clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Trans boxing promoter Kellie Maloney getting back in the ring

Kellie Maloney is now returning to boxing as a woman, but she once brought Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title while she lived a very different life in secret.

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

In a former life, Kellie Maloney was one of the most powerful promoters in boxing. She helped make Lennox Lewis to the last undisputed heavyweight champion in the world. She managed John McDermott within a controversial decision of the British heavyweight title.

Since then, Maloney has gone underground, walking away from boxing as she transitioned to a woman. Yet even as she transitioned something lingered, a desire to get back into the sport that had made her former name a powerful force in the uber-masculine world of professional boxing.

Now Maloney makes her way back into the ring, at the same time breaking down barriers for trans people and women.

"I want to get back into boxing for me," she told USA Today. "Just to show that I can. To get that sense of achievement again. It is scary but it is exciting. I am not afraid of failing because I don't think I will. What I don't want is rejection, being seen as a freak or a pervert or a weirdo."

Maloney is no-holds-barred in her powerful and revealing interview with USA Today, in which she details a life in the close with which anyone holding a personal secret will identify.

In Las Vegas, Maloney would buy women's clothes, then discard them. In New York, there were visits to Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls, a center for the transgender community. Into Maloney's late 40s, the feelings of identifying as female were gaining in strength and clarity.

"Frank was losing the battle," Maloney said. "Kellie was taking over."

The pain of living a lie was permanent, and it only served to further spike Maloney's irascible nature.

Now a boxer named Tony Jones has drawn her out of retirement, telling the formerly retired boxing promoter that he only wants to move forward in his career with her because of her boxing acumen.

We wish Maloney all the best. Not only is she breaking ground for trans promoters, but the men's boxing world isn't exactly teeming with women. Good luck to her and Jones in their mutual endeavor.