As a kid growing up, and before I ever had any heroes and sports idols, all I ever really looked up to were my parents. And as far as my mom goes, she was more like Wonder woman to me before I ever even heard about the comic book character. Okay, I lied. Maybe more like Darna. (What’s up Marian Rivera!? Man, that girl is sexiii!) Anyway, before I completely stray from my frame of thought, my mom did it all. Life in the Philippines is hard, and my folks did all they could to make their children not feel as if it were. Witnessing all the hard work and effort my parents, especially my mom, who made sure our household stayed in tact, really showed me at an early age how strong, selfless and special Filipina women are.
She might not have been born nor grew up in the Philippines, but Ana Julaton was definitely brought up around the same environs. It’s in her blood. Perhaps that is why the same characteristics instilled in her by her mom and grandmother translates to her work ethic inside the boxing. One reason why Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has taken on the female world champion. Roach claims only one female fighter under his tutelage, and it’s no surprise that that person is the hard working Julaton.
With several of the top caliber fighters, not only in boxing but in MMA as well, wanting to train with boxing’s best trainer, Roach can only take on a select few, and a fighter’s work ethic is on top of the criteria for the selection process. Roach doesn’t treat Julaton any different because of her gender. Instead, he has repeatedly cited Julaton’s commitment in training which does not ceased to impress him similar to how Manny Pacquiao does. Roach had dropped other ‘lazy’ fighters before both Filipino and not.
And as far as her current progress, Julaton is still in transit. Despite her status as a 3-time World Champ, Julaton has shown that she has yet to touch the tip of the iceberg. Something Roach alluded to during the press conference of her most recent victory against Maria Villalobos in Canada.
Villalobos, who on Saturday night successfully defended her Mexican National Championship, (which is the equivalent of the NABF in the US and the Asia Pacific Belts in the Philipines) believes Julaton is capable of defeating the best in their division and fulfill her goal of becoming an undisputed champion. After her close split-decision loss to Julaton, Truth Esguerra of Phillipine News asked Villalobos her thoughts on Julaton and how she would do against another top female and current WBC female super bantamweight champ Marcela Acuna, whom she had battled previously. Villabos responded based on her experience that she believes Julaton can keep on getting better and defeat the highly-touted Acuna.
When asked about a unification fight with Acuna, Julaton responded saying, “Right Now I am training hard for my next fight and who ever Allan Tremblay puts in front of me I’ll be ready for[…] A unification fight with Acuna would be great and if Allan puts that fight together than I’ll be ready.”
Asked about her experience and status as one of only three current World Champions representing the Filipinos, Julaton responded with more than just belt on her mind. “I’m doing my best to represent well as a positive Champion to the community. I’ve always believed that being a female in the sport of boxing means more than just fighting for a belt […] I think our battle is always uphill and I’m happy that my efforts have been helping with breaking through some of the stereotypes.”
Julaton is scheduled to defend her title in October for the first time in Manila. Stay tuned for more updates!
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Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo is a freelance sportswriter. You can contact him through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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