Ana Julaton scores upset to win IBA title

‘The Hurricane’ batters ‘The Road Warrior’


SAN JOSE, California ? Ana ?The Hurricane? Julaton made history Saturday night here by becoming the first Filipino-American female boxer to win the vacant International Boxing Association super bantamweight title in just her fifth professional fight after defeating the seasoned Kelsey ?The Road Warrior? Jeffries at the Tank.

No amount of rough tactics (head butts, low blow, grabbing and elbowing) from the veteran and savvy Jeffries could match the power and technical ability of the young Julaton.

Julaton ended the ten rounds with a volley of punches to the face and a straight right to put a road block to Jeffries? run to reclaim the title she won in 2004.

It was a split decision in favor of the rising ?Hurricane.?

The upset win scored thus 98-92 Julaton (8 Rounds to 2), 96-94 Julaton (6 Rounds to 4) and 95-95 Draw (5 Rounds to 5).

A tearful Julaton thanked the crowd and her huge Bay Area fan base. Half of the boxing aficionados that came to cheer her seemed to have been Filipinos, notably the Deputy Consul, Fred Santos, and Trade Commissioner Josephine Romero from the San Francisco Consulate General.

HP Pavilion in San Jose, known as The Tank, and home of the San Jose hockey team, the Sharks, was converted into a boxing arena for this event.

Quite a few unbelievers thought Julaton was crazy to agree on a fight with Jeffries, currently ranked the No. 1 Featherweight by the World Boxing Council. Jeffries? fighting history (41-9-1 record, multiple titles and three world championships) towered over Julaton?s puny 4-1-1 professional fight experience.

But Team Julaton, led by much sought-after Filipino trainer, Nonito Donaire Sr., believed otherwise.

And so did the IBA and the WBC who both agreed to rank her as the top contender for the vacant super bantamweight belt after noting that Julaton has had extensive amateur experience in more than 30 fights, not counting her martial arts drilling.

Not even Laila Ali, who captured and defended the title five times in her brilliant career, can match what Julaton had thus far accomplished, which was to win a first world championship title in only her fifth professional fight.

Already a December fight is on the offing.

Julaton?s coach, Nonito Sr.?or just Senior as he is now called?was gleeful and said: ?Ana won because she has the heart of a fighter.?

Senior knows where he speaks of; not only was he the first trainer of his son, Nonito Donaire Jr., former IBF and IBO flyweight champion and WBA interim world champion in the super flyweight category. Just two weeks ago, his ward, ?Marvelous? Marvin Sansona, won the WBO super flyweight belt in an upset from Jose ?Carita? Lopez of Puerto Rico.

He hopes for a threepeat within one month for a world championship belt next week when he coaches from the corner of Australian boxer, Michael Katsidis, against Vicente Escobedo (21-1, 13 KO?s) for the interim WBO lightweight title in the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout in Las Vegas. Report from Esther Misa Chavez, INQUIRER.net

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