Echols turned professional in 1993 and in 1999 challenged IBF middleweight title holder Bernard Hopkins. Although Echols gave Hopkins a tough fight, he lost via decision. The following year he lost a rematch with Hopkins, this time losing via TKO in the 10th. In 2001 he fought a crowd pleasing bout with Charles Brewer. Echols went down three times in round two, but recovered in round three to score a TKO win to capture the vacant NABA super middleweight title. In 2003 Echols got another opportunity for a title shot after the WBA Super Middleweight Title was vacated when Sven Ottke was upgraded to 'Super' champion status. He battled Anthony Mundine for the vacant title, but lost a close decision. In 2005, Echols lost an IBF Middleweight Eliminator to Kingsley Ikeke when he was stopped in the tenth round. Since 2005, Echols is 1-16-3, his run as a championship caliber fighter long ended. In his most recent bout in October 2015, Echols was stopped by Derrick Findley in three rounds, the seventh consecutive bout he was stopped in the third round.
On July 30, 2007 in Davenport, Iowa, Echols was shot in the leg while trying to break up a fight.
In 2013, when asked how many children he has, he replied "Twenty-three, I think," admitting it could be more. At the time, he was living with his fiancee and four children in Dade City, Florida.
Again, per the same newspaper, he was arrested May 4, 2016 and charged with 3 counts of Failure To Appear / Contempt / Child Support.