Losing a big fight can often spiral into worse things but in some cases it sparks a hunger to work even harder like Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton.
No resting now.
Two-time world champion Julaton (6-2-1) faces Mexico’s durable Maria Villalobos (6-3) on Wednesday June 30 for the vacant WBO junior featherweight in Ontario, Canada. It will not be televised in the U.S. but is being shown nationwide in Canada and on a Philippine television network.
“Definitely my goal is to win and be able to stay at that stage,” Julaton says about seeking a third world title. “For me, personally, I want to go in and do my job and see how it turns out.”
Julaton returns to Canada where she lost her title in a battle with Canada’s Lisa Brown to unify the titles. Despite suffering bloody gashes the Daly City prizefighter pressed on to the excitement of the crowd in her quest to retain her title. It wasn’t to be but her refusal to bend proved she is never out of a fight.
“Ana never quits,” said Angelo Reyes, who advises Julaton. “That’s what her fans love about her.”
Villalobos is not an easy touch and proved that a few months ago when she traveled to Argentina to meet WBC junior featherweight titleholder Maria Eliana Acuna a recognized knockout puncher. That fight lasted all 10 rounds with Acuna winning by decision but Villalobos proved she’s no slouch.
Julaton expects the same kind of resistance from Villalobos who has never been knocked out or stopped.
“I expect the best,” says Julaton. “That’s why we’re fighting her for the title.”
Last year was Julaton’s break out period as she captured the IBA and WBO junior featherweight titles by beating Kelsey Jeffries and Donna Biggers respectively.
Hoping to recapture last year’s magic Team Julaton returned to the Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood, California and enlisted Freddie Roach as trainer once again. The wizard of boxing immediately saw some things that needed changing.
“Her punches were a little long,” said Roach, who previously trained Julaton but was time constrained in preparing Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan last year. This year is different and Julaton has reconnected with the venerable trainer.
Eager to win back the WBO title Julaton has engaged in double sessions not including the time spent doing her daily running. Sparring sessions with various local female stalwarts including Kaliesha West electrified the gym.
“Ana Julaton is an aggressive fighter,” says West who sparred 18 rounds with the brunette Julaton at the Wild Card. “She can make changes during a fight. She’s not one-dimensional like other fighters.”
Can Julaton electrify Villalobos in Canada?
“Everyone wants to win spectacularly,” Julaton said.
Kina Retains WBA title and Kaliesha West TKOs Brazilian
The two amigas Kina Malpartida and Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West both emerged victorious in Lima, Peru on Saturday.
WBA junior lightweight titleholder Malpartida (12-3) survived a second round knockdown to dominate Colombia’s hard-hitting Liliana Palmera (19-7-2, 12 KOs) and West out-classed Brazil’s Vannessa Guimares in a bantamweight clash.
Peru’s Malpartida used her size and length to beat up Palmera but it didn’t look good in the second round when a counter right hand dropped the champion with a perfect shot on the chin. She beat the count easily and actually out boxed Palmera the remainder of the round.
“She caught me with a good punch and capitalized on the opening,” said Malpartida of the knockdown. “She hits hard.”
Jabs, jabs and more jabs kept Malpartida in front. The only danger came when Peru’s heroine would land a one-two combination that kept her in Palmera’s firing zone. But little by little even that opening closed.
Malpartida was the quicker fighter and often snapped Palmera’s head back while either moving out of the way of the right hand counter or ducking under. The Colombian’s face began to swell from the abundance of punches she was absorbing. A Malpartida right hand to the body nearly dropped Palmera at the end of the fourth round.
Rounds five through 10 were mirror images as the Peruvian prizefighter who makes Maywood, California her training ground used her reach and crisp jab to keep Palmera from attacking.
Malpartida became more aggressive and the punching power of Palmera was more a distant memory as the tall Peruvian began pummeling her challenger. A five-punch combination in the eighth round followed by a sizzling right uppercut forced Palmera to hold on tight.
In the final round Malpartida stepped up her punch output in an attempt to gather a knock out. Palmera hung on and seemed to only be bothered by the body shots, not the head blows. All three judges scored it 98-91 for Malpartida.
“She was very strong,” said Malpartida of her opponent. “I dedicate this victory to all of Peru.”
West By TKO
A day before the fight, during the weigh ins, the Brazilian girl told those around her after looking at the Southern California girl that it was going to be an easy fight. It was, but for Riverside’s West (12-1-2, 3 KOs).
Behind a quick and accurate jab the Brazilian girl never could get off. Guimares tried her best to pressure West but quickly realized that the Californian was too strong and too fast so she switched into back pedaling mode.
For the first two rounds West fired a stiff jab that snapped Guimares head back a few times. When she dared enter the pocket a left hook stopped her from going further. It seemed every punch the Brazilian fired was blocked.
The third round saw West open up a bit more with one-two combinations. A right hand bomb to the body nearly doubled Guimares over and she quickly moved away with West stalking her.
Guimares (8-3, 7 KOs) sucked it up in the fourth round and began firing combinations of her own. She was willing to mix it up as West covered up and slapped punches back. The Brazilian was having her best round when West opened up with big punches and forced Guimares to retreat for the remainder of the round. It could have been worse for the Brazilian.
During the break Juan West, the father and trainer of Kaliesha, exhorted his daughter to fire uppercuts. When the fifth round began there was West firing left hooks and uppercuts that forced Guimares to seek more distance. West moved in and dug in with serious body blows that had the Brazilian girl on defense. A left hook to the body and left uppercut snapped Guimares head back and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. It was West’s third career knockout.
The pretty prizefighter West had her second consecutive fight in a foreign country and first win in three fights. She fought two consecutive draws with former world champions Anita Christensen in Denmark, and Ada Velez in San Bernardino.
West is ranked as the number one bantamweight in the U.S. and top three in the world without a world title.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV