Former boxing promoter Frank Maloney now lives as woman
61-year-old draws support from boxing world after revelation
Frank Maloney: “I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman.” Photograph: Frank Miller
Frank Maloney, who guided Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title and was Irish Olympic bronze medalist boxer Darren Sutherland’s manager, has revealed that he is undergoing gender reassignment and now lives as a woman called Kellie.
Maloney (61), drew broad support from the boxing world after disclosing that she had undergone hormone therapy, hair removal electrolysis, voice coaching and specialist counselling for the past two years.
She told the Sunday Mirror: “I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman. I can’t keep living in the shadows, that is why I am doing what I am today. Living with the burden any longer would have killed me.
“What was wrong at birth is now being medically corrected. I have a female brain. I knew I was different from the minute I could compare myself to other children. I wasn’t in the right body. I was jealous of girls.”
Maloney, who supported Lewis in his successful bid for the world heavyweight title in 1993, and managed other Commonwealth and European boxing champions, called time on his three-decade boxing career last October, saying he had fallen out of love with the sport.
In an interview in the Sunday Mirror, Maloney said she had never told anyone in boxing about how she felt trapped in the wrong body since childhood.
“Can you imagine me walking into a boxing hall dressed as a woman and putting an event on? I can imagine what they would scream at me, but if I had been in the theatre or arts world nobody would blink an eye about this transition,” she said.
“The boxing community can think whatever they want about me now. I have come to terms with my transition but I don’t understand it. I hope society will be open minded.”
While some commentators thought Maloney’s announcement might be a hoax, many more rallied round the retired promoter.
Lennox Lewis released a statement saying: “This world we live in isn’t always cut and dried or black and white, and coming from the boxing fraternity, I can only imagine what a difficult decision this must be for Kellie (formerly Frank Maloney).
“However, having taken some time to read Kellie’s statements, I understand better what she, and others in similar situations, are going through. I think that all people should be allowed to live their lives in a way that brings them harmony and inner peace. I respect Kellie’s decision and say that if this is what brings about true happiness in her life, than so be it.”
Johnny Nelson, the Sky Sports pundit and former WBO cruiserweight champion, said on Twitter: “Frank Maloney, read your story. It’s your life, don’t make others stop who you are. Ignorance is the problem of others, not yours.”
Maloney, who has three children, told the Sunday Mirror that her marriage had been breaking down for some time and described the moment she told her wife Tracey.
“As the words started to come out I wanted to catch them and pull them back in. I looked at her face and I knew my marriage was over. She was the first person I had told outside counsellors. I could see what it was doing to her and I had to release her.” The couple have since separated. – (Guardian service)