May 29, 1998


Bullfight World...
by Lyn Sherwood

Donny Brook in the Afternoon

The Memorial Weekend bullfight crowd threatened to become an unruly mob, last Sunday, when a gift bull, paid for by Ismaél Gómez "Mayito," broke a horn mere seconds after entering the arena, and the judge of the plaza refused to exchange it, insisting that it was Mayito's bull, and that he should fight it. The crowd refused to accept the decision and threw a verbal tantrum that, for a while, was on the verge of escalating into full blown riot.

The crowd was wrong. According to the official regulations that govern bullfighting in Tijuana, a gift full is not subject to being exchanged. The plaza judge ordered Mayito to dispatch the animal, but the matador refused. It was finally, removed from the arena. Therefore, technically speaking, Mayito received the three avisos. (This reporter would like to have been a little bird, in the empresa's office, when the subject of paying for the gift bull came up.)

The fracas developed, following a not bad but certainly not great afternoon, featuring Mayito, Enrique Garza, and Uriel Moreno "El Zapata", who encountered an excellent herd of bulls from the ranch of Corlomé. Each weighing in the neighborhood of 500 kilos, they were complete animals, filled with bravery and nobility. They performed well against the horses. But although three ears were cut in the afternoon, most of the bulls encountered toreros who weren't able to resolve their problems.

Mayito

The Tijuanense's first bull was a handful. It offered problems that could only be solved via honest, hard nosed torero. Mayito has never been described as such a reality that he demonstrated by, first, dedicating to the crowd, then offering a faena exclusively of horn-to-horn work. Under the circumstances, the dedication was rather insulting to the crowd.

His second bull was much easier. Mayito received it with one Verónica, then, without a remate, switched to crowd-pleasing Chichuelinas. He placed banderillas in acceptable fashion. In the faena, Ismaél did offer a couple of series of very good derechazos but spent most of his time conning the crowd with his fanny-wagging cuteness. However, at the end, he discovered serious problems with the sword and heard two avisos.

Garza

Enrique Garza's first lídia nearly put this reporter to sleep. Garza's cape work, banderillas placements, and faena de muleta were mechanical, without passion. He frequently gave passes, but didn't actually torear. But, his sword placement was spectacular. For that, alone, he received an ear.

With his second bull, Garza gave the best performance of the day. His cape work, banderillas, and muleta were all quite good. And, once again, he placed a fabulous sword. Another ear was cut, but it was much more worthy than was his first ear.

El Zapata

This enthusiastic torero, who reminds this reporter of a young Raul Garcia, offered the best cape work of the day, to both of his bulls. He also placed banderillas, in very good style. Following a decent lídia to his first bull, he killed well and received an ear.

It appeared that he had something going with his second bull. He had built another ear-worthy performance, until he raised the sword. The entry wasn't bad but he should take some lessons with the descabello. He heard two avisos and was seconds from hearing the third, when the bull finally surrendered.

In all, it was one of those afternoons that will not be long remembered.

*****

This coming Sunday will feature the return of the very talented Miguel de La Hoz, who career has been given a boost by changing managers. He is currently being represented by retired Matador Joselito Huerta.

De La Hoz will alternate with two newcomers to Tijuana, "El Conde" and "El Negro Montana," facing bulls from Mariano Ramirez.