— Dewi Powell (@DewiPowell) August 10, 2014
Boxing promoter and manager Frank Maloney has today revealed that he is now living as a woman called Kellie.
He had retired from the world of boxing last October, citing a loss of passion for the sport, but she now says that this was to allow for time away from the public eye to begin her transition.
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Maloney (61) told of how she has undergone "hormone therapy, hundreds of hours of hair removal electrolysis, voice coaching and specialist counselling."
Under NHS rules, candidates for gender reassignment must live for two years in their desired gender before permanent changes can be made.
“I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman,” she said. “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 spoke of how she has always felt more female than male, but the macho norms of the boxing world made revealing this an impossibility.
“The feeling of wanting to be like and dress like a woman has always been there,
"I consciously made the decision that I wouldn’t dress like a woman but it was a constant urge.
“But I have never been able to tell anyone in boxing,” she said.
“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.”
The former mentor of Lennox Lewis and Darren Sutherland is now unconcerned about how she is perceived by others within the sport.
“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. I know I could have done my job in boxing as a female.”
There has been - for the most part - considerable support on social media for the Londoner.
Frank Maloney is possibly the bravest person in boxing. How can anybody give him stick? You have to just smile and say: "Go on girl!" — Steve Bunce (@bigdaddybunce) August 10, 2014
That took me by surprise, but I've got a lot of love for Frank Maloney, now Kellie, everyone deserves to be happy, good luck... #Boxing
— Mark Bright (@Mark__Bright) August 10, 2014
All the best to Kellie, formerly Frank Maloney, in her new life. Great achievements happen in boxing, as elsewhere, irrespective of gender. — Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) August 10, 2014
Well I was full of admiration for Frank Maloney today but apparently he's a homophobic former UKIP rep so bugger that.
— Pompidou (@RealMattLucas) August 10, 2014