Mills Bee Lane III
November 12, 1937
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
|Other names||Judge Mills Lane|
Arbitrator on the Judge Mills Lane court show
|Judge Mills Lane|
He is best known for having officiated several major heavyweight championship boxing matches in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and for starring in the syndicated court show Judge Mills Lane. On June 9, 2013, Lane was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and was likewise inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on August 10 of the same year.
After his graduation from Middlesex School, Mills joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956. Subsequently, he enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. Lane graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a business degree in 1963, then attended the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law, graduating with the class of 1970.
He turned pro while in college, eventually earning a 10–1 record as a professional. In the US Olympic Trials in San Francisco for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Mills was defeated by Phil Baldwin in the boxing semifinals.
Boxing referee career
Lane refereed his first world championship boxing match in 1971, when Betulio González had a fifteen-round draw with Erbito Salavarria for the WBC flyweight title. Lane became a household name in the United States the night he refereed "The Bite Fight" rematch between world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and challenger Mike Tyson on June 28, 1997. After Tyson bit Holyfield's ears twice, Lane disqualified him. Lane's shirt was stained with blood from the incident, and he sold it to a memorabilia collector on the same night.
Mitch Halpern was supposed to referee the fight, but Tyson's camp protested so Lane was brought in at the last minute. Less than 3 weeks later Lane refereed the match between Lennox Lewis and Henry Akinwande. Just like Tyson Vs. Holyfield, it ended in disqualification when Akinwande used illegal tactics, these being excessive clinching and ignored Lane's repeated orders to stop.
On August 10, 2013, he was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.
Lane presided over the court show, Judge Mills Lane. The court show lasted for three seasons, from 1998 to 2001. In addition to this show, the producers of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch approached him about having his character and voice used in their show as the referee of their plasticine figure matches. Lane accepted the offer, and became an MTV personality. As a referee, Lane started boxing matches by declaring "Let's get it on!", which became his catchphrase. This was reproduced in Celebrity Deathmatch as his character would shout the same phrase to initiate fights. Lane titled his autobiography Let's Get It On: Tough Talk from Boxing's Top Ref and Nevada's Most Outspoken Judge.
Lane guest voiced on an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, in which he played a judge.
Later life and legacy
With his blessing, this led to his Celebrity Deathmatch alter-ego being voiced by Chris Edgerly (who played Nick Diamond) for the remainder of the series' run. His adopted city of Reno proclaimed December 27, 2004 as Mills Lane Day.
In May 2006, Lane made his first public appearance in years at the dedication of a new courthouse in Reno which is named after him. The Mills B. Lane Justice Center houses the Reno Municipal Court and the Washoe County District Attorney's Office.
Professional boxing record
|10 Wins (5 knockouts, 5 decisions), 1 Loss|
|Win||10–1||Buddy Knox||Unanimous decision||6||May 9, 1967||Centennial Coliseum, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||9–1||David Camacho||Unanimous decision||10||February 28, 1963||Mathisen Hall, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||8–1||Al Walker||Unanimous decision||6||January 31, 1963||Mathisen Hall, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||7–1||Larry Sanchez||KO||2 (6), 1:04||December 12, 1962||Mathisen Hall, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||6–1||Artie Cox||KO||3 (8), 0:43||August 7, 1962||Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, California|
|Win||5–1||Al Carroll||TKO||5 (8), 3:00||July 17, 1962||State Building, Reno, Nevada|
|Win||4–1||Dick Smith||Decision||6||June 26, 1962||Sacramento, California|
|Win||3–1||Marva Hawkins||KO||6 (6)||June 12, 1962||Sacramento, California|
|Win||2–1||Sonny King||TKO||1 (6), 2:10||May 27, 1962||Wagon Wheel Convention Center, Stateline, Nevada|
|Win||1–1||Carlos Loya||Unanimous decision||10||May 10, 1962||State Building, Reno, Nevada|
|Loss||0–1||Artie Cox||TKO||1 (4), 0:35||April 7, 1961||State Building, Reno, Nevada||Lane's professional debut.|
- "Mills Lane III - Reno, Nevada". Familytreenow.com. 1987-04-29. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- "Happy 77th Mills Lane ... and other Nevada tidbits". Rgj.com. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- Erickson, Hal (2009). Encyclopedia of television law shows: factual and fictional series about judges, lawyers and the courtroom, 1948-2008. McFarland. pp. 147–48. ISBN 978-0-7864-3828-0.
- "Lane inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame". ESPN. June 11, 2013.
- "Mills B. Lane Dies; A Banker 64 Years". The New York Times. 1945. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
- Moe, Doug (2005). Lords of the Ring: The Triumph and Tragedy of College Boxing's Greatest Team. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-299-20424-2.
- Sugar, Bert Randolph (2003). Bert Sugar on Boxing: The Best of the Sport's Most Notable Writer. Globe Pequot. pp. 247–49. ISBN 978-1-59228-048-3.
- Carp, Steve (2008). "Stroke victim Mills Lane, family cope". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Lane, Mills; Jedwin Smith (1998). Let's get it on: tough talk from boxing's top ref and Nevada's most outspoken judge. Crown. ISBN 978-0-609-60311-6.
- Fitzgerald, Mike; Morley, Patrick (February 28, 2013). Third Man in the Ring: 33 of Boxing's Best Referees and Their Stories. Potomac Books, Inc. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-1-61234-242-9.
- "Justice Center | City of Reno". www.reno.gov. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "Mills Lane Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com.