INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - You don’t want to test Charlotte native Lavonte Earley in the ring. Earley, known as “The World-Class Gentleman,” is a perfect 10-0 with five knockouts.
“First, I’m going to beat you mentally. I’m going to break your will and then take whatever you got,” Earley said.
Earley began boxing at 15-years-old when he was at a crossroads in his life
“I was actually getting into a little bit of trouble, so it was one of those things where my pops was like ‘you’re going to do something man, you’ve got to get from around the people that you're around. So, it saved my life in the sense that it gave me direction,” he told FOX 46.
That direction became even clearer in 2011 when he received life-altering news.
“In 2011, I was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer and that motivated me to become way more active in my children’s lives,” said Lavonda Earley, Lavonte’s mother.
So, she quit her job as a private investigator to become a professional boxing promoter to help her son pursue his dream.
“I have made the decision to put everything into him becoming a professional boxer because if he makes it, that will make me proud especially before, you know, the lord calls me home,” she said.
So you’ll see Earley training at 4M Fitness in Indian Trail every chance he gets because he says failure is not an option.
"My mother literary gave up everything to help support me in my career, which is something I can never ever truly repay her back for. It’s super, super important to me that I not only do what I’m supposed to do, but I can make her proud and give her something to brag about at church," he said.
And he’s already making her proud by giving back to his community including his alma mater, Rocky River High School.
On March 28, he’ll compete in a boxing event for free at the school for students and staff.
“He went through an era in his life where he wasn’t making the best decisions and so those students are those students are going to be able to benefit from what Lavonte has gone through,” Earley’s mom says.
For Earley’s part, he says his goal is to inspire generations to come.
“I want to be that positive influence, for somebody that was in the same position as me, so the event I’m doing on March 28 is in direct line with my overall goal and overall vision," he said.