With less than one year of professional boxing on her ledger, Daly City’s Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton steps into the ring ready to work in her first title fight against Dominga Olivo, a highly regarded boxer from New York.
Maybe it’s fitting that the striking Julaton (4-0-1) challenge for the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title on Thursday Aug. 21, against Olivo (6-4-1) at Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino with only nine months of professional experience, as she arrived with much fanfare.
That can happen when a boxing superstar like Manny Pacquiao decides to point you out as a potential champion. It also can happen when a Hall of Fame trainer like Freddie Roach opts to prepare you for the journey.
It can also be very humbling.
That’s probably why Julaton rarely speaks out of turn and it can also be why the 122-pound boxer of Philippine heritage seldom steps out of a boxing gym except to eat or rest.
You won’t find Julaton at the local Cineplex.
“I haven’t seen a movie in a while,” says Julaton, followed by a brief chuckle.
Boxing is serious business for the brunette who travels up and down the state of California in search of sparring. Those who first witness the slender boxer nod their heads at her dedication and ferocity.
“She’s a very good listener,” said Roach, who has trained some of the best boxers in the last 20 years including James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, and Manny Pacquiao to name a few. “Whatever I tell her to do she picks it up very quickly.”
But Roach can’t fight for her inside the ring. Once that bell rings it’s entirely up to the Filipina boxer to make quick decisions whether it’s withstanding a barrage of punches or adjusting to a wil 'o the wisp boxer like she faced in her last match.
This past July, Julaton faced Arizona’s Johanna Mendez, a smaller but tricky boxer who likes to dart in and out of range while peppering opponents with quick uppercuts and left hooks.
It was a style Julaton had not faced before and was not truly prepared to face. Luckily, with Roach in her corner and despite a cut over her eye, the fight ended in a draw because of Julaton’s refusal to quit. With blood streaming down her face she pumped up the punch volume and won the sixth round on two of three judge’s cards. Winning that last round proved to be very necessary.
Don’t ask her what happened. She refuses to give excuses. The only thing she will say is “I’ll do better next time.”
Now she faces Olivo, a heavy-handed boxer who’s faced several elite female fighters in her brief career and held her own.
“She really hits hard,” said Layla McCarter who fought Olivo to a majority decision when they first engaged. “I got hit with that right hand and told myself that was not going to happen any more.”
Olivo’s losses have come against McCarter twice and to Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez, the current IWBF super bantamweight titleholder. Olivo had beaten her in two previous encounters but lost the world title fight by decision.
The Dominican boxer also has a draw against WBC junior lightweight titleholder Jelena Mrdjenovich that took place in the Canadian’s back yard.
Olivo can fight.
Julaton knows that it could be the toughest fight of her young career but is willing to accept it knowing that her goal of becoming a world champion is that much closer.
“Ana could have said no,” said Angelo Reyes, who manages Julaton. “She took the fight.”
In Julaton’s previous four pro bouts she was able to apply a pressure style that she learned as an amateur star. Olivo doesn’t employ a hit and run style like Mendez, she’ll be standing right in front of her nose. It should be like two trains fighting for the same track.
“I expect a very tough fight,” says Roach, who spent the last week preparing Julaton in Daly City.
“I’m excited about fighting Dominga Olivo,” Julaton (4-0-1) said by telephone. “She’s been in some very tough fights.”
Success has come quickly to this point, but is she ready?
“I have so much to learn in boxing,” Julaton says humbly. “But it’s a great opportunity.”
Other Goossen-Tutor fights
Also on the fight card will be Watsonville’s Carina “La Reina” Moreno (18-1) defending her WBC minimum weight title while fighting for the vacant WIBA minimum weight title against Puerto Rico’s Yahaira Martinez (7-2).
Moreno also has the IFBA light flyweight title and is considered one of the best female boxers pound for pound in the world.
Manuel Quezada (23-4, 15 KOs), who fights out of Bakersfield, California, faces Andrew Greeley (14-22-2) in a 10-round heavyweight bout in the co-main event. Quezada has a 12-fight win streak going including a win over the last man to beat him, the puzzling David Johnson.
Greeley is a veteran heavyweight who is capable of spoiling anybody that’s not prepared. Among his victims have been Joey Abell (20-1), Jed Phipps (17-3) and Jermain Woods (8-1-1).
It should be an interesting heavyweight clash at Tachi Palace.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m. Fernando Beltran (30-3-1) vs. Takalani Ndlovu (28-4).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Daniel Jimenez (17-3-1) vs. Shamir Reyes (18-5-2).