September 10, 2004

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

A Big Day in Tijuana!

According to Tijuana correspondent Gary Sloan, last Sunday’s corrida de toros in José Lopez Hurtado’s Beautiful Bullring by the Sea was one of the best afternoons of the season. Some 10,000 spectators watched six bulls from Monte Christo, for Matadores Miguel Espinoso “Armillita Chico”, Eulalio López “El Zotoluco”, and José Maria Luevano.

Armillita Chico

With his first bull “Inolvidable,” at 470 kilos, Armillita Chico was not much with the capote, but offered a good media verónica, for the climaxing remate. After the pic’ing and the banderillas, the faena that followed was grand, with beautiful muletazos on both sides. But, it was Miguelito’s naturales that really made the day. They were long, slow and precise. Following a great sword, Armillita was granted two well deserved ears.

With his second bull, Miguel opened with good veronicas and a fine media veronica. In his faena, Armillita complied, finished with a good sword, and one more ear awarded.

Zotoloco

Eulalio López’ first bull. “Extraemos” (480 kilos) was a terrible animal. Even with Zotoluco’s formidable skill and talent, the bull was so bad that nothing could be done. With his second animal, “Amigo del Arte” (470 kilos), Lalo demonstrated why he has become a true figura in el mundo de toreo. After some great work with the capote, he gave one of the greatest, most emotional faenas that I’ve ever seen in this plaza de toros. He dominated the bull on both sides with lots of parar, mandar y templar.

Zotoluco has reached that point in his career, where he gives all that he has, every time. With great patience and skill in his citing, he delivered a performance of extraordinary toreo. A great estocada with the bull dropping quickly, and ears and tail were awarded.

José Maria Luevano

With his first bull, “Hasta Pronto” (470 kilos), José demonstrated some fine cape work, with nice veronicas and a crisp media. Following the pics and the sticks, he delivered a great faena, which although consisting of only a few moments on the left, it still was great. A full estocada, and the bull dropped, quickly. Two ears.

With his second animal, “Buen Futuro” (485 kilos), Luevano, suffered the same fate as had Zotoluco with the first bull of the afternoon. A completely dull, and manso toro with which nothing could be accomplished.

In all, I considered the afternoon a complete triumph. All three of the mata-dores left on the shoulders of the crowd, and everyone seemed pleased by the experience. The next corrida will be the annual city-sponsored affair, Sunday, the 26th of September, at El Toreo de Tijuana. The cartel will be Eulalio López El Zotoluco, José Maria Luevano, and Alfredo Gutierrez, with six bulls from Teofilo Gomez.

For those who don’t think that “indultitis” is infecting the bullfight world, consider the following: Last Sunday, in Nuevo Laredo, three bulls were granted the life-sparing honor. It has to be a record, and not a very proud one.

The novillada season in Mexico City is wrapping up. In recent novilladas, Humberto Flores was ovationed; Christian Aparicio received a turn of the ring; and Christian Ortega cut one ear.

Bulls of José Maria Arturo Huerta were presented for José Maria Luevano cut one ear, José Luis Angelina won an ear, and Alejandro Amaya, of Tijuana, received ovations.

Facing bulls of Fernando de La Mora, El Zotoluco won three ears and Rafael Ortega cut two ears.

In a bloodless bullfight, celebrated Sept. 5 in Fred Renk’s Plaza Santa Maria, in Santa Elena, Texas, Longinos Mendoza, performing as the sole matador, faced three animals of Rafael Mendoz. Mendoza cut two ears from his first, one from his second, and took a vuelta, accompanied by the bull breeder, following his performance to a tough third bull.

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