A stacked deck stands in front of WBO junior featherweight titleholder Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton in the country of Argentina, as she’s facing Yesica Marcos on her home turf…but that doesn’t make her blink one bit.
Several weeks ago a fellow Filipino boxer won a world title in the same country and a riot ensued. It could happen again, couldn’t it?
“I’m sure it will come out just fine,” says Julaton, coolly.
Most women boxers fear traveling to other countries where hometown judges render visitors impotent with their decisions. Or one can find judges influenced by crowds under threat of harm such as what happened when Johnreil Casimero knocked out Argentina’s Luis Lazarte for the IBF junior flyweight world title on Feb. 11 in Mar de Plata, Argentina.
“I’m looking for the best. Especially since the fight is going to be in a different part of Argentina,” Julaton said. “It’s going to be televised globally.”
On Friday March 16, Julaton (10-2-1) defends her title against number one contender Marcos (18-0-1, 6 KOs) at Teatro Griego Juan Pablo Segundo in San Martin, Argentina. It will be televised in both Argentina and in the Philippines.
Regardless of what the judges say the world will know who truly wins.
Julaton has steadily with each fight added more weaponry, knowledge and skills while making the boxing journey toward international acceptance. She walks the way of all true warriors.
“Being a female fighter it’s very easy to quit after the first two years,” said Julaton about fighting professionally. “If you’re not getting paid, guess what? You have to work even harder.”
Like many other female prizefighters Julaton worried that if she lost, her credibility and sponsorship would collapse. But after a loss to Lisa Brown in Canada, right after she signed a promotional contract with a Canadian promoter Allan Tremblay, who didn’t lost interest in the brunette Filipino-American.
“Allan flies over to San Francisco and asked when I’m ready to do this. He went out of his way. He actually cares about female boxing,” said Julaton.
Since that moment Julaton has prepared to not only protect her world title, but to fight the best and serve as an example of a true prizefighter.
“From that moment it just changed. I said I’m going to fight for this dream even if it costs me everything,” Julaton says.
The WBO organization did not request a purse bid. Instead, the fight was automatically designated to take place in Argentina. Despite Julaton’s hold on the world title the bout will be held in the challenger’s country where all the benefits likely will be on Marcos’s side. That’s the trouble with sanctioning organizations like the WBO and others.
Angelo Reyes, who trains Julaton, says that in the Philippines only one other Filipino is more popular than his protégé, and that’s Manny Pacquiao.
“The truth is there is no other athlete more popular than Ana,” Reyes said.
Julaton prepared in Las Vegas, Nevada for this title defense and feels confident that she will return with the belt regardless of Marcos’s advantages.
“For me mentally it’s about proving you are the better competitor than your opponent,” she said. “It’s all about you.”
Julaton intends to show her fans and followers of female boxing that change can be made for the betterment of the sport.
“I think it will be explosive and I’m looking forward to contributing to the next generation of fighters,” said Julaton.
Reyes expects Julaton to topple the stacked deck.
“If Marcos fights the same way I promise you that Ana will stop her,” Reyes said.