It’s easy to be repulsed by prize fighting.
The sight of two combatants spilling each other’s blood on a square mat of canvas is enough to turn most observers away.
One such observer was once Ana Julaton.
“I never grew up wanting to be a boxer,” said Julaton, a Daly City native of Filipino extraction. “I thought it was too violent. But I just didn’t understand it.”
But that very violence wasn’t enough to keep her at bay. She was introduced to the sport about eight years ago. And 10 wins into her professional fist-fighting career, Julaton, 31, now owns a world title.
And though she now brands pugilism as her “destiny,” anything can happen in a boxing ring. And a boxing ring is where she’ll be Saturday when she confronts fellow 122-pounder Yesica Marcos in Mendoza, Argentina.
Marcos, just shorter than Julaton, is an undefeated Argentine fighter who employs a mindset that stepping backwards is tantamount to treason.
Marcos sports a perfect record and at 26, has youth. Julaton isn’t worried about that.
“My focus is basically me,” she said.
She trains at famed trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym, an unkind facility for those looking to be coddled.
“I’ve learned a lot from him,” she said of Roach, who won’t be in her corner Saturday. “Even though he won’t be there for this fight, I can already tell some of the words that he would say.”
Julaton is easily aggravated and motivated. She finds motivation in everything from being called soft due to her large smile, to the sexism that has plagued women’s boxing in previous decades.
“I have a big chip on my shoulder,” she said. “Because I have something and there are people out there that are trying to take it from me.”