September 17, 1999

Bullfight World...
by Lyn Sherwood

An Exciting Afternoon is on Tap, Sunday in Tijuana

Those aficionados who enjoy abundant amounts of salsa picante on their bullfights will likely have a lot of excitement to cheer, this Sunday, in Plaza El Toreo de Tijuana.

The card will feature three matadors who have registered impressive triumphs in the downtown arena, this season. Eulalio López "El Zotoluco" will alternate with Uriel Moreno "El Zapata" and the revelation of the season, "Jeronimo," facing a sextet of bulls from Begoña.

Uriel Moreno 'El Zapata' will be hoping to repeat his previous Tijuana triumph, when he performs with 'El Zotoluco' and Jeronimo, facing bulls of Begoña, in Plaza El Toreo, this Sunday.

In his last appearance, Aug. 18, El Zotoluco won a pair of ears for a performance that had much too recommend it, but likewise a lot to make experienced aficionados turn thumbs down. Indeed, although his faena had some very good moments, he concentrated too much on tricks and tremendismo, which thrilled the sunny side crowd. But, so what? The sunny side hedonists attend the corridas in order to emulate a bunch of longshoremen, hooting at sexy women, walking through the stands, guzzling beer, and being entertained and frightened by the good-looking young men in the pretty costumes.

In truth, those unsophisticated who are inspired by classless toreo, and who don't know the difference between a Verónica and cerveza, are usually so filled with the latter, they couldn't care, in the first place. Perhaps, they should be afforded saliva tests, before purchasing their tickets, or at least be required to bring a veteri-narian's certificate that they've been inoculated against rabies.

El Zotoluco has had some big afternoons in La Plaza Mexico and other more demanding arenas in the interiors. But, as so many others of his "style," when he performs in a frontier plaza, he thinks that he has to honk it up.

To each, his own.

El Zapata, on the other hoof, who also won a pair of ears in previous Tijuana appearances, is a much more balanced torero. In addition to offering enough of the pseudo-gutsmanship to entertain the sunny side, as well as substantial artistry for those who appreciate honesty and who understand what's going on, down there on the sand.

For, when the nonsense ends, El Zapata can perform with great temple and enormous art. He is a fine torero, and this observer looks forward to seeing him this Sunday.

The third matador on the card is the amazing youngster who is known only as Jero-nimo. He's comparatively green, but is, nevertheless, a torero of great artistry and honest interpretation of the Art of Cúcharez. He works well with the cape, and at times, is brilliant with the muleta. His nemesis seems to be the sword.

And, in recent presentations, the bulls of Begoña have proven to be brave, noble, and strong, so we'll be looking forward to seeing them.

So, we'll see what happens. No matter what, the afternoon should be highlighted by some exciting competition in banderillas placements. The action begins at 4:30.



On the mend and expected to return to the rings, this month, is Julián López, "El Juli," who received a grave goring, Aug. 30, in Calahorra (La Rioja), Spain. The goring, in the femur, between the pelvis and his right knee, was a big one, leaving trajectories of 20, 15, and 15 centimeters, respectively.

El Juli, who has already earned $10 million this season in Spain, received his goring during his 32nd performance in the month of August.

Will he fulfill his contract to perform in Tijuana? Who knows?


Not doing nearly as well is Maria Luisa Paniagua "El Morocho", who announced from his Jackson Memorial Hospital bed, in Miami, that he fully intends to return to the rings.

But such may be only wishful thinking. The novillero was gravely gored June 20, when the bull's horn totally destroyed his rectum and caused severe injuries to his spine. According to medical reports, El Morocho is now able to move his legs, but he is nowhere near being able to walk.

If he ever returns, it won't be until the new century. Of greater concern to his doctors is whether he'll ever be able to escape living in a wheelchair.

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