A former boxing promoter Frank Maloney who coached Lenox Lewis has told the Sunday Mirror that he is officially planning to undergo a sex change operation to complete transition to a woman called ‘Kellie’.
Maloney, 61 told the tabloid that he’d been living as a woman for the past year and had been hiding his true identity because of the demands of the ‘macho’ world of boxing.
“I wasn’t born into the right body,” he told the paper.
“I have never been able to tell anyone in boxing. 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.”
“I hope society will be open-minded. I know I could have done my job in boxing as a female.”
After the story broke on Sunday, the support from celebrities and former colleagues for the promoter has been overwhelming. His prime success,fprmer heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis released a statement saying he stood by his former coach’s decision.
“I was just as shocked as anyone at the news about my former promoter and my initial thought was that it was a wind up. The great thing about life, and boxing, is that, day to day, you never know what to expect. 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” said the champ.
He added, “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. #LiveAndLetLive.”
Other boxers have also reacted to the news, some with shock and some more reflective with Alex Arthur tweeting, “Just switched my phone on numerous calls & texts regarding my old manager Frank Maloney.I’m not going to judge anyone Frank is a good person.”
Kellie retired from boxing last year after ‘falling in love’ with this sport, according to him. He’s been receiving hormone therapy, hair removal and voice coaching since then and is scheduled for gender reassignment later.
The twice married father of three said breaking the news to his family was one of the hardest things he had to do, adding that his mum was very supportive of his decision.
“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,” she said.