Mills Lane

Mills Lane, who gained fame as a boxing referee who would tell fighters “Let’s get it on,” has died at 85 years old in Reno, Nevada.

Lane’s son, Tommy, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that his father, who had suffered a stroke 20 years ago, had been in hospice for the last week.

“He took a significant decline in his overall situation,” Lane said. “It was a quick departure. He was comfortable and he was surrounded by his family.”

Lane became a boxer after joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956, becoming the All-Far-East welterweight champion. He won the NCAA welterweight title in 1960 and almost made the Olympic team. He then turned professional and compiled a record of 10-1.

Lane graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1963 and also began his career as a boxing referee. He would go on to referee boxing matches in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, becoming famous for his pre-fight “Let’s get it on” catchphrase. He not only refereed over 100 championship fights but he also became a household name in 1997 when he refereed “The Bite Fight” between world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.

When not in the ring, Lane had a very successful legal career, first as district attorney of Washoe County and eventually as a judge of Washoe County’s Second Judicial District Court. He parlayed his fame and legal standing into the “Judge Mills Lane” show, which ran for three years. He was also showcased in MTV’s “Celebrity Death Match,” as the referee of their claymation fights.

The boxing world and sports world came together to mourn the passing of Lane.

[Reno Gazette-Journal]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to