Daly Citys Ana Julaton fights Friday in Richmond

Daly Citys Ana Julaton fights Friday in Richmond

Feb. 24, 2011
Ryan MaquianaCSNBayArea.com

Last Tuesday on Chronicle Live, WBO super bantamweight champion Ana Julaton of Daly City appeared with Greg Papa to promote her title defense against Franchesca The Chosen One Alcanter this Friday at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.Soon after the taping, subsequent coverage of her public workout in Berkeley aired on NBC 11, with her presence on local mainstream media perhaps a sign of her budding star power.The show of support from the fans and the media has been absolutely incredible, said Julaton. I cant wait to give everybody a great show this Friday.With her trademark smile and charismatic personality complementing her achievements in the ring, The Hurricane has endeared herself to fans worldwide, especially in the Philippines, where she received a ticker-tape parade in Manila after her latest victory last June over Maria Elena Villalobos. The support from the Philippines, abroad, and over here in the Bay Area has been amazing, said the 30-year-old Julaton. Im just really thankful to have everyone supporting me and believing in my dreams, so I want to dedicate this fight to them.Whenever she comes to my arena, I need to make sure shes protected, added Oracle Arena Security Manager Skeet Ellis,who shielded the champ at the Warriors Filipino Heritage Night in November. About five years ago, no one really knew Ana but now, I have to put two or three extra guys around her. A composite total of almost six million viewers watched Julatons last two fights, and with more international TV distributors involved this time around, an even bigger number is expected for her scrap against Alcanter. Were projecting 11 million viewers around the world, said 37 Entertainments Brandon Cruz, who will help promote the event along with Orion Sports Management, CP Presents, and 454 Life Entertainment. Not bad for a womens boxing event, huh?Billed as a Sports & Music Expo, there will be a little something for everyone at the Craneway. In addition to bantamweight Bruno Escalante fighting Daniel Modad, the show will feature three kickboxing bouts, along with musical performances from American Idol semi-finalist Sway Peala and Alameda rapper Nump Trump, who wrote the theme song for Nonito Donaires ringwalk on HBO last Saturday. Nevertheless, make no mistake about the identity of the headliner.You have a good person with talent and Ana uses her talent as a way to bring people together and thats similar to what Manny Pacquiao does, said Christian Printup of CP Presents. Some people might like her for her attitude or because shes attractive but also, its very empowering for female athletes who need a stage to perform. It doesnt hurt that she can really fight, too.Such global acclaim was hardly imaginable when Julaton, a late bloomer who went to El Camino High in South San Francisco, started her boxing career in 2004 after several years practicing martial arts disciplines such as Bok-Fu.This is where I first started in the amateurs, said Julaton. Now that Im making my first title defense in the Bay Area, its going to be great to see familiar faces.Only ten professional bouts and a world title belt later, Julaton finds herself under the tutelage of bespectacled Hollywood trainer Freddie Roach, renowned for his work with 27 other world champions, including Pacquiao. Freddie loves Ana because shes a hard worker, she listens, and she learns things quickly, said Angelo Reyes, Julatons adviser. Hell be coming up from Hollywood to be in Anas corner for this fight.For her training camp leading up to this fight, Roach wasted no time in sharpening iron with iron by employing some tough sparring partners for Julaton. In addition to current GBU womens super featherweight champion Rhonda Luna, WBC mens light flyweight titlist Rodel Mayol gave Ana all she could handle in the ring.Its been great sparring with world champions, especially Rodel, who makes things look so effortlessly, said Julaton. The sparrings been tough, and hes definitely helped me become a better fighter.Alcanter presents a challenge in terms of size having fought predominantly in the junior lightweight division, a staggering eight pounds above Fridays limit. However, Roachs blueprint of preparation comes with the intimate knowledge of having worked the Kansas City natives corner in the past.We have to take away Alcanters favorite punch in the right hand, said Roach. Weve been working on movement and staying away from her power, but Ana will be ready. Her conditionings been better than ever and Rodels really been pushing her.Combined with the recent momentum in Philippine boxing ignited by Pacquiaos upcoming fight along with knockout wins from Donaire and Mercito Gesta, the pressure to perform in front of ones family and friends can be overwhelming for a hometown heroine. While Ana is cognizant of the situation, she refuses to make excuses for giving nothing less than her best effort in the ring.RELATED: War at the Wharf: Perez, Gesta stay undefeated
Im definitely proud to be part of the Bay Area, she said. A lot of my success has been being able to share my everyday life with everyone out here. This fight is something Ill cherish when its done, but right now I want to go out there and represent the Bay the best I can.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.

Fight finally pays off for Kings: 'Like we won Game 1 of the playoffs'

Fight finally pays off for Kings: 'Like we won Game 1 of the playoffs'

The Sacramento Kings are young and lack experience. They have plenty of holes in their roster and they even sat three veterans when they rolled into the Staples Center for a 12:30 start on Sunday afternoon. 

Sacramento also has talent and they play hard. The Clippers just learned the hard way what plenty of other teams already knew - there is no quit in this team.

From start to finish, the Kings played a gritty style of defense. They closed out strong on the Clippers shooters and did their best to quash the alley-oop that Chris Paul is so famous for. Los Angeles coasted through the game assuming that they won before the opening tip. And then Sacramento flipped the table late, shutting the Clippers down in the fourth while riding a 22-3 run to finish the game with a 98-97 come from behind victory.

“I thought the whole game, the guys didn’t lose effort and they deserve it,” veteran point guard Darren Collison told media following the game. “Look at our last couple of weeks, even though the results haven’t been what we want it to be, so many guys that kept fighting, they were able to deserve this win.”

Trailing by 18 at the 5:16 mark of the fourth quarter, this game looked like so many others that we have seen over the last month. Sacramento had fought to stay in the contest, but in the end, the experience of their opponent wins out. But the Kings kept fighting.

“They didn’t lose hope, not one bit,” Collison said. “They kept pulling and pulling and pulling. Eventually they got some big threes, some big shots.”

So many contributed to the victory, but at the 2:19 mark, rookie Buddy Hield knocked down a 3-pointer to draw the Kings within six. Moments later he stole the inbounds pass and dropped in a second straight three in a nine second stretch.

“You just have to stay confident, trust yourself and trust what got you here,” Buddy Hield said.

Through three quarters, Hield had shot just 1-of-7 from the field and looked overwhelmed by the Clippers star players. He came alive in the fourth, hitting 3-of-3 from behind the arc to finish the quarter with 11 points and five rebounds. Hield scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds on the night, showing fans that he is ready to compete in crunch time.

“We kept playing and made some plays and the little things matter,” coach Dave Joerger said. “I’m really proud, it’s like we won Game 1 of the playoffs.”

With their teammates rallying on the court, the Kings bench looked like a cheerleader troup. All they needed was some pom-poms and a lot of eye liner.

Regardless of the record, Sacramento has remained a close knit group. Youth and veterans have meshed well as they forge towards another lottery selection. 

“I’ve been on a lot of teams, some winning teams and the chemistry is not as good as this team,” Collison added. “People don’t understand how hard it is to be in our shoes and come to work every single day with the circumstances that we have dealt with. But to be together still and fun, it shows a lot about this team. I’m real happy to be a part of this team. We’re not winning games, but the way we’re going about our business - we’re losing games together, we’re winning games together.”

Collison went off against his former team, scoring 19 points and handing out four assists in 28 minutes of action. Anthony Tolliver hit 5-of-6 from 3-point range to finish with 15 points and rookie Georgios Papagiannis but up 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and blocked two shots.

With the win, the Kings snapped their four-game losing streak and improve to 28-45 on the season. They play again on Monday when the Memphis Grizzlies drop by the Golden 1 Center on the second night of a road-and-home back-to-back.