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Meeting Ana Julaton – WBO World Champion

WBO Champion and Pinay Ana Julaton

She’s of pure Filipino stock (she traces her roots to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan).

She’s gorgeous in person – tall, svelte, and ultra feminine in long tresses.
And that boxing champion belt around her belt is the real thing – she’s the reigning WBO world champion in the super-bantamweight division. And her coach is none other than THE Freddie Roach (Manny Pacquiao’s trainer)!
Her name is ANA “The Hurricane” JULATON.
I personally was interested in meeting her. I must confess this was the first time I was hearing about her because I really am not a boxing aficionado (least of all women’s boxing). But it intrigued me that a Pinay was making a name for herself in a realm normally associated with men.

Truth be told, I expected a manly female boxer with huge leg and arm muscles and a face that was more masculine than feminine. I think my reference was the female wrestlers I’d catch on TV every so often. But the moment I saw Ana, I was dumbfounded. In front of me was a beautiful (and I am not exaggerating), long-haired, feminine lady in a sleeveless blouse over maong pants and high heels. Her figure was more appropriate for a catwalk and she really looked fit and toned. And with a constant, radiant smile, she just made an awesome first impression on me.

I got to throw the first question at her: Why boxing?

And she explained that she was really into a lot of martial arts, including taekwondo, and when she tried boxing, she just naturally fell in love with it.

Here are some pictures I took of her. See for yourselves what the combination of beauty, brains AND brawn looks like…

Ana first visited the country last July 2010 after winning the vacant SBO 122-pound title belt with a split decision over Mexican Maria Elena Villalobos in Ontario, Canada. In that visit, she was able to meet Pres. Aquino at Malacanang, where she personally presented him with the Everlast gloves she used in winning the WBO super-bantamweight title.
Ana will defend her WBO title this coming February 25 at the Craneway Pavilion, Point Richmond, California against a tough and skillful veteran, Francesca Alcanter, who has a boxing record of 18-9-1. The fight, set over 10 rounds, has been dubbed “The Return of the Hurricane” (so titled because Ana is known as ‘The Hurricane’).
A native of San Francisco, California, Ana owns a record of 7-2-1. Despite a few fights to her name, it is truly proof of her boxing talent that she has already defeated female boxers with more boxing fights and longer fighting experiences under their belts. She begins her training with Freddie Roach next week at the famed Wild Card gym.
This fight will be telecast LIVE on TV5 and its soon-to-be-launched Aksyon TV UHF Channel 41, the Kapatid network’s sports and news channel.
Let’s all support our kababayan, Ana, on Feb. 25. Here’s another Pinay that all of us can truly be proud of.
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The Pacman Up Close

The whole Philippines stands still today. Very few vehicles were on the road when I went out earlier. Almost the entire country is at home, at pay-per-view establishments or on the internet intently looking for livestreaming links.
I had the chance to meet Manny Pacquiao a few months back. He was shooting a TV commercial for a pain-relieving drug, Alaxan FR, and I stayed quietly in the background watching him go through the shoots, joking with the staff in between takes, and noting how lean and muscular, absolutely no excess fat, and lithe his body was (a sign of the rigorous training and care he had for his body).

After his commercial takes, Manny came to the room where a few of us were waiting, and eagerly sat down on a sofa to field our questions. I was just an arms-length away from him — the closest I probably could ever get. Question after question was shot at him and he answered them all, even discreetly evading having to answer the then controversial issue between him and a lady actress.

I threw some questions at him (and yes, my speaking in Filipino was challenged, hehehe).

On how politics will affect his being a spiritual person and on how leading a Congressman’s life will affect his family, this is what Manny has to say:

My first closeup impression of Manny? What you see on TV is how he is in real life. He is humble. Low profile. Always smiling. Comes across as sincere in wanting to help his constituents in Saranggani. Loves the Philippines and God.

Today, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will go for his 8th title. Physically, he is way disadvantaged compared to Antonio Margarito in terms of height, reach and weight. But that has never stopped Manny Pacquiao from going for his dreams.

Today, everyone in the Philippines wishes him well and will be praying for him. And if he does get to win this fight, he will come back to the Philippines an even greater David who overcame (literally) the giant Goliath. And an even greater idol in everyone’s eyes.

We’re rooting for you, Manny!

(HAPPY UPDATE (sorry for spoilers for some people if you’re not on pay-per-view): Manny Pacquiao won the fight!!! This is boxing history in the making. It will be a happy day when the Pacman returns to the warmest welcome ever.)

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Manila Slows Down Once Again with Pacquiao-Clottey Fight

It’s just a few more minutes to the Pacquiao-Clottey fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas and over here in Manila, a Pacquiao Sunday is a sight to behold.

(courtesy of www.pacquiaovideo.com)
Pacquiao’s fights are always national events in the Philippines. Everything comes to a standstill. People knock off from work early and head home to watch on their TV sets. Hordes of families and friends meet up in movie theaters, malls, bars, restaurants, schools and just about anywhere where there will be livestreaming. Such livestreaming places have evolved these into income-generating product as bars price a livestreaming ticket with free beer and restaurants package lunch or snacks for their paying patrons.
Personally, I enjoy the free roads. In a place like Metro Manila where every day is a survival race against traffic, seeing a highway almost free of vehicles is a sight to behold. And statistics have shown that crime drops to almost insignificant rates during a Pacquiao fight. It seems that even criminal elements actually stop to watch his fights.
A website, Pacquiao Video, gives the following “tale of the tape:
The whole Philippine nation is rooting for Pacquiao, naturally. In a while, we will all be at the edge of our seats, cheering every punch that lands squarely on Clottey, and wincing at every punch that lands on Manny. And if Pacquiao once again wins this fight, he will be the talk of the town as work resumes tomorrow, Monday. 
GO, MANNY! YOUR WHOLE COUNTRY IS BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY!