Ruminations on Enrique Ponce’s return to the ring | The bull, by the horns | Culture


The announcement of Enrique Ponce’s return to the ring was not a surprise, but it is surprising that he returns to dressing up in lights after his retirement in June 2021, and that he does so after the celebration of the main fairs.

The decision of someone who was a very important figure in bullfighting gives rise to controversy over the opportunity to see him again on posters and the interest that his presence may arouse among fans.

Go ahead and say that Enrique Ponce has the right to take the path that he considers most beneficial for his interests, and if there is a businessman willing to hire him, there is nothing to object to; And, what’s more, if the public stops by the box office to see it, it’s a real treat.

When he hung up the suit of lights in June 2021, Ponce had long ceased to be of interest as a leading figure.

But that is the business of the businessman, who glimpses a possibility of profit, and of the bullfighter himself, who makes money by kissing alberos of little responsibility.

A different issue is the contribution that Ponce’s presence makes to bullfighting at this time, in need of the renewal of a ranks full of veterans and the emergence of new faces that excite the fans.

Without any intention of disturbing, the first thing that should be remembered is the famous anecdote attributed to Juan Belmonte in which it is said that, while in Madrid, a retired bullfighter approached him and said: ‘Master, I am going to return’, and the man from Triana responded: ‘Has anyone called you?’

Enrique Ponce, in the Plaza de San Sebastián in 2018.
Enrique Ponce, in the Plaza de San Sebastián in 2018.Javier Etxezarreta (EFE)

Let it be known, Ponce has been called by businessman Simón Casas, who has offered him the Plaza de Nimes so that he can re-enter his arena on May 17. Or perhaps it was the Valencian bullfighter who called the French bullfighter?

Be that as it may, the truth is that there is no clamor among bullfighting fans demanding the return of the bullfighter. There isn’t. When he decided to hang up his suit of lights, Ponce had long since ceased to be as interesting as in his best days because he himself had opted for the easy route of the mechanical bull with which he found himself in a comfortable zone of tranquility in his role as an expert nurse.

It is also known that the return of the bullfighters is a double-edged sword; With rare exceptions, there are legions of those who put on the suit of lights again and go through the ranks without pain or glory; Perhaps this would not be the case of Ponce, which has a high reputation in many places, but be careful not to tempt fate.

Welcome to the bullfighter; but, if he returns, may he have the honor of deserving such a distinguished appellation.

The truth is that current bullfighting cries out for a rejuvenation of the posters, new bullfighters with different shapes and the ability to awaken illusions. And there are, of course; but you have to make way for them and make room for them. (By the way, the reappearance of Ponce would take away positions from other bullfighters with the desire for triumph that the Valencian had in his beginnings).

Finally, has anyone missed Ponce during his time off?

It seems not. Suppose, however, that the bullfighter precipitated his retirement for personal reasons, and now he feels the call to ratify his status as a leading figure and the legitimate desire to retire in the smell of crowds.

If so, which may be, let it be announced in the Fallas, at the April Fair later, close its admirable career with six bulls in San Isidro, and cover the mouths of all the disbelievers, like this one who writes, who distrust of his intentions.

Only in this way will he put a finishing touch to his long and successful career as a bullfighter. The rest smells like mothballs, he tastes rancid, and, once again, it will be the demonstration that bullfighters – in this case, Enrique Ponce – only intend to obtain financial returns from their time in this profession.

Welcome to the bullfighter. But, if he returns, may he have the honor of deserving such a distinguished appellation.

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