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‘I’m determined to lead her to a championship’ – Kellie Maloney ready to drive Cathy McAleer to titles

Kellie Maloney knows all about producing champions.  Kellie, formerly Frank, is the former manager of heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis, and has been involved with more champions at all levels – World, British, European – than most others in the UK fight game.

So, when she says that Belfast’s Cathy McAleer is nailed on to win titles, it’s well worth taking notice.  McAleer, 42, is already very familiar with sporting success, having previously won world honours in the sports of karate and kick-boxing.

Now undefeated at 4-0 (1), the entertaining operator next appears on December 11 at Sheffield Arena on the UK’s first ever drive-in boxing show, topped by local man Tommy Frank versus London’s Harvey Horn for the IBF European Flyweight belt.

Having not fought since February, Maloney is delighted to have secured a place for McAleer on the history-making show in Sheffield.  Hailing its novelty, the Peckham-born fight figure says promoter Dennis Hobson deserves huge credit for putting on a show in the current climate, and hopes to continue the working relationship in the future.

“It’s very interesting and innovative,” stated Maloney, about the drive-in show.  “It’s something that, if I was still promoting, I’d have looked at doing.  Dennis has always been forward thinking in boxing, and that’s why I enjoy working with him.  We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but he’s like me in that he’s old-school, and to come up wit this idea in the present climate is great.

“It’s actually a disastrous climate for promoters at the moment.  Unless you’re one of the big two [Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn] it’s really hard to survive but Dennis is sticking in there and finding a way to survive.  I believe he’s entitled to be mentioned up there with the big two promoters; with this show he’s putting on,” she adds before backing McAleer to have an impact on a growing British scene.

“It’s fantastic to get Cathy a slot on the bill.  She’s good enough to play a big part in the thriving UK women’s scene, and to become a champion, otherwise I wouldn’t have come out of retirement!  It’s a challenge for both of us, but one that I like.  I lost a lot of interest in boxing, but Cathy has lit the flame again and I’m determined to lead her to a championship.

“She is one of the most disciplined athletes I’ve worked with.  She’s a great professional, and has already had success as a world champion in three other sports.  Women’s boxing in the UK is really on the up, and it’s a disgrace that the British Boxing Board of Control won’t sanction women to fight for a British Title.  To have British female champions would encourage so many others into the sport.

“Right now, I just want to see Cathy get the win on December 11, and we’ll then go from there.  She’s really well-supported, and I’ll be talking to Dennis about working with Cathy again.  I watched some of the [women’s world title fight card] show the other weekend and thought Katie Taylor’s skillset was great.  It’s exciting times for women’s boxing in the UK and Cathy will have an impact on it.”

Dennis Hobson Promotions present an evening of boxing at Sheffield Arena on December 11, headlined by Tommy Frank and Harvey Horn contesting the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) European Flyweight Title. 

Chief support sees Kane Salvin and Sufyaan Ahmed fight for the Central Area Super Featherweight belt.  Also appearing will be Sheffield’s Perry Howe and Keanen Wainwright, Lancashire’s Josh Holmes and Zak Miller, Belfast’s Cathy McAleer, and Rotherham’s Kash Ali.

The action will be broadcast live by Eurosport.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com