Female Fight News for March 26, Ana Julaton Retires
By David A. Avila
Only 11 years ago Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton slipped on the boxing gloves for a first time to enter the prize ring at Morongo Casino near Palm Springs, Calif. Now, after 21 pro bouts, the Filipina-American former world champion is retiring.
Julaton, 37, was set to meet Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy in the second leg of a two-fight agreement sometime this spring or summer. They had already clashed in an MMA fight that saw Hardy win by decision. A boxing match was expected but the Las Vegas-based Julaton decided the time was right to conclude her prizefighting days.
I witnessed Julaton’s first two pro fights in person and saw an athletic and gutsy performer who struggled at first finding her distance against Margherita Valentini and Carly Batey. But she still won.
After missing her next two fights, I attended her fifth fight against Arizona’s Johanna Mendez on July 5, 2008 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It was a bloody fight that ended in a draw due to repeated holding and head clashes after six rounds. I sat right behind Top Rank’s Bob Arum and I remember him saying “this is terrible.” The splattered blood on the women seemed to disgust Arum and his wife that were seated in the first row next to Paris Hilton.
From that day on Top Rank refused to invest in female boxing until recently signing Mikaela Mayer last year.
It was not Julaton’s fault. Matching her with Mendez was a mistake in styles. Had she been matched with a different style of fighter who knows if Top Rank would have signed her to a promotional contract. It was just one of those things.
One month following that bloody draw Julaton fought New York’s Dominga Olivo for a regional title at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, Calif. She lost by split decision. She fought her heart out that night but fell short.
That loss easily could have been the end of her boxing career.
Julaton has always possessed that smoldering drive to attain a goal despite setbacks. Throughout her boxing career she never let a loss drag her under, instead she would rise and rise again like one of those buoys at the beach
She fought Kelsey Jeffries for the IBA super bantamweight title in September 2009 and won, then clashed with Donna Biggers for the WBO super bantamweight title in December 2009 and won again. Both of those title fights took place in San Jose near her hometown of Daly City in the Bay area. Then she battled Lisa Brown in Canada for the WBA super bantamweight title in March 2010 and lost. She would regain the IBA and WBO titles and remain in the middle of world title fights for the next two years.
That takes persistence and grit.
On many instances Julaton sparred with top females in Southern California especially at the Wild Card Boxing Gym where she was trained by Freddie Roach. Perfecting her craft was an almost religious experience as she learned from many of the best in sparring wars with Amaris Quintana, Jennifer Barber and Kaliesha West. They were intense sessions that exemplified Julaton’s gritty zest for success.
When Manny Pacquiao was the center of boxing and the Philippine’s most popular male boxer, Julaton was the next most popular boxer in the Philippines. On one occasion we traveled to the Farmer’s Market in the Fairfax District in L.A. and a group of Filipina female adults recognized Julaton. They immediately crowded around her in search of autographs and hugs with the eloquent brunette boxer.
Julaton could have been much bigger had she started her career today or had circumstances fall her way. Despite the pot holes she endured Julaton was class and grace until her very last fight-ironically an MMA fight.
“She has always been a respectable champion in and out of the ring,” said Kaliesha West a former bantamweight and super bantamweight world titlist who sparred with Julaton many times throughout the years.
Heather Hardy, who agreed to fight Julaton in MMA and boxing until learning of her retirement, said she had always viewed the Las Vegas based boxer as a warrior.
“I respect Ana as a fighter and a warrior. I’ve never seen her in all her years back out of a challenge,” said Hardy a WBC International featherweight titlist. “I’m sure there was a lot of thought put into her retirement and it had absolutely nothing to do with fighting me.”
After 11 years in the boxing ring and the cage Julaton conferred with her team including manager/trainer Angelo Reyes, trainer Frank Mir and promoter Allan Tremblay before making an official announcement via different social media sites.
“Moving forward to my next journey. I am officially retiring from professional fighting,” said Julaton in a letter. “Thank you everyone. I am truly humbled and deeply honored for you all allowing me into your lives and hearts.”
An era has ended.
Female Fight News
On Friday March 30, light flyweights Micaela Lujan (6-1) and Nataly Delgado (6-2-1) meet in a 10 round contest for the WBC Youth title at Cordoba.
On Thursday March 29, welterweights Aimee Addis (3-0) and Janay Harding (1-1) meet in a four round bout in Fortitude Valley, Queensland.
Carolina Rodriguez (16-0) was the winner by unanimous decision after eight rounds against Venezuela’s Carolina Alvarez (13-9-4) on Friday March 23. The bantamweight clash took place in San Francisco de Mostazal. Rodriguez, 34, holds the IBF bantamweight title.
Elena Gradinar (9-0) won by unanimous decision against Canada’s Olivia Gerula (18-18-2) after 10 rounds on Saturday March 24. The featherweight clash for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title was held in Narva. Gradinar is co-promoted by Salita Promotions who also have Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Franchon Crews and Elena Savelyeva.
Bilitis Gaucher (6-11-2) beat Ana Nikolic (0-3-1) by decision after six rounds on Saturday March 24. The lightweight bout was held in Saint-Maur.
Wendy Vincent (0-6-2) and Ainara Mota (2-4-2) fought to a majority draw after eight rounds on Friday March 23. The featherweight fight was held in Saint-Etienne. Also, Elise Bussiere (1-0) beat Anne Sophie Schneider (0-2) by decision after four featherweight rounds.
Klara Svensson (18-2) won by technical knockout in the fourth round against Mari Tatunashvili (2-2-2) on Saturday March 24. The welterweight fight took place in Hamburg. Svensson is a former welterweight world titlist from Sweden.
On Saturday March 31, featherweights Asami Jinnari (5-2-1) and Wakako Fujiwara (4-2-2) meet in a six round bout at Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. Also, Sachiko Kondo (1-1) and Marina Sayama (2-1) meet in a four round flyweight match.
Anabel Ortiz (27-3) was the winner by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Venezuela’s Debora Rengifo (10-5-1) on Saturday March 24. The WBA minimum weight title fight took place in Mexico City.
Amaris Quintana (10-3-2) won by second round technical knockout over Dulce Galaviz (2-5-1) on Saturday March 24. The super flyweight fight took place in Tijuana. Galaviz weighed 113, Quintana 108. (For more read the story on the Prizefighters.com).
Lourdes Juarez (23-2) was the winner by unanimous decision after eight rounds over Linda Contreras (1-3) on Saturday March 24. The flyweight fight was held in Saltillo, Mexico.
Casey Morton (7-0-3) was the winner by unanimous decision after 10 rounds versus Mongmuay Kokietgym (13-4-3) on Sunday March 25. The flyweight bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title took place in Paranque City.
On Saturday March 31, lightweights Jillian Diauto (1-0) and Karen Dulin (2-14) meet in a four round three-minute fight at Quincy, Mass. ESPN3 app will stream the fight card.