Heavyweight boxing champion of Australia, William “Bill” Squires and his manager Barney Reynolds were passengers on the Wimmera on its departure from Sydney for Auckland on Wednesday 6 March 1907. Squires was on his way to the United States where he was to fight Canadian-born “Tommy” Burns (aka Noah Brusso) for the World’s Boxing Championship. Interviewed prior to his departure Squires stated that he ”…was in excellent condition, and expected, if the passage were a good one, to be fit to box within a month after landing.”
Although Squires expected to and was “anxious to meet the retired champion of the world, James J. Jeffries, [he] announced his readiness to enter the ring with any American boxer of sufficient recognition to ensure a substantial purse. “I don’t say I’ll win,” said Squires, “but Australia can rely on my fighting all I know.”
Until that time Squires was/had won/defeated .. bouts…
Departing from Auckland on 25 March Squires and Reynolds took the Ventura to San Franscisco via Honolulu. They arrived in the United States on 17 April 1907..
The boxing contest between Squires and Burns took place in San Francisco on 4 July 1907.
“Burns knocked out Squires in one round.”
Following his loss Squires cabled (John Wren) in Australia requesting to be released from his contracts and retire, thus enabling him to continue to fight in the United States.
By Christmas, in fact by November that year the Australian public were viewing the much debated match for themselves through the release and showing of the cinematograph pictures of the Burns-Squires fight.
Squires remained in the United States until … and was matched against and fought … boxers including … Sullivan whom he fought and was defeated by on 28 September.
Bill Squires was also a saloon passenger on the Wimmera when she arrived in Sydney from Auckland on 4 December 1908.
© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021