He was born in Magnolia, NC, and he did not have much experience as an amateur. After graduating from College, he began to study business administration at the James Sprunt Community College, where he graduated in 1973, and two years later got a degree in Shaw Raleigh, North Carolina.
He served military, he was a security guard, he debuted in professional boxing in 1981 and lost. Then he won the second fight and from that moment he won 14 and lost 2 fights until he had a title shot against Larry Holmes, and lost.
In 1986 he fought for the second the heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon, and knocked him out in the first round.
However, the following year he fought the King of the WBC, known as Mike Tyson, and lost by decision.
He retired with a record of 44-17, 32 KO’s.