Hall Of Fame Boxing Referee Mills Lane Dead At 85
By Jason Hall
December 6, 2022
Hall of Fame boxing referee Mills Lane, who officiated the infamous second match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and lended his voice to the popular MTV animated series Celebrity Deathmatch, has died at the age of 85, his son, Tommy, confirmed to the Reno Gazette Journal on Tuesday (December 6).
Lane, who had previously suffered a stroke 20 years ago, died after being treated in hospice care for the past week, according to his son.
"He took a significant decline in his overall situation," Tommy Lane said via the Reno Gazette Journal. "It was a quick departure. He was comfortable and he was surrounded by his family."
Lane began his career as a boxer while stationed in Okinawa for the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956, winning the All Far-East welterweight championship,
The Georgia native later won the NCAA welterweight title while attending the University of Nevada in 1960, where he also began his career as a boxing referee prior to graduating in 1963.
Lane officiated more than 100 world championship boxings matches throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, gaining notoriety for his signature pre-fight phrase, "Let's get it on."
The veteran referee became a household name following his decision to disqualify Tyson in his 1997 WBA Heavyweight championship loss to Holyfield after Tyson twice bit Holyfield's ear.
Lane also worked as a prosecutor for the Washoe County District Attorney's office for nearly 17 years, beginning in 1971.
He was later elected district attorney of Washoe County in 1982 and judge of Washoe County's Second Judicial District Court in 1990, stepping down from the bench in 1998 in order to launch his courtroom television series Judge Mills Lane.
Lane also played himself in the adult stop-motion claymated MTV series Celebrity Deathmatch from 1998 to 2002, which featured celebrity parodies in exaggeratedly gory wrestling matches.