Let's Get It On: Tough Talk from Boxing's Top Ref and Nevada's Most Outspoken Judge


I'm a fighter—a man who's reached his goals by continually hammering away while refusing to either back off or quit; a country boy, long on Marine Corps values, who wears his heart on his sleeve.
        So, let's get it on . . .

With his distinctive bald head, bow tie, and signature phrase, "Let's get it on!" Mills Lane is the most
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I'm a fighter—a man who's reached his goals by continually hammering away while refusing to either back off or quit; a country boy, long on Marine Corps values, who wears his heart on his sleeve.
        So, let's get it on . . .

With his distinctive bald head, bow tie, and signature phrase, "Let's get it on!" Mills Lane is the most
colorful and best-known referee in professional boxing. With almost a hundred world championship fights under his belt, he has a reputation for being one of the sharpest, most honorable refs in the business, a reputation confirmed internationally on June 28, 1997, when he disqualified Mike Tyson for twice biting Evander Holyfield's ears during what became the most bizarre championship fight in history.
Now, in Let's Get It On, Mills Lane provides a ringside seat for anyone who wants an intimate look into the outrageous personalities and often scandalous behavior that has defined the "sweet science" since he started refereeing. Former Marine, ex-professional boxer, and lifelong boxing fan, Lane is also a mediator beyond the boxing ring—he has been a Nevada district court judge nicknamed "Maximum Mills" for his stiff penalties and will be the arbiter of justice on his own syndicated TV show.
No one is granted clemency from Judge Lane's razor-sharp insights and provocative opinions in this refreshing book, which takes on the greedy promoters, lazy fighters, and corrupt practices of boxing. Lane exposes the insanity at the heart of the boxing business: the artificiallycreated rankings, the confusing number of sanctioning bodies, and the flesh merchants who take advantage of their fighters.
Mills Lane has been at the center of the good, the bad, and the ugly of boxing for three decades, including the Tyson-Holyfield debacle; the Oliver McCall—Lennox Lewis fight when former champ McCall dissolved into tears; and the Henry Akinwande—Lewis bout where Lane disqualified Akinwande for refusing to fight. But for every Mike Tyson or Riddick Bowe who never maximized his potential because he wouldn't pay the price, there is also an Evander Holyfield or Sugar Ray Leonard or Marvin Hagler or Alexis Arguello or Eddie Futch, the shining lights who show that there are important values to be learned from boxing: courage, honesty, integrity, responsibility, persistence, and loyalty, qualities we all need to live a good and righteous life.
This gutsy, sharp-tongued man of justice wants to save the profession he loves and reclaim a society that lacks the moral fiber to raise responsible citizens by sharing the code of conduct instilled in him by the Marine Corps and his boxing teachers and honed by a career in the law: Make no excuses. Never be afraid to say what you think. Cherish your fellow human beings. Strive to be honest. Important lessons from a country boy who wears his heart—and his integrity—on his sleeve.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lane came to national attention as the referee of the fight in which Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear and was disqualified, but he had been the third man in the ring for two decades before that. Writing with Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Smith, he reviews his life as the scion of a wealthy South Carolina farmer, a reluctant private school student, a wildly enthusiastic member of the Marine Corps, a prize-winning boxer, a district attorney and a district court judge, a position he still holds. His autobiography is a strange mixture of convincing advice to adhere to all the old maxims of self-reliance, honesty and respect for others, as he laments the current state of the judicial system, the family and professional boxingall this mixed with his near-worship of the Marines. A few observations are so exaggerated as to border on the hysterical (the banning of intercollegiate boxing by the NCAA was "a sad day for mankind," while those who oppose professional boxing are "mentally challenged"). There are reminiscences of great fights where he officiated and boxers he has known, especially Muhammad Ali, a great favorite. An interesting memoir for boxing fans. (July)
Library Journal
Ex-Marine Lane lives by some admirable laws: He will not wear platform shoes, a three-piece suit, or a toupee. He also carries a snub-nose .38 and thrives on maintaining order. As the world's best-known boxing referee (with nearly 100 world championship bouts to his credit) and a widely feared Reno district court judge known as "Maximum Mills," he applies to defendants, heavyweights, and ham attorneys an honorable personal code he claims he learned in the ring. This contrasting irony keeps the reader slogging eagerly through Lane's family struggles and "Get Tough" legal prescriptions (he is the anti-Ito), hoping he segues to the great Hagler-Mugabi or Holmes-Norton matches or the less-great night of June 28, 1997, when he disqualified Mike Tyson for biting. "[Boxing is] about self-respect and self-control," Lane believes, "discipline of the mind, body, and spirit." His recommendations for the morally swampy boxing world make for the book's more insightful passages. This entertaining sports memoir wrapped in a legal tell-all shows that the bench may be Lane's pulpit, but boxing is his deep, strange love. Recommended for public library sports collections.--Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Kirkus Reviews
Known to non-boxing fans as the fight official who witnessed Mike Tyson make a meal of Evander Holyfield's ear, Lane has also made quite an impression outside the squared circle as a pugilistic district judge in that law-and-order mecca, Nevada. Here he takes his trademark phrase, "let's get it on," sincerelyþand some would say disconcertinglyþto heart. Lane holds forth on a variety of topics, including affirmative action, parenting, race relations, individual responsibility, boxing, and, in light of his forthcoming syndicated television program, celebrity. A former marine, Mills applies what he learned as a raw recruit to virtually every facet of his life. In court, his tough, no-nonsense, and occasionally expedient approach to crime and especially punishment (he is outspoken in his defense of both capital punishment and the Second Amendment) earned him the sorbiquet "Maximum Mills." But the real source of Mills's fame is his actions in the ring as a prize-fight ref, and thankfully, that's where he confines most of his narrative. Praised within the boxing world for his integrity, Mills delivers some devastating blows to the sport, rightly taking it to task for being run by ruthless and greedy flesh peddlers. He also comes to the defense of the unsophisticated or punch-drunk boxers on whom promoters and managers regularly prey. Oddly, Lane professes his admiration for the business acumen of the man acknowledged by most to be the worst of the breed, boxing promoter Don King. Perhaps a stand against convention is the sort of thing that endears people to this latter-day frontier legend in the first place. In his final chapter, Lane delivers a listing of his "top ten fights"that accomplishes in a few pages what some ring scribblers take whole volumes to do. Quite impressive. Some engaging and provocative bluster from a man who calls 'em as he sees 'em, in life, in the ring, and in the courtroom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609603116
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/13/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Mills Lane was born in Savannah, Georgia. He joined the Marines, where he became the Far East welterweight champion, and then completed college and law school. He was district attorney in Reno, Nevada, and district court judge, and will have a syndicated court TV show in fall 1998. Mills Lane lives in Reno with his wife and two sons.

Jedwin Smith has worked for twenty-five years at newspapers throughout the country, mostly as sports editor. For the last four years he has been at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  He lives in Atlanta with his wife and four daughters.

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