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Thread: Mills Lane

  1. #1
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    Mills Lane

    I have been reading alot about referees the last week or so. The one name that has not came up is Mills Lane. I always liked Mills. He was definatly not afraid to jump in between two guys that had at least 50 pounds on him.
    What do you guys think of Mills Lane?

    Randy

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    Re: Mills Lane

    A top ref, IMO. But intimidatable by the situation, not immune from that--he should have bounced Tyson after the FIRST ear bite.

    Overall, Mills was on top of things and yet non-interfering.

    I'd be interested, or course, in Ron's take.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Something about Mills really made a fight feel major, he really brought drama in the refs instructions.

    Before Bruno/Tyson II he was superb!!

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I have to say I never liked him. A good ref to me is one that you don't notice. And Mills Lane with his 'LET'S GET IT ON!!' went out of his way to be noticed. If biting someones ear off is not an instant disqualification then what the hell is? Gouging an eye out!? I didn't like the way he let Berbick fall all over the place either. Just a showboat in a profession that really calls for a cool head otherwise the results can be fatal.
    Last edited by gazot; 06-24-2008 at 11:41 AM.

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    I think Mills was a Solid Ref

    During his heyday, he was among the tops for his time.

    But he too was not perfect. And who was? There isn't a ref who ever stepped between the ropes who was perfect and didn't make mistakes that he should be taken to task for, from time to time. They're Human.

    Following Holmes Cooney, Mills got Low blow Happy, in whihc anything near the belt line, he was warning for low blows. Took him nearly 3 years to shake that.

    There have been a few other instances where criticism is meritted, but I think overall, the good far out weighed the bad.

    Let's put it this way, when Mills was the Ref, you didn't go: "Oh Shit, here we go agian." Ala a Jay Nady reaction that we all have.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Ever note Ken Norton's condition after the first KD in the Shavers fight?

    Kenny was done. Legless, holding onto the top rope, blank stare and Mills just took a quick look and waved Shavers right back at him. To tie this in with the Holmes-Snipes, thread Norton could quite easily be considered worse than Lewis and he was definitely worse than Carl Williams.

    My take on this whole matter may sound a bit callous, but boxing is a blood sport and there is a certain risk factor that comes with it. The referee is there to protect the fighter from getting injured, but there is a fine line here as fighters routinely get hurt or floored and bounce back to not only compete evenly but win ie: Moore-Durelle.

    Let the referee protect the fighters from injury at the same time acknowledging the risk factors that boxers certainly assume every time they step through the ropes.

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    And I don't have a problem

    With Mills' way of letting fighters continue.

    Heck does ANYONE here think Milt McCrory stood a chance of surviving after the hook Curry dropped on him, left him, I dunno, helpless? Yet Mills allowed Curry to come in and then drop another MONSTER right hand.

    We knew THEN, the fight was ended.

    Personally, like you 10-8, I prefer it this way.

    It is afterall, Boxing.

    Now, like SHavers Norton and Curry McCrory, do I think Lewis or the Truth would have Survived the ensuing barrages they were in for? No. I don't. Doesn't mean that it would have been outrageous to have let the bouts continue.

    Especially given these two benchmarks.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I don't think one horrific knockdown in rd. 1 or 2 merits a stoppage of a top fighter, say a Norton in the Shavers bout or a McCrory in the Curry bout. I think this should be the exception, i.e., the ref should lean toward letting it go on in the first 6 minutes.

    Not that cheating the fans is the sole factor here, but also the fighter's point of view and his likelihood of overcoming. How often have we seen a guy really nailed come back to win a fight? Thousands of times. Such as Holmes vs. Snipes or Shavers 2.

    But had Holmes lost both of those to stoppage upon those knockdowns in round 7, while I feel it would have been wrong, I believe it would have been unconscionable if in rd. 1 or 2.

    I DON'T think boxing should degrade into a Larry Hazzard stopping Saad Muhammad-Jerry Martin with the guy hit by just one punch and still on his feet. The fighter himself would rather be hit by more blows and go out on his shield than lose that way. Magnify this by 100 times if the fight were stopped at the first knockdown in rd. 1 or rd. 2.

    I look at it as an artful sport and not a blood sport, but if the rules allow for 3 knockdowns in a round, or more, I think the question of a fighter's safety in the first 6 minutes is not quite the issue it is a half hour later. Stop them in the opening rounds if the fighter's safety really seems at risk, but not "quickly." The sport is not about the ref waiting around for a knockdown to happen, just to stop the fight fast; stoppage is the last resort.

    By the way, if the sport's rulemakers are so concerned with "safety," then pro boxing shouldn't exist at all. Pretty much every landed blow is harmful, and every knockout is a concussion. Retired fighters, for the most part, are in far worse physical condition than their non-boxing peers.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Very good referee, but, as noted before, had some bad days just like you would expect any human to have. I feel his inability to break (and unwillingness to penalize) the excessive holding in Hearns-Kinchen cost The Heat the fight.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Mills Lane was a fantastic referee and I miss him.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Mills did me a solid once. I was in Reno at a boxing convention. I was sitting with Larry Hazzard and few people. He came over to the table and said, "Ron is one of the most in shape guys refereeing today, he is one of the best."
    I felt pretty good and thanked him very much. He was one tough salty dog, a former amateur lightweight and a Judge.

    He knew the game very well. The only thing I did not like is one of the things I mentioned about Cortez and a few others. The quick talking slang in the midst of battle, rather than a clear cut decisive demand in English. There was a lot of "Hey, Hey Hey, Ho Ho Ho," scolding that did not seem to work a lot.

    Tyson should have been DQ'd for the ear bite, it was his call and I understand but a sublte signal was sent by my good friend Marc Ratner to Mills on the ring apron. Milss said, He's through, he bit him etc, then Marc noting the large crowd who paid to see a fight to the finish said, very carefully on camera, "You sure you want to disqualify him, " then Mills gave Iron Mike one more chance. I understand and the show must go on, and I like both guys and they both had a responsibility to everyone concerned, yet a chunk of ear was missing.

    I pray Mills is doing ok now.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I think that towards the end of his reffing career Lane became a victim of his own fame in that he was expected to get more involved in the bouts he worked than he otherwise would have. Especially so after Holyfield-Tyson II. Aside from uttering his catchphrase "Let's get it on!" I don't think Lane ever intended to focus so much attention on himself in the ring.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Valid Point.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Couldn't say anything else apart from a classy referee - there are so many poor officials out there - too fussy, too prone to stop fights, trying to steal the limelight, that men like Lane are a breath of fresh air, and the man had that charisma about him - a very distinct referee.

  15. #15
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    Re: Mills Lane

    Here is a bit of trivia taken from my book:

    The Fan Man

    The “Fan Man,” James Miller, landed during the 1993 heavyweight fight
    between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield. When the lines of his paraglide
    tangled, he hit the canvas, and one of his legs got caught in the top rope of the ring. Fans dragged him down and gave him a beating. After his release from the hospital, he was charged with dangerous flying and released on bail. As it turnedout, he was the only one who got knocked out, as Holyfield beat Bowe by a majority descision.

    In 1997, Oliver McCall suffered an emotional breakdown in his heavyweight
    title fight with Lennox Lewis. This was altogether a chilling memory, but not
    altogether unexpected.

    Also in 1997, Mike Tyson was disqualified for twice biting Holyfield’s ears,
    claiming he was retaliating because of head butting by Holyfield.

    Now each of these incidents is a notable entry in my memory bank, but what
    truly makes them memorable is that each was held in Las Vegas, each was for a heavyweight title, and each was refereed by Mills Lane.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I always thought Lane was a decent ref; but I could never ever ever understand how he allowed Tyson to bite Holy twice, after he knew of the first bite; surely that merits an automatic stopping of the action, investigation and Disqualification

  17. #17
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    Re: Mills Lane

    Mills is on the looooong road to recovery, but he will never be the way he was. It's sad to see a tough Marine, ex boxer, referee be taken down by a debilitating stroke, but he is one very tough customer.

    My own favorite refree is Stanley Christodoulou (but I am biased because he is a personal friend). I also like Frank Cappuccino and Toby Gibson. I prefer those who are less intusive and vocal. Ones that you can hardly notice and who allow the flow of the fight to continue with minimal interruption.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Lane was great, and for some odd reason, most times when Lane is the 3rd man, something strange happens. Fan man, bite ete. But hey,He dealt with it ok in my book. Yeah Tyson should have been DQ, but Marc Ratner DID put Lane on the spot light, in front of evey one. I mean Holyfiled's ear was missing, this was not just a bite, but Evander was missing a EAR.
    But yet he cox Lane into letting it go on.

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    Stanley Christodoulou

    Ted, I brought up Stanley's name awhile back in a discussion with Ron Lipton, and asked for an opinion.

    I too always thought Stanley was a quality ref who has done some real famous fights such as Hearns-Cuevas, Pryor-Arguello, Hagler-Duran, not to mention a whack of other title fights. It was always a pleasure to see him in the ring for a major closed circuit fight as opposed to Richard Steele.

    Big guy, solid, no-nonsense type of persona as the third man. There were some criticisms of him for letting Pryor-Arguello I go a few punches too long, but if he did it was maybe only the last 2 or 3. I thought he stepped in at the right time and the ending and subsequent Pryor win was decisive.

    Unless I'm forgetting or overlooking some glaring controversy, he deserves to be mentioned among the better referees.

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    Mills also

    worked Hopkins Allen I.

    Now THAT was probably a night he wanted to forget!

    It's funny when I hear size being mentioned. Stanley was definitely a big guy, but Mills' small stature never was an issue with the exception of a couple of times.

    Hearns Kinchen was one such example, and that was only 168 pounds we are talking about. I don't recall a Heavyweight fight where he truly lost control due to his lack of size.

    Could be missing an obvious one here, but nothing jumps out at me.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mills Lane

    Think of the heavyweight champions Mills has worked and seen up close, Ali, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Foreman, Lewis etc.....I'd love to hear his opinions on each guy having been that close to the action.
    Last edited by 10-8; 06-25-2008 at 04:29 PM.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I liked Mills most of the time.Certainly a good ref overall.

    Another underrated one is John Coyle.

  23. #23
    tedsares
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    Re: Mills Lane

    Sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees which is to say that Ron Lipton was a very fine referee. The thing about Ron, aside from his fairness, was that he kept in great shape and was strong enough that he could control every fight without verbal or physical intrusion. Yeah, Ron was one of my favorites as well.

  24. #24
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    Re: Stanley Christodoulou

    Quote Originally Posted by 10-8
    Ted, I brought up Stanley's name awhile back in a discussion with Ron Lipton, and asked for an opinion.

    I too always thought Stanley was a quality ref who has done some real famous fights such as Hearns-Cuevas, Pryor-Arguello, Hagler-Duran, not to mention a whack of other title fights. It was always a pleasure to see him in the ring for a major closed circuit fight as opposed to Richard Steele.

    Big guy, solid, no-nonsense type of persona as the third man. There were some criticisms of him for letting Pryor-Arguello I go a few punches too long, but if he did it was maybe only the last 2 or 3. I thought he stepped in at the right time and the ending and subsequent Pryor win was decisive.

    Unless I'm forgetting or overlooking some glaring controversy, he deserves to be mentioned among the better referees.

    His most famous fight was the Castro-John David Jackson one where Jorge through the miracle punch that iced Jackson while Joreg was on Queer St. That fight is still written about in South America as one of the legendary boxing events of all time. To hear Stanley talk about it on a one on one is a pure gem of a memory. Of course, the fact Stanley is Greek (via South Africa) is in his favor as well insofar as I am concerned. The Castro punch became known as La mano de Dios, (The hand of God).

  25. #25
    tedsares
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    Re: Mills Lane

    Excuse my typos but my eyes have been dilated twice over the past 3 days and they are acting funny.

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    10-8

    Just re-thumbed through Mills' book. He states Ali was the best he ever saw.

    While I was ultimately dissapointed in his book "Let's Get it On", it isn't totally without use.

    In the back it lists every Title fight he reffed up through the printing of the book in 1997.

    Some helpful info.

    Hawk

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    Hawk

    Cool, thanks for that info. I checked boxrec for the fights he reffed. I never did read his book. Ali-Bob Foster was the only Ali fight he reffed.

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    I was hoping it would have been better

    Unfortunately it wasn't. There was a slew of incorrect info in it, specifically on fights he himself reffed.

    And maybe that would not have bothered me as much if it was someone else. But it dissapointed me that a man who's "Day Job" required getting everything right, would be as careless as he was in his Bio.

    Now obviously he wrote it with someone else, Jedwin Smith, but I thought some tidier dotting of the I's and crossing of the T's would have been in order.

    Again, this may be nitpicking, but we all know I'm anal, here are examples of what I'm talking about:

    1-(page 29)- Lane credits Oliver McCall with a First round KO of Lennox Lewis. It was the 2nd round.

    2-(page 97)- Lane states that Bobby Chacon became the Super Flyweight Champ with a 15 round decision over Bazooka Limon. That was Super Featherweight/Jr. Lightweight.

    3-(page 99)- Lane states that the second Livingstone Bramble-Ray Mancini fight was for the Welterweight title. It was the Lightweight title.

    4-(page 101)- Lane states that Iran Barkley "TWICE knocked Thomas Hearns unconscious". Barkley Ko'd Hearns in the first fight, he decisioned him in the second, a fight Lane Reffed. It should be noted that Barkley did knock Tommy down in the second fight though.

    5-(page 122)- Lane states that the common opponent between Erbito Salavarria and Betulio Gonzales was San Sacristan. It was not. It was Natalio Jimenez. (No, I did not know that one off the top of my head. But guess what? I looked it up. Novel idea.)

    6-(page 179)- Lane states that Chavez retained his Jr. Welterweight title after his controversial Draw with Pernell Whitaker. The fight was for Whitaker's Welterweight title.

    7-(page 182)- Lane refers to Matt Fleischer, as opposed to Nat Fleischer. Come on now.

    8-(page 189)- In a fight that Lane refereed, he states that Gerry Cooney was knocked down by Larry Holmes in the "third or fourth round". It was the Second round.

    9-(page 246)- In another fight that Lane refereed, he states that "Donald Curry hit Milton McCrory with a tremendous right hand early in the third round and McCrory went down". He goes on to state that Milton was kayoed with another right hand, after he got up. Curry kayoed McCrory in the Second round. And the first knockdown was with a Left Hook.

    10-(picture between 118 & 119)- Lane states Mike Tyson retained his WBC title against Trevor Berbick. Tyson Won the title from Berbick.

    11-(picture between 118 & 119)- Lane states that: "Once he was released from prison, heavyweight contender Mike Tyson had all he could handle from Razor Ruddock,winning a 12-round decision on June 28, 1991. Tyson faced Ruddock BEFORE he went to prison.

    Still, the book does have some good stuff in it and I would not tell anyone to NOT read it. But there are a few frustrating parts to it from this standpoint.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-26-2008 at 08:39 AM.

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    Re: Mills Lane

    I wouldn't call it nitpicking. Unbelievable that he got all of that wrong. Matt Fleischer!!! Wow! I'm wondering if he really had anything to do with the book at all.

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    Either that

    or the effort to verify anything that might have been in question, was not all that great.

    And to me, that was where the dissapointment lies.

    Again, I don't want to suggest the book sucks. It doesn't. And there is some good stuff you can get from it.

    But I have a thing for factual errors when all it takes is a bit of effort to verify what you are putting into print with your name on it.

    Hawk

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