Feb. 24, 2011
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.