Hawkins, known for stepping in for fighters on late notice, turned pro in 1994 and took on future champion Oleg Maskaev in 1995 in his 4th fight and was KO'd in the 4th round. After another loss to prospect Gary Bell, Hawkins went on a 15 fight win streak and ascended to a heavyweight contender, but they lost to Livin Castillo in a close decision in 2004. The following year he lost to Eddie Chambers by decision. After a win over Robert Wiggins, he went on a 5 fight losing streak, losses to Samuel Peter, heavyweight prospect Kevin Johnson, David Tua, Jason Estrada, and Jean Francois Bergeron, all by decision. In the loss to Peter, the fight was delayed for about ten minutes at the close of round four when Panama Lewis, the advisor for Sultan Ibragimov, collapsed in the audience and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Hawkins seemed destined for permanent clubfighter status before scoring an upset win over Terry Smith in late 2007. The momentum was lost when he was KO'd in his next bout against Ukrainian contender Vladimir Virchis. Hawkins most recently upset former contender Dominick Guinn on ESPN after taking the fight on 2 weeks notice after Alonzo Butler pulled out. Hawkins has lost his three recent fights to Denis Boytsov, Oleg Maskaev in a rematch and Bermane Stiverne. He went on another losing streak, going 0-7, and announced his retirement in July 2011 after decision loss to Jason Bergman.