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It’s that time of year again. The holidays are fast approaching, and for some sports fans, that means something even bigger is coming – the SPOTY awards! The BBC’s Sports Personality of the year award was first given in 1954, and has grown into multiple awards over the years.

Boxing has been making a run for the top-awarded sport in SPOTY history, and if this year’s favorite wins, it will take boxing alongside tennis, and only behind Formula One and athletics, as the most the most prolific winning sport in SPOTY history. Who is this year’s favorite, you ask? Boxer Anthony Joshua, of course.

Joshua has been the favourite since he retired the great Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium in April, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Joshua won his mandatory title defence, which took place against Carlos Takam in Cardiff on October 28, comfortably, but his status as SPOTY favourite probably wouldn’t change even if he had lost. Cyclist Chris Froome and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton are second and third favourites respectively, but Joshua’s lead is significant.

If the 28-year-old Englishman does win SPOTY, which is voted for by the public and has been handed out annually since 1954, he would become just the fifth different boxer (and sixth overall) to do so. The fact it is not an Olympic year has helped Joshua’s chances of winning SPOTY. On the 16 occasions the award has been held in an Olympic year, 12 of the winners have been Olympians. Each of boxing’s five victories, meanwhile, have been in non-Olympic years. The perfect storm of circumstances appears to be forming around the young Boxer, and the long dry spell of Boxing SPOTY winners should be coming to an end.

Favorite doesn’t mean sure thing, of course, but pundits are confident in their predictions. Alan Alger of Betway Insider said: “AJ is a very solid shot to be crowned this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and it looks unlikely that Takam will put a spanner in the works. Even if Takam springs a surprise, it’s likely AJ would still remain favourite. The public won’t be forgetting his monumental victory over Wladimir Klitschko too quickly, and it’s that bout that cemented his place as SPOTY favourite.”  Find out if the experts got it right on December 17, 2017!