Full Name: BILL LANG
Date of Birth: 06/07/1882
Height: 182 cm ( 5-11 1/2 )
Weight: 89 kg ( 14-0 )
Debut: 02/05/1908, Round 1, Melbourne
Last Game: 10/07/1909, Round 11, University
Total Games: 14
William, whose correct surname was Langfranchi, played as a full-back and follower.
He was a courageous player who displayed a fearless desire towards winning the ball. He first started with Richmond when they were in the VFA and played in their 1905 Premiership team in his debut year.
He was better known as a boxer and began his professional boxing career in 1905, retiring in 1916.
His boxing record shows he fought 44 times for 34 wins, with three of his losses on points over 20 rounds.
His first big fight was in front of 15,000 people, under lights at Richmond Racecourse on March 4th, 1907.
On that occasion he was knocked out by American and future world champion, Jack Johnson, in the 9th round.
Lang also played in Richmond's debut year in the VFL, and after Round 9 clash , stepped away from the game to begin training to fight for the Heavyweight Title of the World.
On September 3rd, 1908, he fought for the world heavyweight title against Canadian Tommy Burns. This fight was scheduled for 20 rounds, but William was knocked out in the 6th round.
On the 3rd of February 1909, he knocked out Bill Squires, in the 17th of a scheduled 20 rounds to win the Australian Heavyweight title and successfully defended his title against Squires on 25/10/1909 with a knockout in the 20th round.
He again defended his title on 27/12/1909 with a 12th round knockout of triple world title-holder Bob Fitzsimmons, in Sydney.
He eventually lost his Australian heavyweight title on 11/4/1910 to Canadian Tommy Burns, on a points decision, over 20 rounds. William then fought overseas in both America and England, before returning to regain his Australian heavyweight title with a knockout victory over Bill Squires.
William relinquished his title to Jack Lester on September 8th 1911, with a points decision over 20 rounds. His last professional fight was on November 25th 1916, when he was knocked out. William later ran a hotel in Footscray.
He encountered a court case in 1908 regarding a dispute of a loan
Collingwood Juniors 1902-03 ; Fremantle 1904 ; Richmond VFA 1905-07 ( Honours - Premiership 1905 ).
Carlton Districts 1913.