August 5, 2005

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Arruza Outstanding But The Judge Failed to Reward Him

Sunday, July 31st in Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana, saw a light crowd turn out to see Manolo Arruza, Eulalio López “El Zotoluco,” and Juan Antonio Adame deal with a herd of bulls from Marrón. According to Correspondent Gary Sloan, although El Zotoluco was the most triumphant matador, the plaza judge failed to properly reward the outstanding efforts of Manolo Arruza. The son of “El Ciclón” has just turned 50, is in excellent shape, and his toreo was outstanding.

With his first bull, “Soberano,” at 485 kilos, Arruza’s work with the capote was very good. After the picadors work was done, Arruza delivered a fantastic faena. His derechazos were strong, but it was the naturales, that I’ll remember for a long time. They were beautiful, long, and filled with temple. They brought down the house.

After several tandas on the left, Manolo capped it with a terrific sword placement that killed the bull patas arriba. But, for whatever reason, the plaza judge granted him only one ear.

With his second toro, “Tomillo” (490 kilos), he offered almost a carbon copy of his first lídia. His cape work was good, and his faena was grand. Once again dominating his animal on both sides. But, as before, it was his naturales that stood out and made the performance. A sword that was too low denied Manolo any awards. Applause. What a shame. His faena was superb.

El Zotoluco isn’t considered the number one figura in Mexico for nothing, and has been delivering strong, honest performances, every time that he appears.

On Sunday, he had to follow the two strong faenas by Manolo Arruza, so he really turned it up a notch. With his first toro, the 470-kilo “Maquillador,” he gave some great cape work that he finished with a media veronica that yanked everybody out of their seats.

Zotoluco’s faenas are usually not very aesthetic, but very strong, emotionally, because he dominates his bulls so completely. Sunday he had both things going, domination and smooth, fluid passes, including several tandas of passes en redondo, then a great sword. He won two ears.

With his second bull, “Paisano”, at 500 kilos, Zotoluco was, once again good with the cape. After the pic’ing, he offered another grand faena, much the same as the first, but with more naturales. Then, after three strong petitions for the indulto by the crowd, Lopez went in with a sword that was low, but very effective, and ears and tail were granted. The matador and the bull breeder took a turn of the ring.

Adame unfortunately, was the very junior man on card with a couple of heavyweights. He placed his own banderillas on both of his bulls, had a few scattered moments with his first toro, but none with his second, and he was so completely overshadowed by the performances of his counterparts, his efforts were barely noticeable. In any case, it was a super corrida, with some very memorable moments.

The next Tijuana corrida will be August 14th, at “El Toreo,” and will feature young matadores from Peru. Juan Carlos Cubas, Omar Villaseñor, and Ismaél Rodriquez will encounter bulls from “Real de Saltillo.”

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According to unconfirmed reports from Spain, the great Paco Camino, one of the finest toreros to ever don a suit of lights, has successfully undergone a liver transplant and is recovering in good style.

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Matador “El Espartáco” is making another return to the arenas. On Aug. 6, he will perform in Huesca, giving the alternativa to Diego Luna. The witness will be Luna’s brother, Tomás. Later, he will sponsor the alternativa of César Giron, the newest matador of the Giron dynasty.

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An afternoon of rejoneadores proved successful, July 30, in Huelva. Fermín Bohorquez received silence for his first performance, but returned to win an ear from his second bull. Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza won three ears, while Antonio Cartagena was awarded a pair of ears from his second bull of the Bohorquez ranch.

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