Nicknamed El Cepillo, he was a WBA Super Featherweight Champion, WBO Lightweight Champion, and The Ring Lightweight Champion.
He was a great amateur who won the gold medal at Bantamweight at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
He turned professional on the eve of the 1996 Summer Olympics, when he defected to the United States from Cuba.
He was married to Escarlin Casamayor from 1998 to 2014.
He was defeated by Juan Manuel Marquez via 11th round KO on September 13, 2008.