Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton handily defeated Jessica Villafranca to retain her WBO Super bantamweight title last night. Julaton won a unanimous decision with the judges scoring the ten-round bout, 98-91, 96-93, and 97-20.
Ana Julaton set to fight Jessica Villafranca in Mexico!
Current WBO Super Bantamweight champion, and the darling of California and the Philippines, Ana Julaton (9-2-1, 1-KO) will be defending her title against Mexico’s own Jessica Villafranca (12-3-0, 6-KOs) on September 30th at the Polifuncional in Kanasin, Yucatan, Mexico.
Julaton will be the second American championship boxer in as many months to defend her title in Mexico, following on the heals of Kaliesha West who successfully defeated Villafranca last month in a highly rated showdown broadcast on Mexico’s Televisio network.
“I want to show the Boxing World that I will fight anyone, anywhere, at any time and will do my utmost to represent the proud Filipino nation in the great traditions that they have come to expect,” said Julaton in a recent press release announcing the bout.
With respect to the matchmaking for this bout, Villafranca is an interesting choice given her recent fight record. The 18-year-old fighter lost a match to Erica Farias at 133-1/2 pounds this past February when she was dropped in the first round. Villafranca went down to 121 pounds for her next bout on August 7th against Maria Jimenez and won (purportedly near her natural weight), and then dropped down to 118 pounds to fight against Kaliesha West on August 20th. Given Villafranca’s relative size, that’s a lot of weight to gain and lose over a short period and while she will be fighting Julaton at 122 pounds, her weight fluctuations may well affect her fighting abilities.
The other interesting aspect of this fight is the fact that as popular and well-promoted as Julaton’s fights have been — her fight team is electing to go to Mexico where women’s boxing is not only popular, but given the respect it deserves in terms of media exposure, live television coverage and fans in the stands. The question is how self-fulling is this? Is it a case of — if you promote it they will come? It sure seems like it because by putting the product out there, fans have obviously voted with their support which would seem to be why women’s boxing has heated up of late. It is also an impetus for women to take up the sweet science — which will only serve to improve the sport.
The Julaton-Villafranca bout is being promoted by Orion Sports Management and Yucatan Boxing and will be broadcast via the Philippines GMA Network worldwide. It is also expected that the bout will be televised on Mexican television as well as available via video streaming on-line.