This is the chronicle of an announced ending. The bitter story of a square, once a reference, which has ended up being a town square. If last Thursday it was the bullfighting critic of this newspaper, Antonio Lorca, the one who titled La Maestranza is a laptop, after the eleventh bullfight of the San Miguel Fair in Seville, this afternoon it was Madrid’s turn. Las Ventas has degenerated in such a way that it is difficult to differentiate it from a talanqueras plaza.
And it is very sad. And serious, very serious. At a time like the present, in which the bullfighting festival is beginning to see the light, after the almost deadly thrust of the pandemic, bullfighting cannot afford to lose its reference beacon. But perhaps it is too late. Because little or nothing remains of that square that gave and took away, the one that measured rigorously and demandingly the different protagonists of this show.
Now Madrid cheers it up and applauds everything. It does not matter how the bullfighter is positioned or the way in which he executes the sets and crutches. Or how the bull is stung, banderilleé or killed. Anything goes. The knowledgeable and demanding fans have disappeared, and their place is occupied by an audience that seeks fun and easy triumph.
All this explains why Antonio Ferrera left with one ear and between applause after failing miserably in his trap with Adolfo Martín’s bulls. In other times, after such a performance, what he would have heard on the way to the van would have been a fight.
Because the trophy he obtained in injury time cannot and should not make up the firecracker who starred in. A shared firecracker, yes, with the farmer Adolfo Martín. Not one of the six bulls he fought passed the fighting test. What lack of caste! How dull! What vulgarity! A bullfight that went from less to nothing, and that ended with a fifth bull that collapsed at the beginning of the task and a sixth that ended up brazenly cracking.
But the history. Amid the general surprise, and with the night already closed, Ferrera decided to ask for the hat (later he would also ask for the second one, given the presidential refusal). He hadn’t had enough with six. So the seventh came out, with Pallarés’s iron, and received it with a handful of opening shots that the public welcomed with rejoicing. And, after a discreet third of rods, he took the flags and shared them with several members of his gang: Fernando Sánchez, José Chacón and Joao Diego Ferreira, who nailed a monumental pair.
With the crutch, and before a noble and bland animal, he fought at medium height, with the crutch almost always delayed, many times out of place. He did not finish a single crutch, but it did not matter. As it did not matter that the thrust was not perfect. He could not leave empty.
Before, in front of the six headlines, he had only managed to greet an ovation after the fight of the second, a noble, outcast and short-lived bull, like everyone else. Located next to the line three, Ferrera was placed in front and always cited with the crutch very late. And, thus, at the unipase he built a work in which only a handful of clean and temperate natives stood out. Three. At most, four.
The rest was absolutely nothing. A desert of emotions in which the silver men excelled. Fernando Sánchez, Javier Valdeoro, José Chacón, José Manuel Montoliú and Joao Diego Ferreira had to dismount after shining with the sticks. And some of them almost pay dearly for it. It was the case of Montoliú, who, after a great pair from Sánchez, and in a gesture of self-love, really played it against a standing bull that ended up catching him badly, fortunately without consequences. Bullfighting, which was always called …
Adolfo Martín / Antonio Ferrera
Bulls by Adolfo Martín, uneven in presentation, serious ahead, but some very fair to finish, and very out of date; and a hat (7th) by Pallarés, correct presentation, noble and bland.
Antonio Ferrera: two punctures, short perpendicular and crossed lunge and two locks (silence ); (warning) bummer (greetings after slight ear request); two punctures and fallen lunge (silence); puncture, deep puncture fallen, five hairs (warning) and another hair loss (silence); two punctures (warning) and lunge slightly stretched and crossed (silence); puncture, deep puncture (warning), two punctures and three hairs (silence); half lunge somewhat stretched and crossed (ear).
Las Ventas bullring. Sunday, October 3. 6th of the Autumn Fair. About three quarters of entry (on a maximum allowed capacity of 50%).