A Day At Wild Card: Ana Julaton & Kaliesha West
LOS ANGELES-Too bad not a single television crew was around when two-time world champion Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton and bantamweight contender Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West met at the Wild Card on Monday.
It had been more than two years since the two California prizefighters had sparred with each other and a lot has changed since that time. Julaton had picked up two junior featherweight world titles and West had fought two world champions to a draw.
If you’re not familiar with West and Julaton they’re not only great prizefighters but two of the most photogenic boxers too. Those inside the Wild Card Boxing gym who didn’t know women boxing got an education as both sparred eight rounds.
The usually buzzing gym stopped as the two California girls put on head gear and boxing gloves to begin sparring. Men and women crowded around the ring to see what you may have to pay several hundred dollars in the future to see.
Female boxing at its best took place and about five dozen people got a glimpse of world championship caliber fighters.
Julaton (6-2-1) recently lost her world title but is stepping right back into the wars and fights Maria Jose Villalobos (6-3, 3KOs) for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title in Ontario, Canada on Wednesday June 30. It’s the first time a female world title fight will be aired nationwide on TSN Sports television.
“It’s a huge deal,” said Angelo Reyes, Julaton’s advisor. “They’re saying more than a million people will see the fight.”
Getting televised is a necessity for women’s boxing if it’s to advance to the next level. Without a doubt Julaton is perfect for television for athletic and aesthetic reasons.
West (11-1-2) recently fought two former world champions back-to-back and fought to a draw with both Ada Velez and Denmark’s Anita Christensen. West will fight Brazil’s Valeria Dos Santos (3-1) in Lima, Peru where the entire nation will be watching the six round battle.
“We’re ready to go,” said Juan West, who is Kaliesha’s father and trainer. “Kaliesha should be too strong for anybody the throw at her.”
During the eight rounds Julaton and West sparred they lit up the ring with their strong combinations, blocking and slipping. If they ever fight it should be in front of an American television audience, not a gym full of people training.
Freddie Roach is now training Julaton again and has been working on her style and defense to re-groom her to his own expectations. She looks very sharp.
As the two top flight females exchanged blistering punches all I could think was HBO or Showtime should get a load of this. America is missing something.