The retired Mexican matador, Mariano Ramos, who achieved international stardom in a career spanning over three decades with a minimal amount of gorings, passed away from, a gastronomical ailment this October. He was 59.
Ramos had been a star of Mexican rodeo while a teenager, before entering the bullring. He had only a short career as a novillero before taking the alternativa in 1971 at the hands of Manolo Martinez and Paquirri in Irapuato. This was confirmed in Mexico City the same year with Martinez and Antonio Lomelin bestowing the honors.
Ramos first rose to stardom on the Mexican border, where he would be a longstanding figura in 1973. In may of that year he appeared in Tijuana alongside El Charro and Alfredo Leal, both of whom had been fighting bulls before he was born. He overshadowed the veterans, cut two ears from the final bull of the day and left on the shoulders of the crowd. in September of that same season, he firmly established himself in Juarez, Alternating with Estudiante and Curro Rivera, who cut no awards, Ramos again saved the day but winning a tail from the final bull of the corrida.
Though he cut no ears in his Las Ventas presentation, Ramos left a lasting impression on the Spanish fans and took a vuelta around the ring receiving the applause of the crowd. This could be no means be considered a failure, being it was in front of conceivably the toughest audience in the world.
The matador had nearly 30 corridas overall that season in Spain.
Within both the major and smaller Spanish plazas, Ramos was impressive, especially with the faenas he put together and unlike many Mexican toreros, had no problem handling the larger Spanish bulls.
Had he chosen to stay or accept additional bookings over the years, Ramos could have become a figuras in Spain, but seemed to prefer his native Mexico.
On Mexican soil, he continued to triumph in Tijuana and Juarez, as well as Mexico City, Leon, Guadalajara, Mexicali, Aguascalientes, Pachuca, Nuevo Laredo and many other locations. He became a major attraction in the Latin American rings.
Ramos likewise alternated with many visiting Spanish figuras, such a Francisco Ruiz Miguel and Jaime Ostos.
Other toreros Ramos was contracted to alternate with on regular occasions included such notables as Manolo Arruza, Guillermo Capetillo, Cesar Rincon, Jorge Gutierrez. Eloy Cavazos and Marcos Ortega. .
Unlike many of his Mexican counterparts, Ramos never placed his own banderillas. He was, however excellent with capote and muleta. Usually, he killed well.
The fact that he left placing the banderillas to his helpers made for an interesting contrast the numerous times he shared the bill with Paquirri.
In both Mexico and Spain, Ramos and Paquirri alternated with each other several times. Paquirri, however, was killed by a bull in 1984. Ramos, ironically, never took a life-threatening goring in all his years as a torero. At times his control over the animal was so great the audience failed to understand just how much danger he was in. He made things look too easy.
Iberia as well as Mexico mourns the loss of this torero.
Rest in peace, Mariano Ramos