Mills Lane, the referee who disqualified Mike Tyson for biting Evander Holyfield’s ears within the 1997 global heavyweight name combat, has died on the age of 85.
Lane’s son, Tommy, advised the Reno Gazette-Journal that his father, who were unwell since struggling a stroke twenty years in the past, died peacefully at a hospice within the Nevada town on Tuesday.
“He took a significant decline in his overall situation,” Tommy Lane advised the Gazette-Journal. “It was a quick departure. He was comfortable and he was surrounded by his family.
Lane served in the US Marines for three years before attending college. He boxed in the Marines and at college where he turned professional, winning his first 10 fights before retiring with a 10-1 record. He then turned to law and had a successful career as a prosecutor, and later found fame as a TV courtroom judge. He eventually became a boxing referee and coined his memorable catchphrase, “Let’s get it on”.
Lane officiated in a number of other controversial heavyweight fights, including the second meeting between Holyfield and Riddick Bowe in 1993, which was interrupted by a paraglider landing in the ring.
He threw out a distressed Oliver McCall from his 1997 rematch with Lennox Lewis, and also disqualified Henry Akinwande for excessive holding against Lewis four months later.
,[Lane] was one of the most unique people I’ve ever met,” Marc Ratner, the former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, told Yahoo Sports. “He was a law-and-order guy and very firm, but he was a wonderful guy and I loved speaking with him and spending time with him. He was a no-nonsense referee and even though he was a slight man, when he gave commands and told the fighters to break, they broke because they had so much respect for him.”
Lane used to be elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. He is survived through his spouse Kaye and sons Terry and Tommy.