Name: Bill Squires
Alias: Boshter Bill
Birthplace: Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 1962-09-01 (Age:83)
Hometown: Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Height: 5′ 10½″ / 179cm
Reach: 70″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
Trainer': Tim McGrath (1907)
Considered a fearsome puncher during his prime, Bill Squires fought for the world heavyweight championship three times and once strung off three consecutive first round knockouts in defense of Australia’s championship in the days when Australia was considered one of the world’s premier producers of boxing talent. His career was brief and failed to meet the expectations placed upon him by the international press, but at one time he ranked among the most feared heavyweights in the world.
His first known prizefight took place in 1900, a third round knockout of one Bill Costello. In 1902 he faced Edward (Starlight) Rollins, a vastly more experienced fighter who had been in the ring with some of Australia’s best, including Bob Fitzsimmons. Winning by disqualification in four, Squires fought a rematch with Rollins two years later, against coming away the victor on a foul. After winning against former Australian champ Peter Felix in similar fashion, Squires lost by disqualification to Arthur Cripps, his first professional setback.
In the next few years, Squires exploded into international fame by putting together a string of knockouts against impressive competition. He scored six consecutive knockouts before taking on Tim Draffin Murphy for the national title. Destroying Murphy in three, Squires defended the title against Peter Kling, Bill Smith, and Mike Williams, finishing them all inside of the first round. When Jack Johnson, the leading heavyweight contender from America, arrived in Australia in early 1907, he wanted to face Squires. His idea was that the winner would have the right to call upon undefeated but retired former heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries to return from retirement for a high-paying prizefight. Squires, however, on the advice of his manager Jack Wren, refused the fight with Johnson, and instead traveled to America to try and coax Jeffries out of retirement anyway.
Billy was the undefeated Champion of Australia when he came to North America to fight the retired James J. Jeffries. Jeffries refused the fight, stating that he was in fact retired, and if Squires wanted a shot at the champion of the world he would have to fight Tommy Burns.
Squires at first refused to acknowledge Burns as the champion of the world as no man had yet defeated Jeffries. When it became clear Mr. Jeffries was in fact never going to fight again (or so every one thought), Squires agreed to fight Tommy Burns. Burns taught Squires a harsh lesson in questioning his status as the new Heavyweight Champion of the World and easily KOed him in the first round. Squires and his people called it a fluke, but Squires was later KOed twice more by Burns in rematches for the title, only to be hired on as Tommy's sparring partneer.
Relying largely on his early reputation, Squires continued to face top opposition in the years after his first meeting with Burns, though he never again won a major bout. He suffered knockout losses at the hands of Jack Sullivan and Fireman Jim Flynn in 1907. Returning to his native Australia, Billy tried to reclaim the national championship there but was beaten in four consecutive matches with Bill Lang and retired in 1911. After losing a lone comeback bout in 1916 against reigning Australian champ Dave Smith, Squires entered retirement for good.
- Portrait of boxer 'Boshter' Bill Squires, with trainer Jim Russell (between 1902-1916) - held and digitised as part of the Arnold Thomas boxing collection, by the National Library of Australia
- Ward, Geoffrey C. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson