England's Frank Maloney, one of boxing's most famous managers and promoters over the past 30 years and the driving force behind Lennox Lewis' rise to the heavyweight championship, shocked the world on Sunday when he revealed that he is living life as woman, preparing to undergo a sex change operation and has taken the name Kellie.
Maloney, 61, told England's Sunday Mirror in an exclusive interview, "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."
Also revealed in the interview -- which included a video interview and numerous pictures of Maloney dressed as a woman -- is that Maloney is more than a year into the transition period, having secretly undergone hormone therapy, hundreds of hours of hair removal electrolysis, voice coaching and counseling.
"The feeling of wanting to be like and dress like a woman has always been there," said Maloney, who has been married twice and has three children. "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. 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."
Besides working with Lewis from 1989 to 2001, Maloney was also instrumental in the rise of former cruiserweight and heavyweight titlist David Haye and most recently worked with heavyweight hopeful David Price until Price lost twice, made changes to his team and sent Maloney into retirement last year.
Lewis, who hasn't been close to Maloney for many years, showed support for him Sunday in a statement.
"I was just as shocked as anyone at the news about my former promoter and my initial thought was that it was a windup," Lewis said. "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.
"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, then so be it. #LiveAndLetLive."