Directed by Antoine Fuqua, ‘Southpaw’ is a 2015 sports drama movie that follows the ups and downs of Billy ‘The Great’ Hope, the current light-heavyweight boxing champion unbeaten in his career of 43 fights. His picture-perfect family gets shattered when his wife, Maureen, gets shot and killed. Following her death, Billy’s life is in ruins as he hits rock bottom, which causes him to be barred from professional boxing for a year, lose his house, and lose his daughter, Leila, to Social Services.
Looking to revive his career and get Leila back, the boxer trains with Tick Wills, who drives and motivates him to regain his spot at the top of the game. Viewers are bound to find the themes of resilience and perseverance quite inspirational and sentimental, keeping them invested throughout the movie. At the same time, the venues of the boxing matches and other exciting locations spark questions about the actual filming sites of ‘Southpaw.’ If you are one such curious soul, you might be interested in what we have to share!
Southpaw Filming Locations
‘Southpaw’ was filmed in Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada, specifically in Greater Pittsburgh, New York City, and Las Vegas. As per reports, the principal photography for the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer commenced in mid-June 2014 and seemingly wrapped up in August of the same year. Although most of the story is set in New York, the makers decided to dress Pennsylvania as New York for most of the movie. Now, let us take you through all the specific sites that appear in the sports movie!
Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Most of the pivotal sequences for ‘Southpaw’ were lensed in Greater Pittsburgh, a populous region in Pennsylvania centered around Pittsburgh. Firstly, the exterior of the Saks Fifth Avenue store at 513 Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh was transformed into Madison Square Garden for the movie. While the Grand Hall at The Priory Hotel at 614 Pressley Street is where Billy gives a speech about his childhood, the William Penn Hotel at 530 William Penn Place is where the altercation between Billy and his rival happens, leading to Maureen getting shot.
A property, formerly Carrick Boxing Academy, at the corner of Maytide Street and Brownsville Road in Pittsburgh was turned into Wills Gym for the movie. Moreover, in the later stages of production, the cast and crew members were spotted taping several key scenes in and around Shady Side Academy Middle School at 100 Benedum Lane in Pittsburgh, which doubled for the fictional private school, St. Alexander. A couple more sites from Pittsburgh’s city feature in the movie, including Smithfield Street and PNC Park at 115 Federal Street.
— Stephanie Hacke (@StephOnRecord) July 18, 2014
Furthermore, some essential portions of ‘Southpaw’ were recorded in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex within the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus at 711 Pratt Drive, Indiana. The courthouse scene in the movie was possibly filmed in Washington County Courthouse at 1 South Main Street, Washington. As for the Social Services scenes, the team supposedly utilized the premises of Auberle at 1101 Hartman Street in McKeesport. In addition, the town of Brentwood seemingly served as one of the filming sites.
New York City, New York
It is believed that some pivotal sequences for ‘Southpaw’ were recorded on location in New York City, the most populous city in the United States. The movie’s first fight scene between Billy and Jones was shot in Madison Square Garden at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York City. Even though the exteriors were taped in Pittsburgh, as mentioned above, it is possible that the interior scenes were lensed inside the iconic arena. Besides, the scene where Billy fights for the first time since training with Wills was supposedly lensed around St Mary’s Church at 440 Grand Street.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The filming unit reportedly traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada’s most populous city, for shooting purposes. Billy’s final fight scene in the movie was possibly taped in Caesars Palace at 3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Lastly, the exterior shot of the venue at night can be spotted in the movie.
Read More: Is Southpaw Based on a True Story?