How Did Mills Lane Long-time Boxing Referee Die?


An American renowned boxing referee and professional boxer, Mills Lane passed away at the age of 85 on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022. One of his sons, Tommy Lane confirmed his death news in the Reno Gazette-Journal and expressed his profound sadness. Mills was the one who refereed the iconic clash between Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield’s “Bite Fight” on 28 June 1997.

Keep reading to know more about the legendary referee, Mills Lane, including who he was, his career highlights, how he died, the cause of his death, tributes for Mills Lane, and many more!

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Who Was Mills Lane?

Mills Bee Lane III was born on November 12, 1937, in Savannah, Georgia, United States. He did his formal education at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, where he indulged himself in ice hockey as a goaltender. In 1963, he attended the University of Nevada, Reno for his graduating with a business degree.

Initially, Lane began learning boxing while serving in the Marine Corps. If we talk about his personal life, he survived with his wife, Kaye, with whom he blessed with two sons, Terry Lane and Tommy Lane. In the ring alongside legends like Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, and Lennox Lewis, Lane officiated more than 100 title fights. He was regarded for his fairness and ferocity.

Career Highlights

He was arguably most remembered for the second Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight, sometimes known as the “Bite Fight,” which took place in 1997 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and featured Tyson biting off a piece of Holyfield’s ear. The second time Tyson bit Holyfield, Lane disqualified him.

Both when Tyson was disqualified during his second fight with Holyfield for purposefully biting his ear and when Holyfield successfully defended his heavyweight title against Buster Douglas, Mills served as the referee.

Lane, a boxer who had won an NCAA title in 1960, went 10-1 in the professional ranks before going on to become a much more significant figure in the sport as a referee. His command, “Let’s get it on!” became the last words heard prior to several famous battles. He was respected for being tough yet fair.

How Did Mills Lane? Cause of his Death

Legendary boxer and well-known referee, Mills Lane died on December 6th, 2022after being in hospice care for the past few weeks. He passed away peacefully at his home in Reno, Nevada, surrounded by his wife, Kaye, and two sons.

The cause of his death is not revealed by anyone at the time of writing. However, we’ve estimated that he died because of some kind of dysfunctionality with his brain. Twenty years ago, in April 2002, Mills suffered multiple strokes that put a stop to his career as a referee and left him unspeakable.

The Nevada Boxing Hall of fame expresses their disbelief about Mills’s death,

“The legendary referee Mills Lane’s demise is mourned by the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Mills, a longtime resident of Reno, served as Washoe County’s district attorney before becoming a district court judge. He currently has a courtroom in Reno named after him. He officiated a few of the major boxing matches.”

Tributes for Mills Lane

WorldStarHipHop:“According to reports, legendary boxing referee #MillsLane died at age 85. According to sources, Lane, who was known for the expression “let’s get it on,” spent the previous week in hospice care and died away while being surrounded by his wife and sons.”

Tory Hughes is at a loss for words and showed his condolences to his family, saying

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ESPN Ringside:At his home in Reno, Nevada, on Tuesday morning, Mills Lane passed away. He was a Hall of Fame referee who presided over the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield “Bite Fight” and more than 100 other championship fights. His son, Terry Lane, confirmed to ESPN’s @MikeCoppinger.

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