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Julaton credits Floyd’s mental muscle

Ana Julaton with broadcaster Al Bernstein (left) and trainer Freddie Roach.

MANILA, Philippines - Former two-time WBO female superbantamweight champion Ana (The Hurricane) Julaton said yesterday Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s frame of mind was critical in totally dismantling Robert Guerrero in their WBC welterweight title fight in Las Vegas last weekend. She said if ever Mayweather battles WBC/WBA lightmiddleweight king Saul (Canelo) Alvarez, it will be a mental game with the Money Man’s experience and work ethic making the difference.   

Julaton said the educated viewer had to appreciate the finesse and tactics that Mayweather displayed against Guerrero. In a possible Alvarez encounter, she said there will be a lot of issues to thresh out like the weight limit and venue. “Canelo’s a prolific fighter (who) utilized defense against an awkward Austin Trout but in order to sustain a 36-minute, high-level fight, he’ll need to continue his craft,” she added. “Floyd’s incredible experience and work ethic to back it up – that’s a hard combination to beat.”

The Fil-Am hasn’t fought since knocking out Abigail Ramos in one round last August and the inactivity is leading to severe hunger pangs. She isn’t used to staying out of the ring for too long. While awaiting her next boxing assignment, Julaton has kept busy doing TV work under Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein’s tutelage.

“I want a world championship as soon as possible,” Julaton told The STAR. “I believe it’s my responsibility to bring glory back to our country especially with all of the best losing. First, myself, then Manny (Pacquiao), Brian (Viloria) and Nonito (Donaire). The problem is never with me. You know I’m willing to fight anywhere with anyone. I want to win the belt back for our people. Since it happened in that order, let’s win it back in that order. I’ll lead the way, I’m ready for anyone right now.”

Julaton, 32, lost the WBO crown to Yesica Marcos on a unanimous 10-round decision in her hometown of Mendoza, Argentina, in March last year. She went on to outpoint Yolanda Segura and halt Ramos, both in the Yucatan peninsula, to raise her record to 12-3-1, with 2 KOs. Julaton has won six of her last seven bouts and is clamoring for a rematch against Marcos whom she floored during their battle.

“In my opinion, Yesica will never be a true champion unless she defends her title outside the questionable officiating that happens in her hometown,” said Julaton. “I saw WBO president Paco Valcarcel during the Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios fight in Las Vegas last March and I told him I want a rematch but it seems Yesica does not want to leave Mendoza. If she’d like to fight me, I’m ready. Otherwise, it would only be correct for the WBO to strip her of her title. I wasn’t afraid to go to her hometown so she should learn this lesson and be a true champion and fight me outside of Mendoza.”

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Marcos, 27, was held to a split draw by compatriot Marcela Acuna to retain the WBO crown in Mendoza last January. She now has a record of 21-0-2, with 7 KOs. There were attempts to stage the return bout in Manila but the Marcos camp refused to consider an overseas engagement. Julaton said she wouldn’t mind returning to fight Marcos in her hometown for the chance to regain her throne.

Julaton said if Marcos is scared to fight, she’ll try her luck against interim WBA queen Alys Sanchez of Venezuela or IBF titlist Katy Wilson Castillo of the Dominican Republic or WBA champion-on-leave Jackie Nava. Another possibility is facing Lisa Brown who beat Julaton in a bloody brawl in Ontario in 2010.

Sanchez, 26, claimed the interim WBA title on a 10-round verdict over Mexico’s Maria Elena Villalobos, whom Julaton has defeated, in Kingston, Jamaica, last December. She has a 12-0-1 record, with 4 KOs. Castillo, 22, captured the IBF title on a decision over Crystal Hoy last August and is set to stake the belt against Migdalia Asprilla in the Dominican Republic on May 19. Her record is 17-1, with 10 KOs. Nava, 33, is on maternity leave and due to give birth on May 27. She boasts a record of 28-4-3, with 12 KOs.

“Most likely, Jackie won’t be ready to fight me until the fall,” said Julaton. “My promoter Allan Tremblay just finished his chemotherapy a few weeks ago as you know, he’s been battling cancer. Once he’s well, we’ll talk about who’s next. Katy is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz, who takes care of several Filipino fighters, so maybe she’ll be next.”

Julaton made her pro debut in November 2007. She fought five fights in 2008, twice in 2009 and 2010, thrice in 2011 and thrice more last year. Julaton won her first world title, the IBA version, in 2009 in only her sixth bout, scoring a majority decision over veteran Kelsey Jeffries in San Jose, California. Her record was 4-1-1 before the fight while Jeffries came in at 41-9-1.

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