Referee Mills Lane To Be Honored By Boxing Writers Association

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIMarch 6, 2010

Mills Lane , one of the most known of all boxing officials will receive the James. J. Farley Award on Jun. 4 by the Boxing Writers Association of America. The award is given to those who have exemplified “honesty and integrity.”

Lane  began his association with boxing while in the Marine Corps. He was the welterweight champion of the All-Far East.

While a student at the University of Nevada, Reno he was the NCAA boxing champion.

After suffering a first round  knockout in his professional debut against Artie Cox in 1961, Lane reeled off 10 consecutive wins including a round three KO in a rematch with Cox. His professional record is 10-1 with six knockouts. He retired in 1963, only to return four years later to win a decision over Buddy Knox and retired for good the next day.

His command to boxers at the beginning of a bout is the legendary, “Let’s get it on.” He coined that phrase in the 1982 title fight between heavyweights Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney.

He has refereed in many high profile fights. His first championship bout was a 1971 flyweight title fight between Betulio Gonzalez and Erbito Salavarria.

His most notorious bout was the second fight between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1997. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear twice and actually bit part of it off during the fight. Lane immediately disqualified Tyson and the title was retained by Holyfield.

I always thought him to be a fair official who was strict and expected to be listened to by the fighters.

Taking advantage of his legal background, he hosted a court show on television called “Judge Mills Lane”.

In 2002 Lane suffered a massive stroke which left him permanently disabled, thus ending his active association with boxing. His sons run the family business “Let’s Get It On Promotions.”

For more, go to A Sports Moment

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