LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- Punches fly and sweat falls inside the new Louisville Select Boxing Gym right in the heart of the city that birthed boxing's Greatest, now seeking to create more greatness.
"There's a mental endurance that a lot of people in boxing go through, and I think that's what separates those athletes," Nicholas Bareis, the owner of Louisville Select Boxing, said.
The boxing group seeks to train the new generation of boxers, but trainers are doing more than just teaching about hooks and jabs. They're also teaching boxers how to stay upright - both inside the ropes and out.
"It's a wonderful thing to get into because you learn more about yourself," boxer Frederick Compton Jr. said.
Like many other boxers, the sport was more than just a hobby or exercise for Compton - it was an escape from trouble.
"Back when I was younger, I had a troubled past and I was leading on the wrong road, going left," he said.
"For me it was about survival," Five Star Boxing trainer Brian Jackson said. "I grew up in the 80's, when gangs were rampant and coming up."
The gym's mission is to develop upstanding men and women by training them to box, using a sport that may appear violent to promote peace.
"First thing it's going to do is it's going to teach you to stay out of the streets because you're not going to be able to compete if you do," Jackson said.
"It taught me humility," Bareis said. "I didn't recognize how difficult the sport was, how much discipline was required to be successful."
"So you do have your guys who like to slug it out and you have your more technical fighters, but all in all, it's a beautiful art," Compton said. "I met a couple kids, I looked at them and said, 'You remind me of a younger me. Stay on this path and you will see what it feels like to become a champion.'"
Louisville Select Boxing is looking for new boxers. It offers competitive boxing as well as exercise classes. Boxers should be 8 years or older. Anyone interested can contact Nicholas Bareis at 502-541-1063.