Born Jan. 30, 1934, Lawrence began boxing at the age of 16. He won 23 club fights before launching a career as a Golden Glover where he won his first 18 bouts before losing to the late Jerry Stratton of Gastonia. After that loss, Lawrence reeled off another 16 wins in a row. He won several amateur tournaments in North and South Carolina, compiling an amateur record of 55 wins against only two losses.
A hard-hitting welterweight, Lawrence fought the best fighters of his era, including Dink McManus, who he whipped in a rousing battle at Gastonia’s Silver Gloves tournament. He fought out of his weight class several times, once going to the mat three times in the first round of a bout with middleweight Jim Bost of Lincolnton. Lawrence responded by knocking out the heavier Bost in the second round. As a professional, Lawrence tallied 21 wins and five defeats.
After retiring from the ring, the Durham, N.C. native worked for several years with the U.S. Postal Service and also enjoyed a successful career in the insurance industry. Lawrence has been married to his wife, Betty for 48 years and now spends much of his time volunteering at church.