Junior lightweight Diana Prazak was born in Altona, Melbourne, Australia, to parents Zeljko and Louise, who are of Croatian and Maltese descent. Prazak - who owns a successful IT business called DiTec Solutions - joined the BoxingFit Gym in Altona in 2008 as a heavy smoker weighing 196 lbs who was looking to shed some weight through boxing training. The former bodybuilder became hooked on the sport and asked gym owner and coach Mick Hargraves if he would train her to fight. She competed as an amateur and was undefeated in six fights, winning the Victoria junior welterweight title in her third fight and the Australian junior welterweight national title in her fourth.
"I fell in love with it. I started boxing to lose weight and get fit. I got a bit addicted to it and after a while they (BoxingFit) had a bit of trouble getting rid of me. I told (trainer) Mick Hargraves that this is it. I want to box. I'm loving this".
Diana made her pro debut on March 13, 2010 at the Racecourse Reception Center in Moonee Valley, Victoria, Australia, weighing in at 138¼ lbs and losing by a six-round unanimous decision to kickboxing champion and former Gladiator Sarah "Missy" Howett (137¼ lbs) of East Ivanhoe, Victoria, who improved to 1-1 as a pro with the win. Mischa Merz told WBAN: "Howett's boxing skills and balance were too good for Prazak's bullying style which has seen her win all her amateur fights including the national championship. But Howett was the more experienced without the headgear and had been tested against stronger opponents than Prazak."
On July 16, 2010 at the Town Hall in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, Diana (134½ lbs) TKO'd debuter Kay Hodgson (136 lbs) of Ballarat, Victoria at 1:59 in the third round of a scheduled four-rounder.
On September 17, 2010 at the Whitehorse Club in East Burwood, Victoria, Australia, Diana (131¼ lbs) won a four-round unanimous (40-35x3) decision over debuter Rachel Phillips (130¼ lbs) of Victoria.
On October 1, 2010 at the Town Hall in Cobourg, Victoria, Australia, Diana (133½ lbs) won by a TKO at 1:53 in the fourth round over pro boxing debuter Sarah George (126½ lbs) of Riverhills, Queensland, Australia. Prazak took a standing eight count in the third round, but she rebounded to put George down twice in the fourth and final round. According to Mischa Merz, George "was a last minute replacement for Eileen Forrest and was outgunned in strength, although certainly not heart ... Giving away several kilos, George put up a terrific fight against the much stronger Prazak who stopped her in the fourth and final round after a barrage sent her to the canvas. Prazak, whose boxing skills are becoming more refined with each fight, demonstrated a stiff and straight jab that sent George, a Muay Thai champion, flying backwards on several occasions. But the Queenslander’s footwork got her out of the corner many times and Prazak had to work hard to trap her and, eventually, finish her."
On November 21, 2011 at the Reggio Calabria Club in Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Diana (129¼ lbs) TKO'd Nong Tak Sakrungruang (122 lbs) of Thailand at 1:00 in the sixth and final round. Sakrungruang fell to 0-7 with this loss.
On April 10, 2011 at Grand Star Receptions in Altona North, Victoria, Australia, Diana (135¼ lbs) TKO'd Malin Morgan (139½ lbs) of Caloundra, Queensland, Australia when Morgan's corner threw in the towel at 0:32 in the sixth round of a scheduled eight-rounder for the vacant Australian Junior Welterweight title. Morgan fell to 1-2 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On May 1, 2011 at the Reggio Calabria Club in Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Dian (134 lbs) KO'd Eilleen Forrest (132¼ lbs) of Coorparoo, Queensland, at 1:09 in the first round of a scheduled six-rounder. Forrest, who had taken a standing eight count before the bout was stopped, fell to 0-2-1 with the loss.
On June 17, 2011 at Grand Star Receptions in Altona North, Victoria, Australia, Diana (129¾ lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (98-90,100-91,98-91) decision over Bronwyn Wylie (128¼ lbs) of Auckland, New Zealand for the vacant PABA and WIBA International Junior Lightweight titles. Mischa Merz wrote that "Diana ... didn’t let up on her relentless attack for the entire fight, showing the girl who beat Lauryn Eagle in March that she meant business. Wylie landed a couple of good punches on Diana but it was mostly one-way traffic ... Di had Wylie down in the final round after fighting for three rounds with a broken and bloody nose." Wylie, who is also a kickboxer, fell to 3-2 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On August 13, 2011 at BoxingFit Arena in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Diana (131½ lbs) TKO'd 18-year-old Sriphrae Nongkipahuyuth (131½ lbs) of Buriram, Thailand at 1:03 in the third round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Nongkipahuyuth fell to 10-1-1 (3 KO's) with the loss in her first bout outside Thailand.
On September 24, 2011 at Grand Star Receptions in Altona North, Victoria, Australia, Diana (128¾ lbs) won the WIBA Junior Lightweight title by a TKO over Lindsay Garbatt (128 lbs) of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada between the ninth and the tenth rounds. According to Aus-Boxing.com, "Prazak was in trouble early and given a count in round one but toughed it out and began to take control through the middle rounds. (Prazak) worked away at the face of Garbatt and the fight was stopped after the ninth when Lindsay's eye closed over and the doctor called an end." Ray Wheatley wrote for FightNews: "Prazak visited the canvas in round one compliments of a solid combination. Garbatt – who came to fight – held the powerful Aussie on even terms in most of the rounds before suffering a eye injury. At the end of round nine the ringside doctor inspected the left eye of Garbatt which had closed and he ruled the injury to severe for the bout to continue." Prazak improved to 9-1-0 (7 KO's) while defending champion Garbatt, who had previously posted wins over Jelena Mrdjenovich, Melissa Hernandez and Maureen Shea, fell to 7-4-1 (3 KO's) with the loss.
Prazak's goal for 2012 was to unify the other world titles in the Junior Lightweight division. She relocated to Miami, Florida to live and train.
On January 19, 2012 at Nicotra’s Ballroom in the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island, New York, Diana (128 lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Laura Larcinese (131 lbs) of Montreal, Canada who fell to 4-8 (0 KO's) with the loss.
On December 7, 2012 at the Route 66 Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico, multiple world champion Holly Holm (5'8", 138¾ lbs) of Albuquerque dropped down in weight and won a ten-round unanimous (100-90x3) decision over Diana Prazak (138 lbs) for the vacant IBA and WBF Junior Welterweight titles. Prazak fell to 11-2 (7 KO's) while Holm, who has fought as high as junior middleweight, improved to 32-2-3 (9 KO's) with the win.
On 14 June, 2013 at the Water Front
Congress SAS Radisson, in Stockholm, Sweden, Diana Prazak (129½
lbs) TKO'd local favorite Frida Wallberg
(128¾ lbs) of Gothenburg, Sweden at 1:19 in the eighth round of a
scheduled ten-rounder for the WBAN and WBC Junior Lightweight
titles. The title fight, on a card promoted by Wallberg's
boyfriend Robert Stridsber, had been much anticipated as it marked
Wallberg's return to competition after a 14-month absence. Prazak, now based in Los Angeles, California and training
with multi-sport former world champion Lucia Rijker, appeared much
better prepared for the ten-rounder once she survived an excellent
start by the technically proficient Wallberg, who had a long amateur
career before she turned pro. Wallberg was able to keep Prazak on
defense at first, but Prazak worked Wallberg's body effectively to wear
her down and the Swedish fighter began to lose her edge in the
sixth. Prazak rocked a tiring Wallberg with a hard left in the
seventh and Wallberg looked shaken up between the rounds.
Prazak's body punching opened the way for a hard left hook to the jaw
that sent Wallberg to the canvas in the eighth. Wallberg made it
back to her feet and was allowed to continue, but she was soon knocked
down again and the referee stopped the fight. Rijker rushed into
the ring to congratulate an ecstatic Prazak but their celebration was
short-lived as Wallberg collapsed in her corner after being examined by
the ring doctor. Rijker rushed to the stricken opponent's corner
and quickly called for further medical attention for Wallberg.
Wallberg was then given oxygen and rushed to hospital where it was
found that she had suffered bleeding between the brain and the
meninges. Wallberg was sedated and needed surgery but appears likely to
make a full recovery; the serious injury may prevent her from boxing
professionally again in Sweden, however.
Diana Prazak was named WBAN's Fighter of the Month for July 2013 for her defeat of Frida Wallberg.
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Page last updated: Monday, July 1 2013.
WBAN Boxer Bio by Dee Williams