It's time to take some notice
July 4, 2013
I used to despair that NSW based boxing and kickboxing champion Holly Ferneley was at the top of her game and should have been a household name yet wasn’t, because boxing was illegal in NSW for women.
That was back in the early 2000s. Back in the dark old days when the major boxing sanctioning bodies ignored the women, and their belts were issued by more recently established female sanctioning bodies.
But now, 13 years down the track, with the World Boxing Council, the most prestigious of sanctioning bodies in boxing, anointing female champions, now with the Ring Magazine including them in their pages, they still struggle to get any mainstream media oxygen. Even when they win out of town, against the champion, and against the odds and by KO. You just can’t help thinking that if a man did this, we’d know about it.
This is the most amazing (officially) untold sports story this year. Diana Prazak, born and bred in Melbourne’s western suburbs, a one time two-pack a day smoker who was overweight and miserable and went to a boxing gym to work off the kilos has come home this week carrying the most famous green belt in pugilism, won by all the world’s greats from Muhammad Ali to Floyd Mayweather. And she came back to a deafening silence.
On June 14 this same woman not only won the WBC super featherweight championship of the world, she all but ended the career of her opponent, the very talented and accomplished boxer Frida Wallberg. She did it in Walberg’s home town with only her extraordinary trainer, the most dangerous woman on the planet, Lucia Rijker, there to acknowledge her. It was a short lived victory lap of the ring as Wallberg was clearly in serious trouble and if not for Rijker may have been in worse shape.
But with Wallberg, who spent some time in an induced coma, now out of the woods and with Prazak back in Melbourne for a well earned break, it’s time to acknowledge her achievement.
And Boxing Central is getting behind her since she has chosen to train with us while in Australia.We consider her to be part of our family.
So on July 27 we will hold a victory party for Diana at Boxing Central, starting at 6pm. Drinks and food will be provided and there are plans to play the fight on a big screen.
Perhaps the media might even turn their heads away from football for a second to record the sensational victory of this determined, strong, resilient and down to earth Australian athlete. It’s the very least that she deserves.