Boxing referee Mills Lane who officiated Mike Tyson ear bite dies, aged 85
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The beloved boxing referee Mills Lane has died aged 85.
Lane, one of the most well-known officials in the sport, passed away on Tuesday, surrounded by his family in a hospice his hometown of Reno, Nevada.
"He took a significant decline in his overall situation," his son Tommy Lane told the Reno Gazette Journal.
"You never knew how long he had. We kind of felt like we were preparing for this all along, but there's no such thing as preparing for this."
The legendary referee had a successful short stint as a fighter, but was most remembered for taking charge of some of boxing's most iconic world title bouts.
READ MORE: How old is Mike Tyson? Height, net worth and when he started boxing
Lane was the official in the squared circle for Mike Tyson's infamous heavyweight battle with Evander Holyfield in 1997.
The respected referee disqualified Tyson for biting his opponent Holyfield twice during their controversial rematch fight.
And, in total, Lane took charge of over 100 world championship fights, officiating icons of the sport including the great Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis.
His signature catch phrase "Let's get it on!" to start fights became hugely popular among boxing fans as he made his own mark on the showpiece occasion.
Before making his name as a no-nonsense, world-class referee, Lane started boxing with the US Marine Corps in 1958 and finished with a 10-1 record.
His experience with the gloves on proved crucial experience for his brilliant officiating, and tributes are now pouring in for the much-loved Hall of Fame referee.
"Mills Lane made his mark as a great,firm and fair boxing referee," one fan wrote.
"Very sad indeed. He was one of the best," another added. One fan's tribute read: "RIP to one of the most recognisable and influential men in the sport, Mills Lane."
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- Mike Tyson
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