Small of stature at 5 feet, 3.5 inches and weighing between 109–115 pounds, he was managed by Luis "Pincho" Gutiérrez and trained by Moe Fleischer. He made his first official appearance on September 11, 1920 (at age 15) in a fight in Havana, his native city, where he defeated Diego Blanco in the fourth round.
Valdés continued to fight throughout the 1920s, dividing his fights between Havana and New York City, where the vast majority of his contests took place. Although he was neither large nor a power hitter, he was known for throwing opponents off guard by attacking with agility and angled punches. During his career, he defeated opponents such as Johnny McCoy, Willie Davies, "Corporal" Izzy Schwartz, Sammy Bienfield, the French boxer Eugène Huat, Happy Atherton, Genaro Pino, Marty Gold, Bobby Green, Henry Catena and Benny Marks.
- Profile at Cyber boxing zone
- Photograph of Valdés with Kid Chocolate, from the Cuban Photograph Collection of the University of Miami Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection.
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