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
Team USA Boxing training for the 1972 Munich Olympics. Pictured from left to right Duane Bobick, Jesse Valdez, Tim Dement, Clarence James, Larry Holmes, and Louis Slaughter
Munich, West Germany - 1972: (L-R) Kolman Kalipe, Jesse Valdez competing in the Men’s Welterweight boxing event at the 1972 Summer Olympics / the Games of the XX Olympiad, Boxhalle. (Photo by Tony Triolo /Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Jesse Valdez vs Kolman Kalipe 1972 Munich Olympic Games
Munich, West Germany - 1972: (L-R) Kolman Kalipe, Jesse Valdez competing in the Men’s Welterweight boxing event at the 1972 Summer Olympics / the Games of the XX Olympiad, Boxhalle. (Photo by Tony Triolo /Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Picture taken on September 10, 2021 at Munich showing the fight between American boxer Jesse Valdez (R) and Soviet Anatoly Khohlov as part of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. (Photo by - / IOPP / AFP) via Getty Images)

Texas State Golden Gloves Champions 1980-1983

1980 Texas State Golden Gloves Champions - front row (left to right) - Light Flyweight-Jesse Benavides; Flyweight-Sammy Fuentes; Bantamweight-Steve Cruz; Featherweight-Robert Franco; Lightweight-Delio Palacios.
back row (left to right) Light Welterweight-Darryl Robinson; Welterweight-Donald Curry; Light Middle Weight- Byron Payton; Middleweight-Tony Ayala; Light Heavyweight-Jay Strickland; Heavyweight-Eddie Richardson
1981 Front Row , left to right: Light Flyweight - Jesse Benavides, Corpus Christi ; Flyweight-Conrad Sanchez, Austin ; Bantamweight-Steve Cruz, Fort Worth ; Featherweight-Saul Pena, San Antonio ; Lightweight -Danny Trujillo.
Back Row, left to right: Light Welterweight-Vincent Releford, Fort Worth ; Welterweight- Darryl Robinson, Houston ; Light Middleweight-Ray Jones, Tyler ; Middleweight-Donald Lee, Houston ; Light Heavyweight- Bob Percifield, Dallas ; Heavyweight -Eddie Richardson, Dallas
1982 Texas State Champions - left to right : Light Flyweight - Patrick Trigg; Flyweight - Jesse Benavides; Bantamweight - Conrad Sanchez; Featherweight - Robert Franco; Lightweight - Robert Byrd; Light Welterweight - Vincent Releford; Welterweight - Ben Williams; Light Middleweight - Ford Jennings; Middleweight - Dwight Hamilton; Light Heavyweight - Antonio Sweeny; Heavyweight - Freddie Guzman; Super Heavyweight - Eddie Richardson

1983 Texas State Golden Gloves Champions, Bottom Row: (Light Heavyweight - Antonio Sweeny) (Super Heavyweight - A.B. Lamb) (Heavyweight - Everett Martin) (Middleweight - Gilbert Taylor)
Second Row: - (Light Middleweight - Dwain Loackman) (Welterweight - Vincent Releford) (Featherweight - Robert Franco)
Third Row: (Lightweight - Michael Rose) (Light Welterweight - Jerry Grant)
Top Row: (Flyweight - Orlando Canizales) (Bantamweight - Jesse Benavides) (Light Flyweight - Robert Carillo)

The Red Shield Boys Club

Red Shield Boys Club Boxing Team with Coach Moses Vaqauera
Red Shield Boys Club boxers
Jesse Valdez with the USA Boxing Team
Kenny Weldon squares off with Red Shield Boys Club boxer
Jesse Valdez with the Red Shield Boxing Club

2019 Houston Golden Gloves Champions

The 2019 Houston Golden Gloves came to a conclusion yesterday and open division boxers from 108 pounds to 201+ pounds have earned their way to The Texas State Golden Gloves.

Special recognition goes out to Giovanni Marquez and Oscar Perez, who engaged in an all out war to decide who would represent The Gulf LBC at 141 pounds, with Marquez earning the decision. These two young men fought with elite level skill, determination, grit, and heart for three rounds and had the crowd on their feet for the entire bout. Many in the crowd stated this was the best amateur bout they had seen in a very long time and some said it was the best amateur bout they had ever seen.

Boxers that earned their way to The Texas State Golden Gloves are as follows.

Carmen Vargas - 125 Pounds

Carmen Vargas

John Atiles - 108 Pounds

John Atiles

Sean Moncada - 114 Pounds

Sean Moncada

Abraham Obregon - 123 Pounds

Abraham Obregon

Narcizo Cerrato Jr - 132 Pounds

Narcizo Cerrato Jr

Giovanni Marquez - 141 Pounds

Giovanni Marquez

Mauricio Quintanilla - 152 Pounds

Mauricio Quintanilla

Eugene Hill Jr - 165 Pounds

Eugene Hill Jr

Jaylen Stanley - 178 Pounds

Jaylen Stanley

Jkhory Gibson - 201 Pounds

Jkhory Gibson

Devon Rangel - 201+ Pounds

Devon Rangel

Kenny Weldon Sparring Celebration Photo Gallery