Nicholas Bareis is the coach of welterweight Demontaze “Juicy” Duncan, and now he is his legal guardian. 

The duo returns to the ring as a part of the Superstars Of Boxing series on April 13, headlined by Duncan as the featured bout in Louisville, Kentucky. For Duncan, who faces Dashaun “Too Sweet” Johns, the timely words of one of Bareis’ mentors, Mike Stafford, standout to him to this day. 

“I started training fighters here in Louisville – and I wasn’t affiliated with any boxing gym or trainers," Bareis said. "I began just by training fighters in my basement."

“He said, ‘I’d like to talk to you for a second. I just want to let you know I know who you are and I have done boxing my entire life. People don’t come out of nowhere, but somehow you came out of nowhere. I am a fan, and keep up the good work’.”

Stafford sadly passed away last year, but Bareis’ journey continues, and those words continue to fuel him. 

Now Bareis is embarking on a long, hard journey, looking to develop a young, talented fighter in Duncan, 21, (9-1, 9 KOs), who unexpectedly lost last year on ProBox TV to Axl Melendez

In the modern era, a perfect record has been coveted, but now that perfect world of developing the perfect prospect is all but gone. They have to adjust, not unlike a fight. Their adjustment is going back to their local market of Louisville – home of Muhammad Ali – and a place where Duncan gets a lot of support. 

His fight against Johns (4-4, 3 KOs) looks to be no different. 

Bareis cut his teeth on United States amateur boxing where, he stated, people “literally get in their car and drive across the country for a nine-minute fight." Those nine minutes define that fighter's career until their next outing. The same can be said for the coaches. 

Bareis, a former track and field athlete, was managing a restaurant at the time. He found himself stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle, drinking and smoking weed after work each night, and was bored for eight or nine years while working 60 hours a week. 

Then Bareis was burnt out.

He reached out to a co-worker about where he might be able to find some young people who might have an interest in boxing but who didn’t already play other sports – and he was referred to Louisville. 

He actually met some of his future fighters at a basketball court, where they were a part of a church league. Bareis also went to the library and checked out books by Ali and Angelo Dundee to read about their training, and he replicated it as best as he could.

“I started with a clean slate,” Bareis said. “I wasn’t a boxing guy – I didn’t come up in the sport and all that … athletes make the coach, it isn’t the other way around.”

Bareis now is a proud promoter and living a life of purpose. He heaped praise on Duncan, of whom he is proud.

“The shows are affordable for the fans and Duncan has been a huge advantage for me as a promoter,” Bareis said. “The city of Louisville loves this young man, and we anticipate another sellout crowd. If he was the only local guy on the show, it would still sell out.”

The card takes place on Saturday on pay-per-view on