Hall of Fame boxing referee Mills Lane dies at 85

Obit Mills Lane Boxing
Mills Lane, the Hall of Fame boxing referee who was the third man in the ring when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during the third round of their 1997 WBA heavyweight boxing match in Las Vegas, died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Hall of Fame boxing referee Mills Lane dies at 85

Video Embed

Hall of Fame boxing referee Mills Lane died Tuesday at the age of 85.

Lane passed away at his home in Reno, Nevada surrounded by his wife, Kay, and sons, Terry and Tommy.

Lane was left partially paralyzed and with limited speaking ability after having suffered a stroke in 2002. He was in hospice care for the past week.


“He was just this really amazing father and husband and I don’t know if people got to see that kind and sensitive side of him,” his son, Terry, told ESPN. “My mom took care of him since the stroke; he never spent one night in a nursing home. I don’t know if Dec. 6 is my dad’s date of death or a new life for her.”

Lane officiated more than 100 championship boxing matches, including the infamous 1997 “Bite Fight” between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

iFrame Object

The referee was known for his pre-fight declaration: “Let’s get it on!”

In addition to his career as a boxing referee, Lane also worked as a prosecutor, beginning in 1971, before becoming a judge of Nevada’s Washoe County’s Second Judicial District Court in 1990.

iFrame Object

In 1998, Lane would go on to have his own daytime court show, Judge Mills Lane, which ran for three years.

The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame acknowledged Lane’s death in a post on Twitter.


“The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame mourns the passing of great referee Mills Lane,” it tweeted. “A longtime resident of Reno, Mills was a district attorney and later District Court Judge in Washoe County. The courthouse in Reno now bears his name. He refereed many of the biggest fights in boxing.”

Lane was a boxer during his youth. He also served in the United States. Marine Corps.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles