by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
LAS VEGAS – All FilAm female boxer Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton wanted for her birthday was a win by knockout.
Unfortunately, some birthday wishes don’t come true.
Last July 5, the now 28-year-old Julaton battled undefeated Johanna Mendez to a draw in a bantamweight match during the undercard of the Ricardo Torres vs. Kendall Holt championship bout at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
It was Julaton’s second fight in ten days and one has to wonder if that had something to do in her less than stellar performance. Julaton’s last fight against Salana Jordan in Lemoore ended in 37 seconds of the first round. Mendez proved to be a tougher opponent with the match lasting all six rounds.
The 18-year-old Mendez confounded the Filipino with her slippery style. Julaton was the aggressive fighter throughout the match, while Mendez sat back and waited to counterpunch.
The style proved to be effective against the stronger Julaton. Early in the bout, Julaton landed a few overhand rights that snapped Mendez’s head back. It appeared Julaton would dominate the smaller fighter.
However, Mendez adjusted in the mid-rounds. Mendez waited for Julaton to come in and attack before catching Julaton with a few blows of her own. Every time Julaton came in, Mendez would throw a punch, clinch or move to the left or right.
In the fourth round, Julaton suffered a gash over her right eye from an incidental headbutt.
With blood flowing down from one side of her face, Julaton appeared frustrated with Mendez’s style. Julaton chased the quicker Mendez around the ring and would land the stronger and more effective punches, however, not enough to sustain a considerable attack.
Mendez did not land any significant blows but threw and landed enough punches to convince some of the judges that she won a few rounds.
Ringside judge Richard Ocasio scored the bout 58-56 for Mendez. Judge Bill Graham had it 55-59 Julaton. Judge Paul Smith scored it 57-57 even.
After the match, Julaton was clearly disappointed with her performance.
“I would have been happy with the win but a draw – it’s not a win, it’s not a lost so I’m still considered undefeated,” said Julaton. “But I look at it differently, coming in everybody knows I have Manny Pacquiao’s trainer [Freddie Roach] in the corner and we wanted to win. I can’t blame the judges… I just have to get back to work.”
Roach said they have a lot of work to do. Mendez exposed a part of Julaton’s game that future opponents might try to capitalize on against her, according to Roach.
“It was a very close fight,” he said. “She [Mendez] had a very difficult style. She sort of just waited and counterpunched. I thought Ana was the aggressor. I thought Ana made the fight happen. If it weren’t for her there wouldn’t be a fight…but it’s a learning experience and Ana will learn from it.”
“Mendez had a very difficult style,” he added. “She waited and counterpunched. The girl set precedence on how they fight Ana now. We’ll have to change that up. We’ll jab a little bit more, use feints. It’s a work in progress.”
Other Undercard Matches
Glen Gonzalez of North Cotabato, Philippines won a unanimous decision against Robert DaLuz in the same undercard of the Holt vs. Torres championship bout. The 22-year-old southpaw outpointed the slower DaLuz in their six-round match.
Holt vs. Pacquiao?
Kendall Holt made a statement with his impressive first round knockout win against Ricard Torres for the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship belt. With Pacquiao possibly moving up in weight again to 140 pounds, Holt wants his piece against the Filipino champion.
“Everybody keeps saying ‘Ricky Hatton against Pacquiao’, but how about me,” said Holt to the Asian Journal after the match.
Pacquiao’s camp has expressed his desire to fight British people’s champion Ricky Hatton, if Pacquiao ever moves up to the 140-pound junior welterweight division.