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Ana Julaton debuts as ‘pro’ in Pacquiao-Barrera rematch

October 3, 2007 9:07pm

When Ana ‘The Hurricane’ Julaton decided to throw in the towel and declared, “If you can’t beat it, leave it," she was not running away from her love affair with boxing.

On the contrary, San Francisco’s ring darling and one of America’s most promising female boxers is, in fact, launching her professional boxing career this Saturday, October 6 (Oct. 7 in the Philippines).

And what a debut it promises to be. She fights on the card of one of this year’s biggest boxing events, the ‘Will to Win’ clash between her idol, Manny Pacquiao, and Mexico’s Marco Antonio Barrera at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

Her excitement is doubly amplified by the top-caliber training she would have received for this fight from ‘2006 Trainer of the Year’ and Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach.

“I’m done with amateur boxing," Ana told Philippine News. “In my own little way, I was helping promote women’s amateur boxing and bring it to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That is not happening obviously."

Not even in the 2012 London Olympics in which the events lineup has been finalized, according to her. What about 2016? “Fat chance," Ana sighed. “I really can’t understand why there is a women’s division for most Olympic sports, but not for boxing."

Her trainer-manager, fellow Filipino American Angelo Reyes, lamented all the chances Ana has passed up to turn pro and, of course, the prize money she could have won.

“All because she wanted to stay amateur and hopefully even take a shot at the Olympics," Angelo said.

Ana has no regrets, however. The three-year amateur stint has been a blast for her and the legions of Bay Area boxing fanatics who consider her one of the prettiest sights in boxing gear west of the Mississippi.

Boxing has been very good to her, in other words. But her passion for the sport did not come until after nearly 15 years of martial arts training. Looking back, she admitted she actually hated boxing.

“I didn’t see anything so thrilling about two persons trying to knock each other out, a big ego trip," the Daly City-raised 122-pound stunner said.

But as Ana continued honing her martial arts skills in Berkeley’s West Wind Martial Arts and Boxing School where she is a bok-fu instructor, boxing beckoned. She remembers the time Angelo organized a lecture session on boxing for the school’s instructors.

“Angelo was able to draw a parallelism between boxing and martial arts," Ana said, “and showed that the need for discipline, hard work, and patience is essential in both fields."

With all these elements already built solid in her system, Ana blew into boxing like a wind gust that drew the attention of the Bay Area media and the public, especially the FilAm community.

In 2005, Ana won the bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Championships held in Florida. The following year, she made bigger headlines by winning the 2006 San Francisco Golden Gloves, Diamond Belt, and the California State Police Athletic League championship titles, among others.

At the U.S. Women’s National Championships in Colorado Springs last June, Ana walked off with a silver medal and a No. 2 rank in female amateur boxing nationwide.

Come fight night Saturday, Ana’s mentors expect her to unleash a hurricane’s fury that has gathered strength from three years of hard work at West Wind. Fighting as a super bantamweight, she anticipates that her debut would launch her into a professional boxing career that is just as eventful as her amateur stint.

In the meantime, Ana is forgetting Beijing and London. She has her sight instead on the Philippines, which she plans to visit for the very first time before end of this year.

“I have always yearned to see the birthplace of my parents, as well as experience world-famous Boracay," she said, flashing her signature disarming smile. - Philippine News
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