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Maloney returns after sex change

2015-04-23 16:41
Kellie Maloney (Getty Images)

London - Weeks after completing a sex change, the boxing promoter behind Lennox Lewis' rise to world heavyweight champion is back working in the sport.

"I may have had a body modification," Kellie Maloney said on Thursday after announcing the resumption of a 30-year career as a promoter, "but I haven't had my brain altered just yet."

Under her previous name, Frank, Maloney was Lewis' promoter and biggest cheerleader as the British fighter won heavyweight titles in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The diminutive Maloney was a recognizable figure, famous for wearing a flamboyant British flag suit on his trips to the United States for fights.

Maloney also took David Haye, Paul Ingle, and Scott Harrison to world titles.

Kellie Maloney will start afresh after taking on two fighters, Scottish heavyweight Gary Cornish and English amateur Tony Jones. Her first appearance back in boxing circles will be in Glasgow on May 23, when Cornish and Jones are scheduled to fight.

"I have to start at the bottom and work my way up — it's like one day managing Manchester United and waking up the next day and saying you are now managing Nuneaton Borough," Maloney said, comparing one of England's biggest soccer teams to a side that plays in the country's fifth tier.

"If I can achieve half of what Frank Maloney achieved, it will be a bigger achievement."

Maloney says she is not daunted by re-entering the macho world of boxing, and believes her presence can change perceptions.

"I haven't set out to change the world and be a crusader, and I still don't think I am, but I think people have realised that transsexuals are normal, the same as everyone else," she said, speaking in central London.

"I know there are going to be the sort of remarks I won't like to hear, but it's all part of the world I'm going into.

"A baying crowd that has had too much to drink? It'll be like water off a ducks back."

Maloney announced last August that she was transitioning genders. The change was completed at the start of this month, and she was persuaded to return to boxing when Jones knocked on her door and asked if she could manage him.

Frank Maloney handed back licences to the British Boxing Board of Control in 2013 after growing disillusioned with the sport.

"I'm not ready to take up knitting and sit at home," Maloney said.

"A light just went off in my head. I love boxing, it's my passion, and I thought, 'Why don't you go back in there?'

"I am very contented, very at ease with myself . I'm ready to come back into the real world and step back into the world of boxing."

Read more on:    boxing

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