Wednesday, August 14, 2013
How did you get involved in boxing and how long have you been training?
-I have a martial arts background and was teaching it full-time. Boxing was being incorporated into the martial arts school and I started learning it. My first lesson was stepping in the ring with some guys who were bigger than me and we started sparring. The essence of the experience was amazing and I was hooked. The rest is history.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I've been training out of Las Vegas the past two years to simulate the outdoor weather conditions. Overseas, my fights had been located outside and Las Vegas has been great preparation for me. A typical training week varies; I mix it up with strength and conditioning exercises, mitt work, bag work, sparring, etc., on top of time managing my own nutrition, media promotion, rest, etc. It feels like carrying dumbbells on a unicycle on a tightrope while keeping a smile. There's a lot to juggle on a daily basis.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-I am fighting Celina Salazar (4-1-2, 1 KO) on August 17th in Cancun, Mexico which is set for ten rounds as the co-main bout before the title fight between Takashi Miura and Sergio Thompson promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions, Cancun Boxing and Orion Sports Management CEO Allan Tremblay. It will be aired live through Televisa (Latin America) and Fox Deportes (Worldwide) and most likely GMA Network (Philippine affiliate) which also airs worldwide.
How did you get your fight nickname “The Hurricane”?
-Some like to think it’s because of my whirlwind fighting style or how I overwhelm opponents once in the ring but it was actually given to me to help ring announcers remember to pronounce the “J” in my last name as an “H” so it comes out correctly as (HOO-LA-TON).
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-The best experience was headlining and winning my first world title against Kelsey Jeffries, who many considered a legend in my weight class, at her home arena, the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. It was my first time headlining, my first world title...there was so much work done with promoting it, selling tickets, getting 4,000 people there without the backing of any major TV network. Not to mention dealing with the training, coming off an injury and a loss from my last fight. It was intense and it happened so quickly. When my hands were raised, that was the first time I really felt "alone", meaning I had the chance to finally feel my emotions and "let go". So many people got involved and supported the event and while I was feeling all the pain and stress from getting ready for it, I had to ignore all the pain and stress to focus on a daily basis and put on a show. So when I won, it was like a "release". I was so happy.
-My worst experiences happen on a regular basis during camp, because the training is tough. Despite the wins and losses I've had in front of millions on international TV, I've always felt that "winning attitude" because I feel that I can always challenge myself to be better. I cry in the gym and smile in the ring.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in boxing?
-Boxing and fighting, just like in life, is about getting RESPECT. In the gym, in the ring, dealing with negotiations, the media, even with yourself, there will be obstacles that will tell you "No". And if you think otherwise, believe it. The late Al Davis once said, "Don't take what people are willing to give you, take what you want!" Don't believe you can't have what you want because you are a woman. Believe that you can get what you want BECAUSE you are a woman.
What or who are your inspirations in boxing and life?
-The inspirations in my life are the people I surround myself with. My biggest inspiration is my promoter, Allan Tremblay, of Orion Sports Management, has been like a boxing father to me. Over the past few years, he has given me opportunities I could have only dreamed of, having consistent TV fights, giving me the opportunity to make boxing my livelihood and I'm a WOMAN in this male-dominated fight game!!! All the while he was (and still is) battling cancer! If one were to meet him for the first time, one couldn't tell because he has that infectious smile and charming personality. In the fighting arts, the highest level is dealing with pain in grace. And honestly, I can go on and on about Allan and all the AWESOME people I know and see on a daily basis.
As a big fan of Women's MMA do you have any plans to cross over to MMA at any point?
-Right now, I'm enjoying watching the craft of MMA, there's just so many possibilities in the Octagon and a great fighter learns how to keep it simple. I love to talk about fighting, period, so if it crosses down the line, after I'm done fighting, then sure, why not? Ever since I was a kid, I knew I couldn't stay away from martial arts and fight sports.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-For me, it's all about balance, so it depends, I play my "free time" by ear. Sometimes I'll go out to a nice dinner, watch a movie, read a book, go out for a walk, sit out in the sun, or write. Some days, I just want to lie in bed and think about absolutely nothing!
Any future plans or dreams?
-Haha, I would love to go down in history as the woman boxer who learned all the rules about boxing and breaking all of them, celebrating how accomplished women's boxing has become as I lay back in my motorized wheel chair, studded in diamonds. Smiling down on the next generation of women who are making millions in professional boxing because of all the "fighting" that's going on now.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-I am excited and very appreciative to Golden Boy Promotions in particular Eric Gomez and Richard Schaefer for partnering with Orion Sports Management’s Allan Tremblay and for believing in me! They are giving me an opportunity to fight in what I feel is another "HOME" for me in being able to fight in front of my friends and fans in the Yucatan, Mexico. I have fought here the last two years and the Yucateca's and Mexico have treated me as one of their own. I am honored to fight there and August 17th I guarantee an entertaining fight for everyone. If Yazmin Rivas is indeed next for September 14th on the undercard of Mayweather vs. Canelo then I'll be ready! I want to fight for the World Championship as soon as possible!!!
-I hope all my Kababayan all over the World will be able to watch my fight and especially back home in Pangasinan and all over the Philippines. I am not sure yet who will be airing it to our community. Televisa, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports are all great networks but I'm not sure they are shown to the Philippine Community throughout the World. I know wherever my fight will be shown; I carry the pride of all Filipina's with me Around the World.
Thank you very much for your time Ana and good luck on fight night! Tune in this Saturday to cheer on Ana and we very well could see her fight next on the Mayweather vs. Canelo boxing undercard on September 14th against Yazmin Rivas for the IBF Women’s Bantamweight Title. For more on Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton please visit her website and send your shout outs to her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.