Lonny started boxing at age 8 in San Antonio, Texas under coach’s Tony Ayala SP (father of Mile Ayala, Sammy Ayala and Tony ‘El Torito’ Ayala) and Joe Souza (renowned cutman who worked with numerous star fighters, including Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Fernando Vargas and Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko, among many others). At the age of 12, he moved to Marietta, SC, which is in Greenville County, SC and started boxing under his father Silas Napoleon Epps. In 1977 and 78, Lonny won the South Carolina State Junior Olympics and regional then went to place 3rd in the nationals both years. In 1980, he lost a close decision in the South Carolina State Golden Gloves light heavyweight finals but was taken to the regionals as an extra in the light heavyweight division due to middleweight vacancy. He won the Golden Gloves light heavyweight contender Jose Ribalta. He also boxed on several US boxing teams, which included Russia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea and was invited to the 1980 Olympic Trials but declined due to the US Boycott. Lonny was bound for a US boxing team going to Poland in 1980 but declined. The place taking the team to Poland crashed on landing killing all passengers, which included 22 US boxing team members. Lonny had a total of 143 fights, winning 121, losing 21 with 1 draw.

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