Ni: Ana Paula Canua
LUMAKI sa San Francisco, California at nakilala bilang kauna-unahang Pilipina na nagkamit ng dalawang international title sa larangan ng boksing.
Taong 2009 nang magsimulang makikila sa loob ng ring si Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton. Ito ay matapos nitong matalo ang isa sa mga pound for pound boxer na si Kelsey Jeffries at maiuwi ang titulong IBA super bantamweight. Sumunod na taon naman noong kanyang angkinin ang WBO female super bantamweight nang matalo niya si Maria Elena Villalobos.
Matapos pasukin ang mundo ng sports kung saan kalalakihan ang dominanteng manlalaro, nais muling patunayan ni Ana Julaton na kaya rin ng mga kababaihan makisabayan sa bakbakan. “Male fighters aren’t expected to do all the other things female fighters are expected to do aside from boxing,” ani Julaton “And we’re also supposed to look good after doing everything.”
Bilang boksingero, hindi lang ito laban sa loob ng ring
Inamin ni Ana Julaton sa isang sports interview na noong una ay wala siyang interes sa boxing, “I wasn’t a fan of boxing before I started learning it. When I was practicing kenpo karate, I was also teaching full-time, spending 12 to 14 hours a day, five to six days a week, and when boxing was incorporated into the system, I had to learn it to teach it.” Matapos ang ilang linggo sumali si Julaton sa Golden Gloves tournament, isang amateur boxing competition kung saan niya nakamit ang silver medal—ang kanyang kauna-unahang medalya sa boksing. Simula noon ‘di na napigilan si Julaton na sumali sa amateur boxing challenges, “Boxing sparked my competitive edge.”
Katulad ng anumang sports, hindi naging madali kay Julaton ang naging training, “My first lesson was stepping in the ring with another guy who was bigger than me and who was told to really’ fight me. I went through a lot of punishment but I knew that I wasn’t going to quit, so I came back the next day and the next day after and the next day after that. Without realising it at the time, my teacher was actually teaching me something, not just about boxing, but about myself. I learnt how to put things into perspective.
Naging hamon din kay Julaton hindi lang matalo ang kalaban sa loob ng ring kung ‘di patunayan din ang lugar ng kababaihan sa boksing. “My competitive edge surfaced and when I experienced unequal opportunities in the sport as a woman, fighting became more than just capturing a win. It became a fight to make a change,” wika pa ng female boxer. “There is really a double standard, not only in boxing, but in life. I feel like that is just part of the responsibilities of being a female boxer,” dagdag niya.
Taong 2008 ng magsimulang maging trainer ni Julaton si coach Freddie Roach, kasabay ni Pambansang kamao Manny Pacquiao. Pinasok ni Julaton ang international boxing competitions at pinatunayan na bilang babae kaya rin niyang magwagi sa patimpalak ng suntukan at bakbakan.
Mayroon siyang record na 14 Wins (2 knockouts, 12 decisions), 4 Loss, at 1 draw.
Bilang Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter
Matapos mapatunayan ang sarili sa boksing, pinasok naman ni Julaton ang MMA noong 2013. ‘Di tulad ng boxing ang MMA ay hinaluan ng suntok, sipa at wrestling, mas mahirap at mas pisikal ito kumpara sa boxing. “What makes MMA so exciting are the many ways to defeat your opponent. The options are limitless and that’s what makes the sport so interesting,”
Sa katunayan bago maging kampeon sa boxing, naunang minahal ni Julaton ang MMA, “My earliest memories are of my father calling out commands of basic martial-arts stances to demonstrate in front of my late grandfather”.
Ang kanyang pagpasok sa MMA ay tila pagkabuhay ng kanyang dating pangarap, “I felt my inner child was shining through. Being able to throw kicks, knees, elbows, and wrestle and grapple, I felt like I was in the [classroom] all over again. It’s like a playground. Don’t get me wrong, the training is tough and challenging, but I think that’s why I enjoy it so much.”
Sa ngayon siya ay mayroong 2 panalo kabilang ang isang knock-out win laban kay Aya Saber ng kanya itong pabagsakin sa loob lang ng apat na minuto; at isang panalo sa pamamagitan ng desisyon. Mayroon naman siyang dalawang talo sa pamamagita ng desisyon.
Hindi pa rin tatalikuran ang boxing
Sa kabila ng bagong sport na pinasok, sinabi ni Julaton na hinding-hindi niya tatalikuran ang boxing “I have always been a fan of the martial arts and I’ve been kicking and punching since I was a child, so when ONE FC gave me the opportunity to sign an exclusive MMA deal with them, while still having the ability to continue boxing, I knew it was something I didn’t want to pass up.”
BOXER at MMA FIGHTER
Sa edad na 37, ‘di nagpapapigil si Julaton na pinagsasabay ang boxing at MMA, buong tapang niyang sinabi na nais niyang makaharap si Heather Hardy na hawak ang WBC International Female Super Bantamweight title. Katulad ni Julaton isa ring boksingero si Hardy. “She got some titles in boxing, I’ve won some world titles in boxing and I think a lot of people would like to see some knockouts, so you put us in the cage,” sabi ni Julaton.