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Great farewell to Juan Espino

Great farewell to Juan Espino

Night of strong emotions at the Gran Canaria Arena. The Farewell of Juan Espino could not be less. Full to bursting, with the native anthems of Los Gofiones to raise the adrenaline of those present, and all the honors for an unrepeatable figure of the sport who yesterday staged his last appearance as a fighter and who left a unique event to remember. The journalist Norberto González was in charge of structuring a measured scale, in which all the details were taken care of to achieve the sought-after excellence.

The starters were a series of exhibitions of the different struggles

with the specialists arriving from half the world, until the lights focused on the entrance of the great protagonist. The Arena fell when between whistle, Canarian club and Los Gofiones raising their 'Ay mi Gran Canaria' to the sky, Espino appeared amidst cheers.

It was his moment and the emotions were impossible to camouflage.

Juan, who is a grateful guy, made his tribute another to names that marked him and that, on his big night, he did not want to forget: Francis Pérez, Pollito de la Frontera ("the greatest dominator I ever met in the fight") , Antonio Pérez, Tonono ("maximum pride"), Emilio Monzón, Emilín II ("that bad idea"), Jorge Pulido ("a respectful gentleman") and Luis Guedes ("the greatest heart I have ever known in sports") . All of them appeared in large letters on the imposing video scoreboard so that there was evidence of their capital influence on the great champion that that boy from Guanarteme became.

Then, with Juan Espino as the center of attention, came the recognitions, the decorations, the presents from federations and colleagues from the different disciplines.

And, being at CB Gran Canaria's home, the hosts could not be missing: Sitapha Savané and Roberto Guerra presented him with a commemorative shirt with a symbolic number 1. Applause and more applause, a wave of affection. And a nod to nostalgia with his relationship with Francis Pérez's son.

The Farewell advanced at a steady pace and between ambient sighs before the jiu jitsu, with Giovani Suárez, from Taz Jinámar, showing off in the cage and with an explanatory video, with the voice-over of Espino, recounting and explaining what his journeys in the different fights that were then presented: Leonese, Korean sirum, beach, sumo and Senegalese.

A ceremony of lights, dances and music gave flavor to each performance. There the African representatives especially stood out for their spectacularity and repertoire.

While Espino was guarding weapons for his MMA fight, there was time for everything.

From showbiz, with Canarian wrestling challenges between Aythami Artiles and Tenerife's Vitolo, to stage a UD-Tenerife soccer derby (Aythami won, giving the chicharrero two in a row) or from Arístides Moreno with El Bejo or Kike Pérez-Ignatius Farray, going through performances by Mikel de la Calle or Yanely Hernández, to quality competition, such as the MMA fight offered by Juanma Suárez against the Ukrainian Stanislav Salvolta, won in a good fight by the Gran Canarian.

A cascade of performances led to Espino's pulse with Bigfoot Díaz, with a song by Quevedo composed for the occasion, which closed more than four hours of a tribute to history and that eternalizes the legend of Juan.


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