Boxing News At Five | Jun 27 2019

Boxing News at Five: What is a ‘franchise champion’ and why has the WBC made Canelo Alvarez one?

In a baffling move the WBC make Jermall Charlo champion and Canelo Alvarez 'franchise' titlist. Terry Dooley tries to fathom it in today's Boxing News at Five
Canelo Alvarez next fight
Action Images/REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

IF you read the blurb on any of the governing bodies websites they throw about words like “altruistic”, “charitable”, “hope”, “vision”, “ethics”, “good faith”, “efficiency”, and, without an ounce of irony, “uniformity”. Their rules and regulations also drip with the legalese, so it is a surprise that the word “shyster” doesn’t also appear on there somewhere. Shyster is said to stem from a German word for excrement, Scheisser, and was used in the New York Times to refer to unscrupulous lawyers and/or politicians. It perfectly sums up the top four governing bodies, who act as obstacles to the fights we want to see rather than facilitating them. 

It was mistakenly attributed as a riff on Shakespeare’s character of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and there were attempts to mark it down as an anti-Semitic slur, which was probably the work of those shysters who felt it was too on the mark and should be consigned to the annals of history. 

The word is particularly applicable today given the WBC’s introduction of a “Legacy” title for Saul Alvarez and the subsequent elevation of interim titlist Jermall Charlo to “full” middleweight champion ahead of this weekend’s fight against Brandon Adams in Texas.