|Born||Mills Bee Lane III
November 12, 1936
|Other names||Judge Mills Lane|
|Occupation||Retired television judge and former boxing referee|
|Notable credit(s)||Judge Mills Lane
Mills Bee Lane III (born November 12, 1936) is a retired boxing referee, a former boxer, was a two-term Washoe County District Court Judge and television personality. 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.
Lane hails from a prominent Georgia family: his grandfather founded the largest bank in Georgia, and his uncle (and namesake) was the president of Citizens & Southern National Bank. Mills, however, had other aspirations, and joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956, after his graduation from Middlesex School. He became a boxer while serving as a Marine, becoming the All-Far East welterweight champ. After leaving the Marine Corps, he enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno and became the NCAA boxing champion. He turned pro while in college, eventually earning a 10–1 record as a pro. He was in the 1960 Summer Olympics boxing finals held in San Francisco, California. He was defeated by Phil Baldwin in the semifinals.
Lane graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a business degree in 1963, then attended the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, graduating with the class of 1970. In 1979, he became Chief Deputy Sheriff of Investigative Services at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. He was elected District Attorney in 1982 and District Judge in 1990.
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 him, so Lane was brought in at the last minute. Less than 3 weeks later Lane refereed the boxing fight between Lennox Lewis and Henry Akinwande. Just like Tyson Vs. Holyfield, it ended in disqualification when Akinwande used illegal tactics and ignored Lane's repetitive orders to stop.
Lane presided over the court show, Judge Mills Lane, as a tough and sassy judge known for his locution of "Let's get it on" upon the outset of each case. 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.
Lane suffered a debilitating stroke in March 2002 which left him partially paralyzed, and virtually unable to speak. 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, Reno, celebrated him on December 27, 2004, proclaiming it "Mills Lane Day". In May 2006, Lane made his first public appearance in years at the dedication of a new courthouse which is named after him.
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.|
- Erickson, Hal (2009). Encyclopedia of television law shows: factual and fictional series about judges, lawyers and the courtroom, 1948-2008. McFarland. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-0-7864-3828-0.
- "Lane inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame". ESPN. June 11, 2013.
- 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. 247–249. ISBN 978-1-59228-048-3.
- 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.
- Carp, Steve (2008). "Stroke victim Mills Lane, family cope". Las vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 11/09/2008. Check date values in:
- Fitzgerald, Mike; Morley, Patrick (28 February 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.
- "Mills Lane Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com.