The great George Orwell is sometimes quoted as saying “Journalism is printing what somebody doesn’t want you to print. Everything else is public relations.”
Too many writers today are content to be in the public relations game–and it cheapens the Sweet Science just as it does all of reality. Take, for example, this story published on Yahoo Sport’s Boxing page: “Charr Ends Germany’s 85-year wait for World Heavyweight Champion.“
It is fortunate for the author of this piece of dreck that the article is credited only to the AFP news wire. Because it is an embarrassing piece of public relations, not factual news. The writer was handed an exciting headline and went with it, not taking any time at all to verify its credibility.
I do not want to be too hard on this anonymous scribe. The alphabet-soup clown shows like the WBA have muddied the waters beyond any sort of easy recognition when it comes to identifying true world champions.
But even under the loose definition of truth subscribed to by many in today’s boxing world, calling Charr a “world champion” is a whopper. Unfortunately, these sort of whoppers are par for the course when it comes to the WBA.
By defeating Alexander Ustinov Saturday night, Charr earned something called the WBA “regular” world title. Anthony Joshua, you see, is their “super” world champion.
Even if you are content to accept four different sanctioning bodies all recognizing their own champions, nobody should accept one of those sanctioning bodies recognizing an additional world champion. Try this: tell your wife she’s your “super” wife but you are going to start keeping company with a single lady across town, recognizing her as merely your “regular” wife. See how that works out for you.
Charr has had a respectable career. He was stopped in four rounds on cuts against Vitali Klitschko in 2012. He was knocked out cold by Alexander Povetkin in 2014 and by cruiserweight Marias Breidis in 2015. In between those two stoppages, he lost a majority decision to Johann Duhaupas.
He’s not a bum, but I wouldn’t even rank him in the division’s top 10. And it’s a disgraceful lie to suggest that he shares the same historical significance as Max Schmeling, who remains the only German citizen to ever hold the World Heavyweight Championship.