Burgos fans are not going to meet Enrique Ponce in the Plantío this afternoon of June 29, 2021. There it was advertised along with King Rock Y Emilio de JustoBut the surprise of a statement at the vigil precipitated the news of an indefinite withdrawal.

The adjective adds ambiguity to the decision. And it may be an irrevocable conclusion, but it’s hard to believe that Ponce has cut his ponytail. Because it has not been cut literally. And because the brilliance of his career contradicts that the milestone of a farewell comes with a kind of administrative procedure.

Ponce does not explain in too much detail the real reasons for the decision, but it makes a lot of sense to link them to personal, media and even professional ups and downs of the last few months. The Valencian bullfighter was finding it difficult to ‘get ahead’, even more considering the ease and sufficiency that define his overwhelming career.

Overwhelming means that Chiva’s right-hander – he was born there in 1971 – has handled more than 5,000 cattle and has intervened in 2099 bullfighting. Nobody like him has starred in more pardons or achieved such statistical and stylistic regularity in the contemporary age.

The resulting hegemony is the one that has exposed the setbacks of recent times. Ponce came out on his shoulders in León last Sunday, but the evidence of the victory does not contradict the hesitations and doubts with which he has been playing lately.

A Ponce cape auctioned at a charity event. (EFE)

We could appreciate it last Friday in Alicante. The killer of clairvoyance and ease resorted to Bullfighting of vehemence and despair to survive the competition of Manzanares and Cayetano. Ponce looked more vulnerable than ever, to the extent of being at the mercy of a copy of Juan Pedro Domecq in an episode of the job.

Ponce was not focused. And the impact of his relationship with Ana Soria. Not only because of the media coverage and the social scorn that the age difference has engendered – the Spanish corrala has exposed all its bile and all its righteous ferocity – but also because of the complex divorce process with Paloma Cuevas, the daughter of his own ex-proxy.

Enrique Ponce was a child prodigy He made his public debut at the age of 15, although it is more relevant, much more, that he has become a prodigy. Ponce I managed to do work to all the bulls. As if he were a Franciscan friar. It seemed that he was talking to them. That whispered them. And that he ended up seducing them with the crutch until he lulled them, tempered them. To the bad and to the good. To the brave and the meek. To the vermin and the buoyant.

Ponce cannot say goodbye with a poorly written paper, returned to the Plaza de México or without having rocked in the black sand of Bilbao

So far has his mastery gone that Ponce is now very close to rising to the rank of Sufi sages who played the lute without a lute. They had overcome dependence on the instrument. We will one day see Ponce triumph without a bull or a sword.

Because levitation already did. Almost every afternoon he ended up leaving the plaza without stepping on the sand. They carried it on the wings. Even the car or the hotel, familiarizing it with evanescence. Stripping him of the gold of the dress in the expectation of fertility.

Photo: Paloma Cuevas and Enrique Ponce, in a file image.  (Getty)

Ponce was there. It is there. It will be there. The years go by, the figures, the fashions, the animalists. And Ponce remains. Like the trumpet of the captaincy of Valencia, Like the Angelus at twelve, like the breakwater of the jetty. Apollonian. Sometimes cheesy or redid. Others, clairvoyant. And a perfectionist. So perfectionist that he hasn’t done the perfect job yet. That is why it cannot be withdrawn. And for the same reasons, the heat of the statement that he sent last night should not be taken into account too much, even less when he mentions the handle “a stop along the way.”

Ponce cannot say goodbye with a poorly written paper. He cannot retire without having returned to the Plaza de México or without having rocked in the black sand of Bilbao. And without having done the paseo in the Plaza de Valencia, whose last performance dates back to the Fallas of 2019. There is less left for Enrique Ponce to return.

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