Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Manolo Mejia

During the 1980s, Manolo Mejia became one of the foremost of Mexican toreros. Starting out as a child facing salves, he rose to stardom as a novillero paired alongside Valente Arellano and Ernesto Belmont. Together they formed quite a team, sharing the banderillas. giving motivated faenas and scoring numerous triumphs.

The three way competition ended shortly after Arellano took the alternativa, for in the summer of 1984, he was killed in a tragic motorcycle crash.

Both Belmont and Mejia went on to become matadores, taking their respective alternativas and continuing in the profession.

Mejia went further  than Belmont and endured much longer in the bullrings, where he is still active to this daym though not with the consistency of times passed. He made it to Spain and France as well, where was was continually impressive . He even faced the Miuras.

Tours of South America also proved profitable, including a successful tour of Peru. 

Tijuana has been a ring where Mejia has scored repeated triumphs, exciting the crowd with a combination of kneeling passes and cortos placements with the banderillas, along with some genuine artistic moments.

The Calafia bullring in Mexicali is another plaza where he has gained great cartel, again offering a variety in his work that thrills all the aficionados in one form or another.

The Plaza Monumental in Juarez was also a plaza where he registered many triumphs, prior to the ring being torn down some years back.  One of his best afternoons came in a corrida there many years ago alongside Rafaelillo and the late Pepe Luis Hurtado, where all three men cut awards and with three distinct styles, managed individual success beyond the hopes of any fans in the stands.

Yet Mejia has not been taken seriously just along the border, having been seen in virtually every major bullring in the Mexican interior and many minor plazas as well. He has been seen often in Plaza Mexico, where aiming other things, he took part in bestowing the title of matadora upon female bullfighter, Hilda Tenorio in a very important corrida.

Over the years, Mejia has alternated with all of the Mexican stars of his era,  including Manolo Arruza, Federico Pizarro, Alfredo Gutierrez, Jorge Gutierrez, Miguel ":Armillita:, Eloy Cavazos, Mariano Ramos, Fermin Spinola and more, bringing out the best in them as well as himself.  In many cases, he has outlasted his rivals.

Ole, Manolo, ole!

1 comment:

  1. I cant imagine how manolo faced a miura, he is really short