Kellie Maloney

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Kellie Maloney
Kellie Maloney (16501001180).jpg
Francis Maloney

(1953-01-23) 23 January 1953 (age 68)
Peckham, London, England
  • Boxing promoter
  • television personality
Years active1989–present

Kellie Maloney (born Francis Maloney, 23 January 1953[1][2][3]) is an English boxing manager and promoter, and television personality. She managed Lennox Lewis between 1989 and 2001, who earned the title of undisputed heavyweight championship of the world under Maloney. This made Maloney the first Briton to manage a British heavyweight champion in almost a century, according to the BBC.[4] In August 2014, Maloney announced that she wished to be known as "Kellie" and that she was undertaking gender reassignment.[5][6] Maloney later appeared in the fourteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother in August 2014. She has been described as the most well-known transgender person in Britain.[7]

Boxing promotion[edit]

Maloney was born in London to Irish Catholic[8] emigrant parents, Maureen from County Wicklow and Thomas from Roscrea, County Tipperary.[9] She was raised as one of three brothers in Peckham, south London.[10] Maloney's father encouraged her to pursue boxing, and Maloney took park in her first match aged 11.[4] However, Maloney's small stature put her at a disadvantage, leading her to work as a boxing manager instead.[10] By the late 1970s, Maloney's experience training other boxers and organising amateur competitions had led her to a career as a professional trainer, working with promoter Frank Warren. After splitting with Warren in the 1980s, Maloney moved into management and began promoting professional fights, becoming Lennox Lewis's manager in 1989.[11]

While best known as the promoter who took Lewis to the top, Maloney has also guided four other fighters to World Titles and has managed a string of British, European and Commonwealth Champions. In 2009, the 'Boxing Binman', Rendall Munroe, made his fifth successive defence of his European Super Bantamweight title and later thrice fought for a world title, twice on an interim basis, drawing once and losing twice.[12]

On 14 September 2009 Maloney suffered a heart attack while watching John McDermott lose a contentious decision to Tyson Fury; significant heart damage was discovered when Maloney was admitted to hospital with shock after finding the body of client Darren Sutherland following his suicide. It was reported that Maloney was not welcome at Sutherland's funeral service, although reports circulated that her wife, Tracey, and mother, Maureen, attended.[13] Some of the evidence heard in the inquest into Sutherland's death was critical of Maloney, who Sutherland was said to be frightened of.[14]

Maloney announced the decision to retire from boxing in October 2013.[15]

In April 2015, Maloney announced that, following the completion of her gender reassignment, she would be returning to boxing to promote again.[16]

Other ventures[edit]

Following her gender transition, Maloney made a number of reality television appearances. In 2014 she appeared in reality TV series Celebrity Big Brother,[17] reportedly receiving the highest fee of any housemate at £400,000.[18] She appeared in the 2019 series of Celebrity Masterchef.[19] In June 2021, the first trailer for Knockout Blonde, a five-part documentary series about Maloney, was released.[20]


In the 2004 London mayoral election, Maloney was the UKIP candidate[21] and was criticised for comments about lesbian and gay people. These included the explanation that a failure to campaign in Camden was because there were "too many gays".[22]

Maloney later told the BBC: "I don't want to campaign around gays ... I don't think they do a lot for society ... what I have a problem with is them openly flaunting their sexuality." James Davenport, chairman of Gay Conservatives, called for Maloney's resignation as a UKIP candidate, saying: "Frank Maloney is a dangerous extremist and should resign or be sacked as UKIP's candidate for London mayor. UKIP must back or sack their homophobic candidate."[23][24]

Maloney was accused of "Griffin-like racism"[25] during the 2004 London Mayoral Elections, and was described[by whom?] as a "dangerous racist".[26][failed verification]

In a 2014 interview with LGBTQ magazine EQView, Maloney addressed her previous statements, stating: "I accept comments I made in the past were wrong. If you knew Frank Maloney, if you were there when I made those remarks – you would have seen the smirk on my face. I knew it was wrong but I was saying it in jest [...] it was a mistake."[27]

In 2015, Maloney spoke at UKIP's Spring Conference in Kent,[28] receiving a standing ovation.[29]

Maloney later left UKIP.[30] She cited party leader Nigel Farage's stance on LGBTQ rights as the trigger for her withdrawing her support.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Maloney has been married twice, marrying her first wife, Jackie, aged 21.[31] The couple had their first child, Emma, shortly after.[10]

She was married for over 15 years to second wife Tracey; they have two daughters. Maloney said in her first televised interview as an open trans woman that she and Tracey are now divorced, but that she has been "very supportive".[32] In an interview with The Mirror in 2015, Maloney disclosed that she once attempted to strangle her then-wife Tracey prior to her gender transition.[31] She was quoted as saying, “I just lost it . . . I grabbed her and had my hands around her neck." “If [my children] hadn’t come into the room . . . I dread to think what might have happened.”[33] Maloney wrote of the incident in her book, Becoming a Woman in a Man's World.[34] The book was published in June 2015.

Maloney is Catholic.[35] She is a supporter of Millwall Football Club.[36]

Gender transition[edit]

Following threats from the press to out her,[10] in August 2014, Maloney announced in the Sunday Mirror that she is now known as Kellie, and is undergoing gender reassignment. Lennox Lewis was initially shocked at the news but expressed respect for Maloney's decision.[37] On a radio interview she discussed her family's reaction with her mother Maureen,[38] who has reportedly been supportive.[17]

Maloney had already received counselling, hormone therapy, and voice coaching. In April 2015, Maloney announced that her gender reassignment was now complete.[39]


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Kellie Maloney".
  2. ^ "Frank Maloney: Manager and promoter retires from boxing". BBC Sport. 11 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Francis Maloney - Births & Baptisms". Genes Reunited. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Maloney's battle to the big time". 7 November 2001. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  5. ^ Matthew Drake (10 August 2014). "Frank Maloney sex change: Boxing legend now living as a woman - Mirror Online". Daily Mirror.
  6. ^ "Boxing promoter Frank Maloney reveals gender reassignment". BBC News. 10 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Kellie Maloney: 'I'm Not Britain's Caitlyn Jenner AND You Can Still Call Me Frank'". HuffPost UK. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Kellie Maloney news takes fight fraternity by surprise". the Guardian. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Kellie Maloney: I may not have gone through sex change if my Irish dad was still alive". 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d Sheena McKenzie, for (15 December 2015). "Kellie Maloney: Becoming a woman in the world of boxing". CNN. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Lennox Lewis splits from manager Maloney after 12 years". the Guardian. 7 November 2001. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  12. ^ "BoxRec – Rendall Munroe".
  13. ^ "Darren's parents will tell boxer's story on Late Late".
  14. ^ "Boxing promoter Frank Maloney brands inquest into Darren Sutherland death 'witch hunt'". independent. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Kellie Maloney: Boxing promoter on education, trans visibility, and taking control". Sky Sports. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  16. ^ Ben Dirs (23 April 2015). "Kellie Maloney returns to boxing after gender reassignment". BBC Sport.
  17. ^ a b "Kellie Maloney interview: 'I was swimming with sharks and I had to bite'". the Guardian. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Kellie Maloney". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  19. ^ Polianskaya, Alina (2 October 2019). "Kellie Maloney: who is the boxing promoter and trainer appearing on Celebrity MasterChef?". i. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  20. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (23 June 2021). "'Knockout Blonde': First Trailer For Doc Series About The Journey Of Transgender Boxing Promoter Kellie Maloney". Deadline. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Kellie Maloney: 'I achieved a lot as Frank. I could never totally lose him'". the Guardian. 14 December 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  22. ^ "UKIP candidate sparks gay anger". BBC News. 29 April 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  23. ^ "UKIP candidate sparks gay anger". BBC News.
  24. ^ "London mayoral candidate under fire for anti-gay remarks". 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Frank Maloney: Being Frank". The Independent.
  26. ^ Sunday Tribune, 28 March 2010 Archived 22 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Kellie Maloney – Interview". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Kellie Maloney: Nigel Farage made jokes about me when I came out as transgender". PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBT+ news. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Kellie Maloney makes return to boxing: 'The personal challenge is very big'". the Guardian. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  30. ^ Polianskaya, Alina (2 October 2019). "Kellie Maloney: who is the boxing promoter and trainer appearing on Celebrity MasterChef?". i. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  31. ^ a b Retter, Emily (20 June 2015). "Kellie Maloney: I tried to STRANGLE my wife after snapping under pressure". mirror. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  32. ^ Alexander, Ella (13 August 2014). "Kellie Maloney made public announcement after she was hounded by newspaper journalists". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  33. ^ Gilligan, Andrew. "Police used 'violent' transgender activist for equality training". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  34. ^ Cavendish, Lucy. "Kellie Maloney, formerly Frank, on being a heterosexual woman". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  35. ^ "Kellie Maloney: 'Frank was a defence mechanism to stop people from suspecting I wanted to be a woman'". the Guardian. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  36. ^ Philip, Robert (29 March 2004). "Maloney's FA Cup vote goes firmly to Millwall". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  37. ^ "Lennox Lewis backs former promoter Frank Maloney over gender change". 10 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  38. ^ "Kellie Maloney: My brothers have not accepted transition". BBC News. 21 October 2014.
  39. ^ Ben Dirs (23 April 2015). "Kellie Maloney returns to boxing after gender reassignment". BBC Sport.