Mills Lane: The Big Shadow in the Boxing Referee World

In professional boxing, the name Mills Lane commands immense respect and recognition. Mills Lane’s journey from a lawyer and district judge to one of the most iconic and respected boxing referees is a remarkable tale of passion, integrity, and dedication to the sport. In this article, we will explore the life and career of Mills Lane, the man who cast a giant shadow in the referee world. If you use BetSure in UG, you can be safe from fraudulent transactions cause this bookie cares about your comfort.

Early Life and Legal Career

Mills Bee Lane III was born on November 12, 1936, in Savannah, Georgia, USA.

He began his career as a lawyer and later served as a district judge in Reno, Nevada.

Introduction to Boxing

Lane’s journey into the boxing world began when he started refereeing amateur bouts in Nevada.

His no-nonsense approach and keen understanding of the sport quickly caught the attention of fighting authorities.

The Rise of a Referee

Mills Lane’s rise to prominence as a boxing referee was meteoric. He officiated his first professional bout in 1971.

His reputation for fairness, courage, and maintaining control in the ring proliferated.

Iconic Fights

Lane was the third man in the ring for some of the most iconic and memorable fights in boxing history.

He refereed bouts involving legendary fighters like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman.

Tyson vs. Holyfield II: The Ear Bite Fight

One of the most famous moments in history occurred during the Tyson vs. Holyfield II fight in 1997 when Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear.

Lane’s handling of the chaotic situation demonstrated his ability to maintain control and make tough decisions in the heat of the moment.

The No-Nonsense Referee

Mills Lane was known for his no-nonsense approach in the ring. He enforced the rules strictly and demanded respect from the fighters.

His no-frills style endeared him to fans and fighters alike.

Legal and Boxing Career Parallel

Lane’s legal career and his role as a referee often ran parallel. He would preside over court cases during the week and officiate boxing matches on the weekends.

His legal background gave him a unique perspective on the sport and its regulations.

Impact on Boxing Safety

Lane was a strong advocate for fighter safety. He prioritized the health and well-being of the boxers, often stopping fights when necessary to protect the fighters from unnecessary harm.

His commitment to safety helped shape modern sports regulations.

Retirement and Legal Controversy

Mills Lane retired from refereeing in 1998 but remained involved in boxing as a commentator and analyst.

In 2002, he faced legal trouble and was disbarred as an attorney due to misconduct in handling a client’s funds.

Legacy in Boxing

Mills Lane’s legacy in boxing is enduring. He is remembered as one of the sport’s most respected and influential referees.

His contributions to safety and his role in historic fights have left an indelible mark on the sport.

Pop Culture and Recognition

Mills Lane’s distinct voice and memorable catchphrase, “Let’s get it on!” became part of boxing lore and were frequently referenced in popular culture.

He was immortalized in video games and films.

Personal Challenges

Lane faced personal challenges and health issues in his later years, including suffering a stroke in 2002.

Despite these challenges, he remained a beloved figure in the boxing world.

Passing of a Legend

Mills Lane passed away on February 27, 2019, at 82, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be associated with the sport of boxing.


Mills Lane’s journey from the courtroom to the boxing ring is a testament to his passion, integrity, and dedication to the sport. He cast a big shadow in the boxing referee world, becoming an iconic figure known for his fairness, courage, and commitment to fighter safety. Mills Lane’s impact on the sport of boxing is immeasurable, and his legacy continues to live on in the hearts of fans and fighters alike.