Friday, May 19, 2017

Bronxite Goes from Golden Gloves Boxer to Fire Safety

By Rich Mancuso

SPORTS- Glen Ghany at one time was destined to go far in the boxing ring. The 40-year old native and resident of the Bronx could punch with the best and took home six New York City Golden Gloves titles as a 112-pounder. His pro career was difficult and primarily getting opponents at super bantamweight was an issue.

However, Ghany was persistent and sought out his opponents. In other words, this was a fighter who became his own manager. With boxing, a sport known as a tough all-around business, this was a fighter who continued to make his own fights and then it suddenly ended. The last fight ended via TKO in September of 2004 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“I had to make decisions with my life,” he said. And after a frustrating time in the ring as a professional fighter it was the adjustment of a career that was suddenly over with a 9-2-0 record and those coveted Golden Gloves titles.

Since then, Ghany has tried to find his way out of the ring. Different types of employment are on the resume as a personal trainer and in the security/protection field. To say this has been easy has been an understatement but Ghany has found ways to adjust and still thinks about taking and throwing another punch.

More so, Glen Ghany is now content with his well being and future and that is now in the security and fire safety industry. Earlier this year, and by word of mouth, he made the next step and walked into the Times Square area offices of Radiant Training & Consulting a training school that certifies those seeking full-time and part-time employment in the fields of fire safety and security that is growing in numbers.

Elvis Polanco, a Castle Hill area resident and native of the Dominican Republic has more than one walk in by word of mouth that visits his office and gives them the tour. Once they work out the particulars of course procedures and a reasonable financial way of payment, it is on to the classroom and for instruction of one day or sessions of four weeks.

Ghany has completed the Fire Safety course and passed his first exam. Polanco will eventually, as he does with all students, help with assistance to seek employment with is relationships in the fields and Ghany will continue with security procurement in an industry that is always looking to employ those that are properly certified.

“We provide them with a lead for an interview,” says the soft spoken Polanco in his small office space that is situated a door away from a classroom that can occupy 40 students. Textbooks and materials are provided and there is the visual instruction in both areas of certification.

What made Ghany and Polanco so compatible? It all begins with that first meeting and as is with so many of the students who have met Polanco, Ghany saw the same.

This is a businessman who works with clients and becomes a mentor. There is no fabrication about what is offered and financial flexibility is a priority. 

There is a success ratio of placing students in their respected areas of certification and demographics show more of a male oriented field. Age is not a limit as students range in age from 18 to the senior citizen seeking additional income and not content with retirement.

“We actually do change lives around,” Polanco said this past week after the latest cycle of students moved on and took exams for certification in fire safety and security. “We give people opportunities. We are a big believer of giving back by being honest and helping people. It’s not always about money. It’s a long lasting relationship.”

The school, he says, is a “microcosm of New York City” with the diversity of a population and those seeking a career that is rewarding and salaries ranging from minimum wage to a larger level that revolves around the certification and placement in the field. 

Polanco points out that his school, founded three years ago, also offers a monthly scholarship centered around Breast Cancer Awareness to a female student in memory of a school co-founder who passed away from the disease. Free classes are also offered in security to veterans and their sponsors, senior citizens over 70, breast cancer survivors, domestic violence victims and parents with autistic children if they meet criteria.

“Glen and many other people have been through here literally and it has changed their lives,” he says. “Getting a job and comfortable living. There are variables as to how much people will make depending on certification and the job itself. We work with financial flexibility. People have hardships, so I can understand it.”

Ghany has struggled as he did not have that ability to earn those lucrative purses in the boxing ring. Only a few become the Floyd Mayweather Jr. champions in the sport and in his weight class, promoters don’t offer large sums for taking punches and throwing them in the ring.

After Polanco made his pitch, Glen Ghany was back in the classroom. According to Polanco that first meeting was “Glen said, ‘I’m getting this and nobody is going to stop me.’ We want to see that in people, the determination.”

“He saw the hunger in me, I want it,” says Ghany. “I just kept pressing even though I had a hard time grasping at the beginning. He worked with me with an understanding, not everybody is born with a silver spoon in their mouth and he saw I wanted it.” Ghany will continue in the next few weeks and attempt securement to advance in the fire safety field and security industries.

Polanco says, “To make sure that people leave here with a sense of I like my experience here. I’m coming back and recommending people to us.” He says, “professionalism is everything.”

And for Glen Ghany, who still has ambitions of returning to the ring, professionalism is the last thing that occurs in the boxing business. He is the lone holder of six NYC Golden Gloves titles and that will always be a part of his life. A pro career that did not span to expectations may or may not be in the past.

However, as he says, “My future is here and I am thankful that I found Elvis and got the best from Radiant.”

Those interested in finding out more about Radiant Training & Consulting, LLC can log on to the website: located at 566 Seventh Avenue, Suite 702 in New York City. or email (212) 213-3434

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Derek Jeter Honored by Yankees, Fans

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX- The ballgame is over. The cheers that were heard throughout Yankee Stadium have been replaced by the beautiful sounds of the cleaning crew sweeping the night away. Up and down each aisle, from seat to seat… their night is only beginning.

While baseball is a simple sport, it’s the humanity behind it that makes it complicated. Despite the Yankees 10-7 loss to the Houston Astros in the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader this wasn’t necessarily about baseball. As painful as it was to witness the disappearance of Yanks RHP Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter and slider, Sunday’s doubleheader wasn’t about baseball.

Twelves months from today, maybe three, the viewers who watched the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader will remember two things. One, that it was Mother’s Day. Two, that it was Derek Jeter Night and the pre-game ceremony that took place in the house he and his teammates helped build. Now retired, the moments we see are precious.

Derek Jeter got his honor and moments. Later the Houston Astros got the second game of two off to a bang at Yankee Stadium. Back-to-Back home runs off Masahiro Tanaka and at that time, Jeter, who will always be a Yankees captain was addressing the media in a press conference room that is situated a few steps away from the home clubhouse.

This was another and vintage Derek Jeter moment in the Bronx. Probably the last time in a long time before we see five more numbers retired and plaques unveiled in Monument Park. Then again, these were the Joe Torre managed championship teammates and those were players who came to the ballpark to win.

Not that this current Yankees team and managed by Joe Girardi does not have the same mentality. The Yankees are always with that mindset to win and they won the first game 11-6, and Aaron Judge hit his Major League leading 14th home run in the fourth inning. They have come out of the gate with authority and are second best in the American League and similar to Jeter there is Judge.

And the other youngsters are beginning to make this an exciting season in the Bronx with Brett Gardner a Yankee who has the honor of having the longest tenure and knows something about the mindset that Jeter brought and meant to the Yankees.

However, Derek Jeter was one of a kind. He said about that responsibility of being a Yankees captain, “To the organization, fans, teammates and media you handle it the way you are, representing the New York Yankees.”

To Jeter, and to those who have had the same honor it means taking all of that seriously, and there is no denying the fact about Yankees baseball for 20-years played the way Derek Jeter wanted it to be played.

“It was always what we accomplished,” Jeter said. Five championship rings and four with Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte. And there was Bernie Williams and a whole cast of others that played a role with the Derek Jeter love fest in New York. 

Sunday afternoon, and on Mother’s Day. That was the day Derek Jeter wanted and appropriate to also honor the Mom and Dad that were instrumental for all of this representation of a class act on and off the field, and with no controversy. There was no presence of Alex Rodriguez in the Bronx and perhaps the Yankees will honor whatever legacy he had in pinstripes, but certainly A-Rod was never in that class with those fans, teammates, the media and perhaps the Yankees hierarchy.

You know the accounts and never a bad word about the Derek Jeter’s lifestyle off the field. No rumors about substance abuse or drugs to enhance his body and boost the statistics. We all know that Derek Jeter played the game fair and it has been written many times about that respect and how everyone wanted to be the next Jeter in New York or with another team.

This air was different from the other retirement ceremonies of numbers at Yankee Stadium. It has been done many times and Monument Park has that Hall of Fame look. That distinction is how that era of Yankees fans was symbolic of what Derek Jeter meant.

And that was winning and playing the game properly. It was another Derek Jeter moment in the Bronx and probably not the last when it comes to being that New York Yankee. He is one of the family and will return to Yankee Stadium for another Oldtimer’s Day, or maybe as part owner of the Miami Marlins. 

“I’ll be will eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankee family,” he said. The final words but not the last for this Yankees legend.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso