Boxing: Frank Maloney performs retirement u-turn

 

In a typically honest and fierce revelation, Frank
Maloney has revealed he has undertaken a dramatic change of heart in his
decision to retire from boxing after rediscovering his hunger following the
painful loss of his Sky Sports television deal.

Subsequent to the traumas of the emotional fallout from the inquest into 2008 Olympian Darren Sutherland's suicide, an episode Maloney labelled a "witch hunt", the boxing promoter decided he had had enough of the sport and would retire in 2015. Since then, however, and after Sky Sports' unexpected decision to opt against renewing his contract, Maloney has typically chosen to fight on and strive for further success.

"I'd been with Sky for 23 years, so it was a real kick in the teeth and I actually took my rejection from them very personally," Maloney said. "I can't believe it happened - I've always been loyal, I've always delivered for Sky. I've had a few bad nights - everyone has - but when I've had to deliver the fights, I've delivered. I know Sky have changed their format and view on boxing and, I believe, cut their sports' budget, and I was one of the ones that got caught up in the politics.

"I went with Sky when they first went to air against everyone's advice when everyone told me I was wrong. I could have done a deal with Barry Hearn to put Lennox Lewis on ITV, but I wanted to be independent and do it my way. It's ironic that Sky now tell me to do a deal with his son, Eddie Hearn. What he knows about boxing I could put on a postage stamp and still sign my name under it."

British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price is Maloney's greatest prospect, one he believes he can guide to the same heights he did undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. Sky - largely at Maloney's expense - had hoped to continue showing Price's career under the Hearns' TV deal which, unlike Ricky Hatton's and Maloney's, continues, though the latter is adamant that that will not be the case and in fact appears most likely to sign a deal with BoxNation.

"I was looking to finish after guiding David Price," Maloney admits. "I'd already told Sky that I was considering only working for another two or three years with Price, and I suppose I might have taken my eye off the ball, but this has certainly made me realise that there's not many boxing people left in the sport, so I've decided to postpone my retirement.

"I kept Lewis with Sky against all odds; even when we lost purse bids, I managed to re-negotiate to get the rights so I could give them to Sky. Boxing's been my life. It's given me some bad moments, moments to reflect on my life. The one thing I realise is that this is not the time to walk away from boxing - friends told me I'd have been a fool if I did. I'm going to announce a TV deal within the next week, and then I believe it becomes a whole new playing field.

"What I'm finding is that fighters are listening to other fighters. Certain promoters are using fighters to get to them - buttering them up and making them promises. When those fighters have got no use the promoters will drop them. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but I know from experience that it isn't.

"If I'd had known Hearn would be the only one to stay with Sky, and if they'd had the decency to tell me before I'd done my final show in Aintree [when Price became British and Commonwealth champion], I would have worked within the proper budget. But they tricked me. I accept that's business but they should have told me before. If they had, I'd have done the show within the proper budget I'd set aside.

"I delivered Paul Ingle's world title to Sky, Scott Harrison's, I delivered some great title fights for them. But I'm back. I would hate to walk away from this sport and hand it over to people that know nothing about it.

"Where I went wrong is I was in a comfort zone with the security from Sky. When that was taken away from me, it really woke me up. The only thing that's certain in this world is you're going to die. I feel now the way I felt 27 years ago. I really don't want to go out on this note, I want to go out on the top.

"The Darren Sutherland thing totally threw me, I just couldn't deal with it. I don't know how a man in his prime can do what he did. That took a long time to get over. I had a great support from friends and fighters around me, and especially my family. They got me through some difficult times.

"But I'm now looking forward to a new era, and I'm sure I'll be celebrating my time in boxing for a lot longer than some other people that have come into the sport."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future