Fickling began boxing at the tender age of 7 in a Charleston, S.C. playground program and endured many defeats during his childhood. Coached by his father, Henry Fickling, the youngster showed consistent improvement over the next ten years and went to New York City under the tutelage of Harry Wiley, a well-known trainer who once trained Sugar Ray Robinson. Fickling worked with such prominent fighters as Dick Tiger and Jose Torres, both former light heavyweight world champions. After joining the U.S. Navy in 1971, his success in the military ring quickly advanced him to a number three ranking in the United States middleweight division as determined by the AAU. Fickling traveled and teamed with such notable boxers as Aaron Pryor, Ray Leonard and Carlos Palomino. After fighting in the 1974 World Boxing Championships in Havana, Cuba, Fickling retired from the ring. He compiled a record of 159 victories and 31 losses including a win over former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks.
During his career, Fickling captured two S.C. Golden Gloves championships, one Southern Golden Gloves title and a Carolinas Golden Gloves middleweight championship.
Fickling served as head boxing coach at the University of South Carolina in 1978 and is currently an assistant coach with Sumter Boxing Team. He resides with his wife and son in Columbia, S.C. and
works in the commercial construction industry.