June 22, 2001

Bullfight World...

by Lyn Sherwood

Cavazos and Barrera Triumph in Mexicali

Beneath nearly intolerable heat, all three matadors —Eloy Cavazos, José Daniel Ayala, Antonio Barrera, and Rejoneador Enrique Fraga— registered impressive triumphs, June 17, in Mexicali, in the annual Rosa de Mexicali corrida. The trio faced a herd from San Pablo and one from La Mision, which proved to be excellent toros.

Cavazos won two ears from his second bull, while Ayala took a singular ear from his first. Spanish Matador Antonio Barrera won two ears, while the rejoneador was limited to applause.


There are good bullfights and there are bad bullfights. But, most, such as that presented June 17 in Plaza Monumental de Reynosa, are just plain average, bordering on the dull.

A herd from the ranch of Don Arturo Garcia were more than their matadors, Enrique Garza and "El Conde," could handle. As animals of brave blood should, these presented problems, but their matadors were unable to overcome them. The toros were large, mature and imposing. As a result, very little of taurine value was in evidence. Each had a short charge, which could have been overcome, had their matadors run the hand in full passes, rather than the half passes that contributed to the difficulties of the bulls.


The slightly pudgy Enrique Garza accomplished little with the cape to the first bull of the day. After one pic, Garza placed banderillas in acceptable fashion. In the third act, the matador realized very little. He killed with a rather low sword placement and was rewarded with silence, while the ring assistants spent more time than had the actual performance, trying to convince the plaza mules to cart off the dead bovine. Such was finally accomplished by a dozen or so men, dragging it off with a rope. Such was the case during the balance of the afternoon. It was rather a silly, incongruous sight.

With his second bull, Garza opened with a fine set of veronicas, which were the highlight of the day. This was the best bull of the afternoon, one that could have provided a triumphant performance to any matador who was willing to invest the courage passes which demonstrated far too much respect for the bull and far too little respect for the demands of the world's most dangerous performing art. He did complete the action with an excellent sword placement.

El Conde

Antonio Rios "El Conde" is a good torero, but, at least on this afternoon, apparently not good enough to effectively deal with difficult bulls. Good placements of banderillas were his total contribution to the day. As a matter of fact, outside of some disgracefully wide muleta passes and suffocating amounts of crowd-pleasing, but meaningless, bologna with his second bull, El Conde did nothing to justify his doctorate. He was just as intimidated as was Garza, but his enthusiastic personality effectively masked his ineptitude, at least as far as the unsophisticated crowd was concerned.

At the end of the afternoon, El Conde won the trophy as the most triumphant matador of the day, something for which he should have been deeply ashamed. A far better opportunity is on tap, July 8, when Mexico's most promising young matador, Fernando Ochoa, will head the card, which will feature another herd of Arturo Garcia bulls.

Fernando Ochoa


In Chihuahua, June 17, bulls of Santo Domingo were presented to Arturo Díaz "El Coyo," Javier Gutierrez "El Cachorro," and Oscar Sanroman. Sanroman, who was the only matador left, after Coyo and Cachorro were injured, managed to win a pair of ears from his second bull.


In Nuevo Laredo, bulls of Rafael Mendoza and one of Cuco Peña provided a big afternoon for Mexican ace Fernando Ochoa, who cut three ears. Jerónimo earned one ear, as did Jorge Gutiérrez.


Plaza Monumental de Toros de Madrid celebrated its 79th birthday, June 17. The ring was inaugurated June 17, 1951, with Antonio Bienvenida, Manolo Dos Santos and Mexican Juan Silveti, the latter of whom confirmed his alternativa. The bulls were from Manuel Sánchez Cobaleda. Silveti won an ear from the bull of his confirmation.


It just wasn't a good weekend for Mexican Matador Uriel Moreno "El Zapata." Suffering a goring in the right leg on Saturday in Puebla, the matador returned to perform Sunday but complained of a severe stomach ache. At the end of the afternoon, he returned to the hospital, where surgeons removed his appendix.

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