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WBAN Goes One on One with World Champion Ana Julaton!
by Sue TL Fox
June 14, 2012

(JUNE 14) This week WBAN interviewed Ana "The Hurricane" Julaton, of Daly City, California, to speak with her about her boxing career, where she wants to go in the sport, who she wants to fight and much more! 

TL Fox: Can you tell us how you got into boxing, and did you begin in another contact Sport, before you decided to box?

Julaton: I have a background in martial arts and spent most of my childhood participating in karate tournaments. In my early 20s, I enrolled in a traditional martial arts school and became a full-time instructor. The school eventually incorporated boxing to its curriculum and after taking a few lessons, I competed in the San Francisco Golden Gloves where I won a silver medal. The rest is history.

TL Fox:  In the information that we have so far on your amateur background, we do not know how many amateur fights that you had before turning pro. How long did you fight as an amateur and how many fights did you have?

Julaton:  I spent about 3 1/2 years in the amateurs and accumulated about 35 bouts from competing in local, regional and national levels. I earned as high as winning a silver medal in the 125lb. division at the U.S. Nationals in 2007. I had sights in participating in the 2008 Olympics but in 2007, it was announced that women boxers were not invited to compete in Beijing.

TL Fox: What made you decide to turn pro?

Julaton:  Not being able to compete in the Olympics was frustrating. I sought out other professional trainers and female fighters for advice before I committed myself to turning professional. In 2007, I worked with trainer Nonito Donaire, Sr. and his sons, invested and traveled to spar with other professional women fighters who had world titles at the time, and eventually connected with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles. Roach was gracious enough to share some of his knowledge with me and after a couple of months, he thought I was ready to fight professionally.

TL Fox: In one of your most recent fights, you went to Argentina, to fight the hometown boxer, Yesica Marcos, can you give us some details about your experience going to Argentina and fighting Marcos?

Julaton:  Prior to my fight against Marcos, my team was facing some "issues" with the WBO. I was forced to either relinquish my title or fight Marcos in her hometown. My team and I worked hard to earn the WBO and it would've been a shame to let it go without a fight.

A few details: 1. The exposure for women boxers outside of the U.S. was refreshing. And fighting in front of 30,000+ live viewers was awesome and having 50-million+viewership on TV globally. Hopefully, more women boxers, who already have full support from their country, would venture out to fight outside of their country. This will be great for the sport and will build more super fights amongst other female boxing stars, which will also help women fighters monetarily.

TL Fox: Has there been any discussion as a possible rematch with Marcos? and if so, would you again need to go in her backyard of Argentina?

Julaton: From what I've heard from my promoter, Marcos will not want to offer a rematch, even if it were to be in her own backyard again. I have no problem's with fighting in Argentina again and I will fight anywhere in the world. I just hope there is fair judging where ever and whom ever I fight. We already saw what happened to Manny Pacquiao.

TL Fox:  WBAN has heard a lot of buzz that there may be an opportunity for you to fight Jackie Nava? Is this potential fight on the horizon? Has there been any contact with your team and Nava's team at this point?

Julaton: A super fight between me and Jackie Nava would be great for boxing. There's a lot going on "behind the scenes" in making this fight happen. Hopefully, this fight will be materialized before the year is over.

TL Fox:  In 2010, you lost a decision to Lisa Brown, is there any further plans to rematch her to fix the original loss?

Julaton:  At this point, Jackie Nava is scheduled to defend her WBA title against Lisa Brown at the end of the summer in Mexico. This is great for women's boxing as more and more "Super Fights" are happening. With such exposure being ensued on both fighters, it would be great for me to set a fight with either Lisa Brown or Jackie Nava. Again, there's business being done "behind the scenes" for setting up fights and having a rematch against Lisa Brown is something I look forward to having in a big stage.

TL Fox:  If you were to have a "Wish List" for women's boxing....What would be on your top list for things you would like to see happen in the sport?

Julaton: Mainstream exposure. It's common to see the likes of Hope Solo or Serena Williams (to name a few) in a commercial being endorsed by a big company. Boxing has appeared in such commercials and it would be great to see a REAL female boxer showcased in one. It's not uncommon to see a woman, like Hannah Storm, speaking on the same platform with Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless on ESPN equally discussing sports.

Knowledgeable women speak on ESPN and it would help women boxers to have a woman representative sitting side-by-side with Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, etc. as a commentator during national boxing coverage. Lisa Leslie, a three-time WNBA MVP and an olympic gold medal winner, has commentated and examined sports in a round-table discussion with elite male speakers of sports.

Currently, there are women fighters of this caliber in boxing and if boxing telecasts reciprocated this, it would not only change the image of boxing to being a more equal sport, but it could broaden the boxing audience, increasing its popularity, generating more ticket sales, and TV ratings. From my experiences of fighting outside of the country, the U.S. is "out of the loop" from this idea.

TL Fox:   For the first time in history, we are finally seeing the female boxers in the Olympics. Do you think that with this addition to the sport that this may be the key to getting the sport more exposure and in the mainstream?

Julaton:  Hopefully. Mainstream media can make a sport to be popular or non-existent. Having women amateur boxers included in the Olympics should increase the opportunity for national exposure, but in this business, it would take more than just getting an opportunity. The U.S. women amateur boxing team is competing against other iconic women athletes from other sports. Exposure for women athletes is highly competitive and to get that type of exposure, having excellent performances is not enough. Effective promotions is a must. The Olympics and professional sports, after all, is a business.

TL Fox:   On the subject of the Olympics, what is your opinion on only three weight classes for women will be entered into the competition, versus, there are 10 weight divisions for the male boxers?

Julaton:  I don't know the details of including women boxers in the Olympics. Personally, I think a lot of work has been done to make this happen and it's probably undergoing a process to eventually include more divisions for women boxers. Hopefully, there will be a more equal opportunity for both female and male amateur boxers in future Olympics.

TL Fox:  At this time are you exclusively training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, or do you go other places also to do your training?

Julaton:  I train at Wild Card Gym from time to time but I personally enjoy traveling to different places for training. As a student of the game, I constantly look for ways to learn more about the sport from different environments and people.

TL Fox:  For a young boxer as yourself, who probably has many, many years left in the ring...but with that said, where do you see yourself in the sport in five years?

Julaton: Hard to say. In this business, it's humbling. I take it one day at a time.

TL Fox:  When you do stop boxing in the future, where do you see yourself in the boxing arena, as are you interested in promoting, managing other fighters, or training other fighters?

Julaton:  There's a lot I'd like to adventure to after boxing and I haven't decided yet. I can see myself doing a number of things, from teaching/coaching to promoting to commentating.

TL Fox: There have been many female boxers who have not only been a pro boxer, but they then venture into MMA, do you have any plans to do the cross over of fighting MMA and boxing?

Julaton:  No. I have a lot of respect for MMA fighting but there's an appreciation I have for boxing that I don't quite share for MMA.

TL Fox: With the experience that you have now in the sport, what advice would you give to new boxers that are entering into the sport?

Julaton: If anyone, male or female, considers boxing at a professional level, know what you want out of yourself and the sport and devise a plan. Be educated in the business aspects of the sport, not every boxer has the ability to be a "full-time" fighter. You would need to learn how to invest in yourself.

TL Fox: In closing, is there anything that you would like to say to boxing fans and the boxing community?

Julaton:  Thank you for all the support over the years, boxing fans and non-boxing fans, I appreciate all the encouragement. Special thanks to my family and friends for all their love and care; my promoter, Allan Tremblay, (who has been like a father to me throughout my career) for giving me the opportunities and experiences I've received in this sport; my team, for putting up with me during the ups and downs; West Wind Schools for their genuine continued support; and to my teacher, Sifu Keith Sheppard, for his generous guidance. Big thanks to WBAN for their integrity and support for women boxers and a big shout out to all of our Olympic women boxing representatives, for there will always be new Olympic champions but you all will forever be known as the first. Make us proud and live the dream that many women boxers never had the opportunity to.

WBAN would like to thank Ana for taking time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed!

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