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Lane Bros. continue making name in the boxing game

Story by David L. Hudson

Tommy and Terry Lane continue to make their names in the boxing game by carrying out the tradition of their famous father, Mills, by promoting high-quality boxing shows. This Friday they are promoting a card in their hometown Reno, Nevada, televised by ESPN2 that features an intriguing main event between former Contender participant Jesse Brinkley against the charismatic and talented Curtis Stevens.

“We are very excited about this show,” said Tommy. “This is a fight we wanted to put together for a while. Curtis has a big personality and is an exciting fighter. When we had the opportunity, we went for it and it should be a great fight. It is on ESPN for the country to see. We hope the country will see the talents of Jesse.” The brothers signed Brinkley in 2008 to their growing stable of fighters.

The card also features an up-and-coming, undefeated prospect named Brandon Gonzalez out of Sacramento, who the brothers just signed to a promotional deal. “He is one of the most talented young fighters we have seen in a long time,” said Tommy. “We have big plans for him and there is a good chance that he’ll also appear in the TV opener.”

The brothers – both in their 20s – complement each other very well. Terry, the older of the two, handles the matchmaking and dealing with the state athletic commissioners. Tommy handles much of the business dealings.

Given their age, one might think that could be a disadvantage in sport as demanding and cutthroat as boxing can be at times. “Our youth has presented some challenges,” acknowledges Terry. “In the very beginning we had to work harder to be taken seriously. But, our youth has also been an advantage, as we’ve kind of been a fresh air in boxing and been able to use it to our advantage.”

The two brothers came to boxing naturally, as they grew up in Reno, Nevada, where their father had a distinguished legal and boxing career. Mills Lane was one of the sport’s all-time great referees and then he stepped out into promoting after he hung up the bow tie. An unfortunate stroke ended his promotional career in 2002.

But, in 2005, his young sons decided to follow in their father’s footsteps and run the company founded by their father - “Let’s Get It On Promotions.” The two really enjoy working together as brothers. “It works very well,” Terry says. “A lot of people warned us about working with family but Tommy and I grew up around boxing and we love it equally. It is a pleasure to work with him on a daily basis.”

The two share their father’s and grandfather’s work ethic. Mills Lane used to say “get your ears back and get after it.” The two brothers embody that same attitude and try to outwork everybody else.

“Our goal as a company is to be the best boxing promotional company in the world,” Tommy said. “It is going to take some time to get there but we really want to help bring boxing back to mainstream popularity. We think it can be done by applying honest practices and ethical standards.”

The two recognize that mixed martial arts has garnered the attention of younger fans. The Lane brothers have even promoted shows that featured MMA bouts alongside boxing bouts. “Our long-term goal is to use MMA and put on both types of fights in order to reintroduce young people to boxing,” said Terry. “But our main business is boxing.”

Their father attended his sons’ first show back in 2007 and they hope he can attend a show in the near future. They are working on a three-day event that will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the most famous fight in Reno – and one of the most famous fights in boxing history – on July 4, 1910, when Jack Johnson successfully defended his heavyweight title against former champion James Jeffries. “We hope our father can attend that show. It was one of the most important fights in boxing history and we want to honor it.”

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— David L. Hudson Jr. is the author of Combat Sports: An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts and the co-author of Boxing’s Most Wanted.


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