Benton started boxing at the age of 12, and was a full-fledged heavyweight by age 17. His career record is 132 wins against 16 losses and 1 draw. All losses came at the hands of quality fighters. Ken Norton beat him three times and Wyce Westbrook defeated him on a slip-decision. Former heavyweight champion Norton, decisioned Benton twice, both close fights, and was the only man to knock him out. Westbrook was a two-time National AAU Champion and fought on the 1960 Olympic Team.
The low-key Benton was an excellent boxer with dynamite in both hands. He won amateur tournaments all over the Southeast and picked up many tourney wins as a member of the US Air Force from 1966-1970. Benton was Carolinas AAU Champion in 1964, won the 1965 Southern Golden Gloves Heavyweight Title in Knoxville, and represented the Carolinas in the National Golden Gloves Tournaments of 1964, 1965 and 1966.
His two older brother were also excellent boxers. Benton has three children.