Jesse Valdez was a classic stylist who was a top amateur fighter, although he never turned professional. By the time of Munich Olympics, his career record was 227 wins and 12 losses, and included two AAU titles, two National Golden Gloves titles, three Inter-Service championships, and a bronze at the 1967 Pan American Games. Valdez had attended Howard Payne College and then joined the air force. He was a staff sergeant in 1972 when he lost in the semi-finals to eventual champion, Emilio Correa of Cuba. Valdez retired after the Olympics but remained in the Air Force as a career military man.