Short fought more than 100 professional and amateur bouts during a career that began in 1948 and concluded in 1957. He began by winning the Virginia-Carolina championship in 1948 and earned the title of “Knock Out King” in the Boys Club Silver Gloves competition that same year. He won the Durham, N.C. Golden Gloves lightweight championship in 1950 and was named outstanding boxer in the tournament. In 1951 he won the Carolinas AAU Lightweight championship in Greenville, S.C. and was named most popular boxer in the tournament. He also claimed the 1951 and 1953 Carolinas Golden Glove open lightweight championship, going to the National Golden Gloves Championship in New York both years. After turning professional in 1953, Short fought in the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida.