The second generation Irishman who guided Lennox Lewis to a world title has shocked the boxing world with news that he is now living life as a woman and awaiting a sex change operation.

Frank Maloney hit the sporting headlines when he managed Lewis all the way to the world title in the 1990s.

He also shaped the professional career of Irish heavyweight Kevin McBride who scored the shock win that ended Mike Tyson’s time in the ring.

Now Maloney, whose parents were from Dublin, has revealed to the Mirror newspaper in Britain that he is living life as a woman named Kellie.

The twice-married father of three, now 61, revealed: “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.”

London born Kellie is now living life as a woman after undergoing hormone therapy, hundreds of hours of hair removal electrolysis, voice coaching and specialist counselling.

As a transsexual, she must spend two years as a female before being permitted to undergo corrective surgery under British law.

Kellie added: “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. 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.”

Maloney revealed how she suffered depression and anxiety after leaving the public limelight almost two years ago, often seeking counselling in America.

She said: “My life was spiralling out of control. I was finding it harder to contain my desire. I was now doing the boxing ­business through instinct and memory. I used to shut myself away in the office. Thankfully, I had some good staff around me.

“But I was very unhappy. My temper was getting worse. I was determined it wouldn’t beat me, but I knew it would always be there.

“I remember having a row with a counsellor I was secretly talking to. All that I wanted him to say was that I wasn’t transsexual.

“He said ‘I can’t tell you that.’ I said ‘well how do you know I’m transsexual?’ and he said ‘because you keep ringing’. I checked myself into a private clinic where they dealt with drug, alcohol and depression issues. They were very good to me.

“They didn’t use a lot of medical advice. I only told them I was suffering. I didn’t tell them why. I couldn’t. The way I looked at it was that I would either beat it or kill myself.”

Revealing her decision to quit boxing was inevitable, she added:

“I made the decision a long time ago but I retired from boxing because of my profile. I thought that what I wanted to do was to transition in a positive and private way.

“I closed my websites down, took my Facebook down and my Twitter account so that I could transition peacefully. The suicide rates from the pressure on a transsexual woman are very high and I didn’t want to get caught up in it.

“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.”

In an emotional Sunday Mirror interview, Kellie insisted she has no intention of looking for a relationship.

She said: “At this very moment I am preparing to live the rest of my life as a single person. I have no interest in physical sex with anybody. I have many more issues that I have to deal with and I don’t know what will happen down the road.

“I’ve lived with this all my life and I don’t understand it. Therefore I can’t expect anybody else to understand it.

“But I want to go out there and help others going through this. For now, I am mentally preparing myself for the rest of my life.”