José María Manzanares was born on April 14, 1953, in Alicante’s Santa Cruz district.
Dons his suit of lights for the first time on June 15, 1969 in Andújar (Jaén) fighting bulls from Francisco Sánchez.
Debuts with picadors on May 24, 1970 in Benidorm (Alicante) fighting bulls from Sánchez Arjona together with Curro Fuentes and José Luis Ortuño.
On June 6, 1971, he “alternates” in Madrid with Juan Carlos Castro ‘Luguillano’ and José Luis Feria ‘Galloso’, fighting steers from the heirs of Carlos Núñez, earning an ear from each of the bulls and meriting a grand exit through the main gate.
On June 24 he graduates as a matador in his “alternativa” in his native Alicante under the guidance of Luis Miguel Dominguín with Santiago Martín “El Viti” to witness the ceremony with bulls from Atanasio Fernández, garnering another triumph by earning two ears and the tail of the bull ceded by his godfather.
On May 20, 1977, José María Manzanares takes the ear of a bull from Baltasar Ibán in Las Ventas and is feted as the triumphant star of the feria.
After being tossed and suffering multiple injuries, in 1977 he leads the matador ranking with a total of 86 events.
On May 22, 1978 in Madrid, he earns 3 ears from the bulls of Manolo González and Socorro Sánchez Dalp. Historic duel with the bull Clarín.
On April 22, 1985, he earns 2 ears at the Real Maestranza de Caballería of Seville with Emilio Muñoz and Curro Durán sharing the billing.
On June 12 he travels to Mexico where he fights mano a mano with Eloy Cavazos, fulfilling his dream of earning 2 ears in Plaza Mexico.
Achieved a notable feat on June 23, 1985 in Alicante, fighting 6 bulls from different herds for a total of 5 trophies.
On May 12, 1993 in Madrid, he was awarded the 2 ears of that afternoon’s fourth.
After retiring from the arena for two years, he reappears in Granada on June 11, 2004, earning 2 ears and starring in a memorable afternoon of bullfighting.
On May 1, 2006, at the end of the bullfight, his son, José María Manzanares, who is also a bullfighter, unexpectedly cuts off his pigtail in a very moving moment.
On October 28, 2014, he dies at the age of 61 on his Caceres farm.