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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton

With such an honorary background and a work ethic to support it, there’s no question as to why or how the land of the Philippines recently witnessed the emergence of this young lady who is a true pure Beauty and the Beast she unleashes when it comes to her sport. In America, Basketball has Michael Jordan and Lisa Leslie. Golf has Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie, Tennis has Rafael Nadal and Ana Kournokova, Racing has Mario Andretti and Danika Patrick. But as great as those men and women are, few can argue they are little more than the face of their respective sports.

The Filipino nation, on the other hand, now follows the cadence of a man who serves as the face of his entire country, (Manny Pacquiao). And as we all know, for every true King, there must be a Queen to walk beside him. The woman who most would identify as the lead for this role aside the sports current P4P champ is none other than Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton. The latest Filipino to take the boxing world by storm, as well as represent a nation that has slowly become very key in the sport. Ana Julaton shocked the female fighting world stage with her seminole moment in the sport, becoming a world champion in only her 5th Professional Win.

Ana Julaton (born 5 July 1980) is the first Filipino American boxer to win the Women's WBO Super Bantamweight and IBA Super Bantamweight titles. Nicknamed “The Hurricane,” she is also one of the “quickest” boxers ever to win a world title, having fought only five other professional bouts before winning the IBA Super Bantamweight title.

Luciana “Ana” B. Julaton was born on 5 July 1980 in San Francisco, California. Despite her father making her train in martial arts when she was little, she had no interest in boxing whatsoever. It was only while working as a bok-fu instructor at the West Wind Martial Arts and Boxing School in Berkeley, California, that Julaton was introduced to boxing through a lecture session organized by her now trainer-manager, Angelo Reyes.

She then made her amateur boxing debut in 2004, managing to win a silver in the San Francisco Golden Gloves despite having officially trained for only two weeks. After delivering a good performance at the National Golden Gloves in 2005, Julaton would be taken under the wing of two-division world champion Carina Moreno and trainer Rick Noble, further improving her craft.

By 2007, she was ranked as second among all female amateur boxers in the United States, and took part of the unsuccessful campaign to include women's boxing in the lineup of events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

At this point Julaton decided to turn pro, and approached veteran trainer Freddie Roach. Impressing Roach with her work ethic—even sparring against male fighters—Julaton eventually became part of Roach's large stable of boxers, alongside Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and former world champion Gerry Peñalosa.

She was about to make her professional debut against Hondi Hernandez as part of the undercard of the Pacquiao-Barrera rematch in October 2007, but her fight was canceled when Hernandez failed to make the weight limit. Julaton instead fought and won against Rita Valentini one month later. This was followed by several other successful fights, culminating in her first title win against Kelsey “The Road Warrior” Jeffries last 12 September 2009 for the vacant International Boxing Association super bantamweight title in women's boxing.

Now trained by Nonito Donaire Sr., father of boxer Nonito Donaire Jr., Julaton followed up that win by defeating Donna Biggers and becoming the first female World Boxing Organization Super Bantamweight champion on 4 December 2009. Her next fight is scheduled on 27 March 2010, against boxer Lisa Brown for the vacant World Boxing Association junior featherweight title.

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