In the loaded junior featherweight division Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton seeks to anchor herself with another world title when she faces North Carolina’s Donna “Nature Girl” Biggers for the vacant WBO junior featherweight belt.
The San Francisco Bay native of Filipino descent Julaton (5-1-1) faces the experienced power-punching Biggers (19-8-1, 16 KOs) on Frida, Dec. 4 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The winner plants herself right in the middle of the stormy 122-pound division.
Julaton recently captured the vacant IBA junior featherweight title with a hard-fought win over another veteran Kelsey Jeffries. That win has the entire Bay Area clamoring over the brunette with the Colgate smile.
How big was her win?
Julaton recently met with the president of the Philippines and was honored by that country and by the current Mayor of San Francisco for her achievements and for working with typhoon relief personnel in that storm damaged island country.
Now she’s preparing for another type of storm in Biggers.
“Me and my team have been watching her. We have some tapes of her and Rick Noble (Julaton’s trainer) has been watching her,” said Julaton, 29. “She is very tough and experienced and been in a lot of 10 round fights with some of the top fighters in the world.”
One could easily look at Biggers' five losses in six fights and dismiss her as barely a blip on the radar screen. But almost all of those losses came to several of the best female prizefighters in the world including Layla McCarter, Melinda Cooper, Jeffries, Canada’s Jelena Mrdjenovich and Mexico’s Jackie Nava.
“Melinda Cooper hits the hardest of anyone out there at any weight,” said Biggers of her scraps with some of the best. “Jackie Nava was a good fight for me too, she is a great boxer.”
That kind of experience is invaluable when fighting for a world title against someone like Julaton, who beat Jeffries by decision to win the IBA world title. Now she’s after the WBO and others.
It’s a pivotal fight for both Biggers and Julaton for different reasons.
“It’s very important. I need to win,” said Biggers, 36, who has 16 KOs in 19 wins.
Julaton and her team are looking to become a brand name if possible like their male counterpart Manny Pacquiao. She already has a big following in the Bay Area.
“When she has (autograph) signings at the Oakland Raiders games she has long lines of fans waiting to get her autograph,” said Angelo Reyes, who advises her. Julaton is also a popular figure at San Francisco Giant and Golden State Warrior games. “She’s big here in the Bay Area.”
Popularity is a capricious commodity when it comes to prizefighters. One or two losses can suddenly erode rock hard celebrity status with jackhammer efficiency.
Biggers does not care about Julaton’s celebrity or community recognition. She just wants and needs a win to remain a viable contender.
“I have seen some of her fights. I don't know very much about her,” says Biggers, who owns her own business selling machine parts and industrial supplies. “I just like to fight, so it doesn't really matter to me.”
The Shelby, North Carolina resident hasn’t fought in 18 months but loves to train and stay in peak condition.
“The training is so much fun, and is so worth it when you win a fight,” says Biggers, a petite blonde who travels nearly 90 miles to train in South Carolina. “I like to meet new people when I travel too.”
Julaton likes meeting new people too and realizes that since winning a world title those people she meets expect even more.
“It’s funny because of the interaction I get from people outside of my team the word world champ gives out this mystique,” Julaton said about her new status. “Just having that belt brings out that feeling within me.”
People buying tickets for the Julaton-Biggers fight at HP Pavilion can purchase them by calling (408) 999-5841 or going to Julaton’s web site at www.fightatthetank.com/anajulaton.asp
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV