Although he never competed as a professional, 1972 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Jesse Valdez is considered one of the best, if not the best boxer to have ever been born and raised in Houston, Texas.
A classical boxer with power in both hands, who could fight going forward or backward as well as counter-punch, Valdez started his amateur boxing career at The Red Shield Boxing Club in Houston’s Northside, under coaches Moses Vaquera and Charlie Court.
According to Valdez he decided at about the age of 14 or 15 that he would try to make it to the Olympics, but would never turn pro. When asked what would lead him to that decision at 14, he stated:
“When I was 14 or 15 there were pros training at the gym I went to after school. There was one professional boxer there I really liked and looked up to. He was a world champion, (who I won’t name) and I used to like to watch him work out. I’ll never forget, one day he asked me if he could borrow $1.00. I was a kid who didn’t have a nickel to his name at the time and that really opened my eyes. Here was a world champion asking me for money. It stuck in my mind.”Jesse Valdez