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Insiders' Sports Corner Francisco Martínez, the San Miguel Bullfighter By Carlos Ramírez Zago

Matador Francisco Martinez, a different bullfighter who puts the name of San Miguel de Allende at the top and is responsible for keeping alive a tradition as important and long-lived as bullfighting in San Miguel.

His passion for bullfighting comes from his family, as his father was a novillero and his uncles were banderilleros, that is why the culture of bullfighting has always been present in Francisco's life. Francisco had a normal childhood, like any child in Mexico who goes out to play soccer and hide-and-seek with his friends, but Francisco always had a special feeling for the crutches and capes at home. While his friends idolized soccer players or celebrities, he saw as heroes those men in bullfighting suits that his father would salute at the end of each bullfight.

It was at the age of 9 that Francisco decided to leave soccer balls aside, because his attention was merely on that faded muleta and capote that one day came into his hands and that he never let go of. It was several years of looking for opportunities and knocking on doors, to be able to fight in bullfighting festivals near San Miguel, until in 2012 wheen he made his debut as a novillero in his homeland and wore for the first time that traje de luces - the bullfighter's suit - as his childhood heroes.After several years as a novillero, fighting little and without much success, Francisco met bullfighter Alejandro del Olivar, who gave him an opportunity to train with him and showed him what professionalism is in bullfighting. Some time later, matador Alejandro del Olivar, agreed to be his manager and to date, he is still is.

Thanks to a great project developed by his manager, Francisco Martinez became the best novillero of Mexico in 2018, as he triumphed in important places such as “Arroyo”, “La Florecida”, “Oriente” and of course La Monumental Plaza de Toros Mexico in a novillero contest called “Soñadores de Gloria”, which led him to take his alternative the following year.

It was that unforgettable night of January 25, 2019, at the Oriente bullring in San Miguel de Allende, where Francisco's dream came true, as he took the alternative in the land where he was born, having as godfather the figure of bullfighting in Mexico, Joselito Adame and Octavio Garcia “El Payo” s witness. From that moment, a career full of success began for the San Miguel native, as he has triumphed in many places around Mexico, enjoying his beloved profession and fighting approximately 25 bullfights per year.

After 5 years of taking the alternative, on March 30, 2024, Francisco Martinez pardoned his first bull and he did it in his beloved Oriente bullring in San Miguel de Allende, with a great bull from the Arroyo Zarco cattle ranch that today lives and enjoys the countryside as a stallion.

“Being a bullfighter has made me a good man and has given me values and great experiences that can only be lived hand in hand with this, the greatest of fiestas” mentioned Martinez.

Francisco has fought with the greatest figures of Mexican bullfighting such as Joselito Adame, Octavio Garcia “El Payo”, Diego Silveti, Fermin Rivera, Uriel Moreno “El Zapata” and bullfighters of international stature such as Antonio Ferrera and Paco Urena. “Today I am living a very beautiful moment in my career,” said Martinez.

He is one more protector of the fiesta brava, as he defends his great passion. His position is based on three main issues:

  • The cultural and artistic richness of bullfighting.

  • The direct and indirect economic benefits for hundreds of thousands of families in Mexico.

  • The conservation of the fighting bull, because if bullfighting were to end, the beautiful species of the fighting bull, a unique species for its bravery and greatness, would become extinct.

“For me bullfighting is not only the art of bullfighting, as its name says. It goes beyond that, it is the way in which I express everything I carry inside and it is when I feel the most free and fulfilled” He declared. Undoubtedly Francisco Martinez is an exemplary Sanmiguelense, because it has not been easy to reach this point in his career and he has shown us that thanks to his perseverance, dedication, passion and above all his love for art and culture, he has achieved so much in his life.

Thank you Francisco for representing San Miguel de Allende at the bullrings and for protecting the most beautiful fiesta of all, the great fiesta brava.

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