuff going on where I’m shooting a movie,” he said. “So I pretty much told the UFC, ‘look I need something within this two to three week window right here.'”

Jouban opened up about the project, which is a historical look back to World War II.

“It’s a movie called ‘Harry Haft.'” revealed Jouban. “It’s based on a true story of a guy named Harry Haft who was a Jewish prisoner and he was in a concentration camp.”

And while filming this movie will mean time away from MMA, there will certainly be some fighting in it. The title character, Haft, will be featured bare knuckle boxing to stay alive.

“He’s being played by the actor Ben Foster,” Jouban said. “He had to fight for his life in these camps. Whoever would win these fights would stay alive, the loser would be executed.”

Jouban will even get to show off his primary talents as well as his acting chops as he takes on the role of a fellow boxer. Once Haft is freed from Auschwitz, he flees to the US where he starts his boxing career and eventually faces off with Jouban’s character.

“He fought two famous guys,” he said. “One of them was a guy named Roland La Starza, who is an Italian guy from the Bronx, who I’m actually going to be playing in the movie.”

Jouban notes though, that this isn’t the climax of the movie. Haft instead goes on to fight a much more famous name in the world of boxing.

“[He] fights me and wins, and then fought Rocky Marciano,” Jouban explains. “And that was the famous fight that made his story told around the world.”

The movie, which also features Danny DeVito, began production in February and is expected to come out in late 2019 or early 2020.

(2:00 min mark)


Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, and a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.