May 4, 2001

Bullfight World...
by Lyn Sherwood

Rafael Giron Dies in Venezuela

Rafael Girón, the last of the original dynasty of the Giron bullfighting brothers, has died in Maracay, Venezuela, only two weeks after suffering a devastating stroke.

Born in Maracay in 1937, the brother of César and Curro Girón, Rafael made his public debut in 1952, appearing in a variety of small town festivals. He wore the suit of lights of the first time, July 27, 1953, in Maracay, alternating with Curro Girón and Paco Roldan.

He made his Spanish debut in Barcelona, April 1, 1956, and on Sept. 27, also in Barcelona, both Curro and Rafael received their alternatives from César Rafael confirmed his alternativa in Plaza Las Ventas, Madrid, on June 8, 1957.

But, in 1963, not having encountered good luck as a matador, Rafael became a banderillero for his brothers.

César Girón died in an auto crash in the mid-60s, while Curro died in surgery in the 70s. Rafael Giron. Q.E.P.D.


Garza Cuts The Only Ears in Tijuana Corrida

By Gary Sloan

Some 5,000 people were on hand, April 29, in Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana to see the third corrida de toros of the season, which featured Antonio Urrutia, Enrique Garza, and Jeronimo, facing bulls from Dario Gonzalez


In still another step downward in his declining career, Senior Sword Urrutia faced the first bull, the 425-kilo Gabacho, which he received with verónicas, climaxed with the media. He chose not to place banderillas to the very dangerous bull, but turned in some good work in the third act. After missing the first sword, he dropped Gabacho with a full thrust and was applauded.

With his second bull, Canchanillo, 475 kilos, Urrutia opened with a puerta gayola, which resulted in a nearly disastrous collision from which the matador barely escaped without injury. The balance of his work was full of good intentions, but resulted in troubles with the sword. Again, Urrutia was applauded.


Enrique's first bull, Norteño, at 510 kilos, was the biggest and best of the afternoon. Garza opened with nice veronicas and a good media. The matador allowed only one pic, then placed three fine pairs of banderillas. Norteño was so brave it kept its mouth closed throughout all three acts. Garza worked well to both sides, but lost awards when he required one sword and seven descabello thrusts to terminate the performance. Applause.

The flamboyant Enrique Garza. File photo.

With his second bull, Muñeco, Garza did some nice cape work, then placed three pairs of short banderillas, al quiebro. His faena was just average, but a tremendous sword thrust, patas arriba, brought rather generous awards of two ears.


With his first bull, Playero, 450-kilo creature, Jeronimo opened with excellent veronicas, followed by a beautiful media. Although the bull was rather uncooperative, Jeronimo gave it a stylish third act, killed with one sword and a desca-bello, and was applauded.

His second bull, Illegal, allowed more great cape work. But, the third act was rather uneven, with some good work on the left, but no consistency. After killing with an off-center sword thrust and one descabello, Jeronimo was applauded.

Thus ended a rather average day. No announcement was made for the next corrida, but Bullfight World will keep you posted.


Lyn Sherwood's newest book, Yankees In The Afternoon/An Illustrated History of American Bullfighters, will come off the presses, this month. It contains the histories of the eight gringo matadors, plus a dozen or so novilleros, as well as an entire section of aficionados practicos (amateurs). The hardbound, 7" x 10" book, which has 208 pages, including an introduction by Barnaby Conrad, is published by McFarland, and is available at $45 per copy, via

Another Lyn Sherwood book, Ballet of Death, a large format taurine photo essay in Spanish, will be available for sale in October. He also has two novels, one of which, SuperFan, a funny English language story about professional football, will be available in October, and his bullfight novel, No Room For Poets, will be published, in Spanish, next spring.

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