1976 Houston Regional Golden Gloves Champions

Back row, from left to right: Jesse Montemayor (112 pounds), Clayton Wright (118 pounds), Bill Armstrong (124 pounds), Donald Sayles (132 pounds). Front row, from left to right: Reverend Ray Martin (Coach), Terrance Garrick (Heavyweight), Anthony Wiley (139 pounds), Oscar Trevino (147 pounds), Deryl Brumley (154), Frankie King (165), Robert Moore (175), Kenny Weldon (Coach).

This official Houston Post photo, dated March 8, 2022 is captioned as follows: The 10 Houston Regional Golden Gloves Champions and their two coaches get together before heading for the state tournament, which begins Thursday in Fort Worth. Back row, from left, are Jesse Montemayor, 112 pound division; Clayton Wright, 118; Bill Armstrong, 124; Donald Sayles, 132; Front row, from left, are Rev. Ray Martin, coach; Terrance Garrick, heavyweight; Anthony Wiley, 139; Oscar Trevino, 147; Deryl Brumley, 154; Frankie King, 165; Robert Moore, 175; and Kenny Weldon, coach. The team leaves Tuesday Houston Post photo: Bill Thompson


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)

Sammy Fuentes / Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icon

Sammy Fuentes boxed for The Magnolia “Y” Boxing Team until the “Y” closed down, then he and Oscar Trevino went to Kenny Weldon’s Galena Park Boxing Academy, where Sammy boxed for Kenny’s team as an amateur, then later as a professional.

Sammy was a Houston Golden Gloves Champion in the Open Division in 1978, as a Light-Flyweight, in 1979 as a Flyweight, in 1980 as a Flyweight, and in 1981 as a Bantamweight.

Sammy also boxed as a professional, compiling an excellent record of 15 wins with 3 of those wins coming by knockout, against only 1 loss and 1 draw.

Johnny Boudreaux

Johnny Boudreaux boxed out of Texas Boxing Enterprises Boxing Gym and was a four time Houston Golden Gloves Champion, winning the tournament in the Novice Division in 1968 as a Light-Middle Weight, then in the Open Division in 1969 as a Light-Heavyweight, in 1971 as Open Division Champion at Light-Heavyweight, and in 1972 as Open Division Champion at Heavyweight. Johnny was also a two-time National AAU runner up.

As a professional Johnny was known for his extraordinary boxing skills and hand speed, compiling a professional record of 21 wins with 7 by knockout, against only 5 loses and 1 draw.

Johnny was a Texas State and Louisiana State Champion at Heavyweight as a professional and fought many tough boxers including Scrap Iron Johnson, Stan Ward, Roy Wallace, Tony Doyle, Charles Atlas, Randy Stephens, Gerrie Coetzee, and John Tate. Johnny is a name often mentioned when speaking to the old timers of boxing in Houston, and he’s known as a guy who was “Very hard to beat” in his prime as a boxer.

Oscar Trevino/ Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icon

One of the living legends of the sport of amateur boxing in The City of Houston, Oscar Trevino competed as an amateur boxer from 1965 until 1980, compiling an extraordinary record of 280 wins with 230 of those wins coming by knockout, against only 26 loses. He was also a Houston Golden Gloves Champion in the open division five times starting in 1972 as a lightweight, then in 1973 as a light-welterweight, 1977 as a welterweight, 1978 as a welterweight, and 1980 as a light-middleweight.

Oscar started his boxing and martial arts studies in 1965 at The Variety Boys Club in Houston’s East End, with coaches Joel Delgado and Jack Ramos. He would begin his competitive amateur career there, starting off in the 115 pound division.  After The Variety Boys Club closed down, Oscar went to the famous Magnolia Barrio Y.W.C.A. where he began studying under and competing for Coach Santos Montemayor and Johnny Severson. By this time, Oscar and several of his Magnolia “Y” team mates were some of the best amateurs in the nation, winning many Houston and Texas State Golden Gloves, along with several National Golden Gloves Titles.  In 1975, The Magnolia “Y” shut down and Oscar went to Kenny Weldon’s Gym, taking Sammy “Bumble Bee” Fuentes with him, again always seeking to test his limits and raise his game to the highest levels by seeking the best coaching and competition he could find. Oscar said his toughest opponents as an amateur boxer were David Martinez Jr, James “Bubba” Buscheme, and Byron Payton.

Oscar successfully competed in boxing and martial arts at different points and at times simultaneously. He won The Houston Golden Gloves as an open division competitor five times at a time when the Houston Golden Gloves was a very big event in town, being held at The Sam Houston Coliseum.  This would be the equivalent of having The Houston Golden Gloves at The Toyota Center in today’s times! Oscar also competed as a professional kick-boxer, winning 19 fights by knockout, and also becoming the P.K.A. North American Light-Weight Champion in 1976.

Oscar continues to stay in shape to this day, and is a deeply spiritual and God fearing man. Oscar attributes part of his deep religious beliefs to a bad decision that went against him in The Texas State Golden Gloves Championships in 1980, against a young Byron Payton from Troupe, Texas. After their bout Byron was invited to join The U.S. National Boxing Team in a tournament that was to  be held in Poland, with the winners essentially assured of an opportunity to compete in The Olympic Trials. The team’s plane never made it to their destination, crashing a half mile from an airport in Warsaw, Poland, killing every member of The U.S. boxing team, and 65 Polish citizens.

As Oscar related the story to me he stated, “A bad decision saved my life”.

Mark Tessman/ Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icon

Mark Tessman, Variety Boys Club, East End of Houston, Houston Golden Gloves,
A native Houstonian, Mark Tessman was a graduate of Smiley High School and The University of Houston.  After being bullied in school, Mark’s father Paul began teaching him the sweet science, and after a few amateur matches, took him to The Variety Boys Club in Houston’s East End, where they met coach Charlie Court. Mark began training at the Variety Boys Club under Coach Court and he soon began to become a very successful amateur boxer winning many bouts and tournaments, including:

Houston Golden Gloves

120 pound                     Junior Champion  1961

Welterweight              Novice Champion 1962

Light Heavyweight   Open Champion 1964, 1965, and 1966.

Mark was also a two-time Texas State Golden Gloves Champion.

Charlie Court, always looking out for his boxer’s best interest, then suggested Mark begin training at Hugh Benbow’s A&B Gym, where he could get sparring with professional boxers as he began preparing himself for a professional career. Mark would ultimately turn pro and he achieved a professional career record of 44 wins and 4 loses, his professional career highlight being a losing attempt at The World Light-Heavyweight Title against Bob Foster. Mark was said to be putting on an excellent boxing display that night, before getting caught with a hard punch and losing by knockout.

Mark would briefly retire before making a ring return with mixed results, as he seemed to change his smooth, technical boxing style into more of a boxer-puncher style, which led to him getting hit more than he did before the style change. After Mark lost a particularly bad decision which he should have won,  Charlie Court then asked Mark to retire, not wanting to see Mark being used as an “opponent” to build other fighter’s records. Charlie Court felt soo strongly about his suggestion that he told Mark that if he agreed to retire, that Charlie would do the same. They both agreed and shook hands on the agreement, neither ever returning to boxing. Mark was just 26 years old and Charlie only 38 years old.


Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icons / Jesse Valdez

jesse valdez, houston golden gloves, houston boxing, clutch city boxing, houston golden gloves icons,
Jesse Valdez is considered one of the finest boxers that The City of Houston, Texas has ever produced. A native of Houston’s Northside he began his boxing career at The Red Shield Boxing Club, and would go on to become a bronze medal winning Olympic Champion as a member of The 1972 United States Olympic Team.  Jesse won his first four Olympic matches by wide margins (5-0), (4-1), (4-1), and (5-0) with his lone loss coming to eventual gold medal winner Emilio Correa of Cuba, by a disputed (2-3) decision that left famed color commentator Howard Cossell, “Speechless”.

Jesse’s accomplishments in The Houston Golden Gloves and beyond are as follows.

Houston Golden Gloves Championships

1961     Junior Champion            100 lbs

1962    Novice Champion          Bantamweight

1963    Open Champion             Lightweight

1964    Open Champion             Welterweight

1965    Open Champion             Welterweight

1966    Open Champion             Welterweight

1967    Open Champion             Light Middleweight

1968    Open Champion             Light Middleweight

Winner of The Elby Pettaway Outstanding Boxer Award in 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1968.

Texas State Golden Gloves Champion in 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1972

U.S.A. National Golden Gloves Champion in 1967 and 1972

Pan-American Games Bronze Medal Champion 1967

U.S. Armed Forces Champion 1970, 1971, and 1972

Olympic Bronze Medal Champion 1972