World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury missed out on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year the first time he became world heavyweight champion, but could history repeat itself later this year? We take a look at the runners and riders for the award.
Fury’s biggest ‘threat’ in the race to win the award is Lewis Hamilton, who is going in search of a record-equalling seventh Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship this season. There is no doubting that the Mercedes driver has emerged as one of the legendary drivers in the history of F1 and it is only a matter of time before he equals the record of Michael Schumacher, but the FIA have already scrapped several races so far this season and this is a sport that travels around the globe. Just because one country receives a ‘clean’ billing down the line, others may not. While other governments may loosen the rulings on public gatherings, others may not. So winning a world title off a severely limited season may not be enough to persuade voters to get behind Hamilton, and, of course, there is always the argument of how impressive is it really to win a world title when you have a car that is so much better than what your rivals have to drive? That is not to say Hamilton is not talented – he is a fantastic driver who will go down in history, but the mainstream public may not see it that way.
Anthony Joshua regained his world heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz Jr last December, setting himself up for a huge 2020 that could have seen him attempt to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. That is not out of the question this year, but his first outing of 2020, against Kubrat Pulev, is set to be either postponed or cancelled and the more time Joshua is out of action, the chances of him being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year diminishes greatly!
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is currently the only other sportsperson shorter than 20s at this time and it is understandable why he is in the running. After all, there always has to be at least one footballer on the list when it comes to Sports Personality of the Year. But can Henderson really land the backing of the general public? A Liverpool Premier League title success and an impressive showing from England at Euro 2020 would help his cause, but the chances of that happening are highly unlikely now. There has been speculation that the Premier League season could simply be voided if the campaign cannot resume, and that would mean Liverpool would miss out on a first English title for quite some time despite being well clear at the summit. And even if they were awarded the trophy, would that really sit well with fans of every other club? Then, of course, there is the small matter of the European Championship being put back a year. So with all of his in mind the chances of Henderson winning Sports Personality of the Year are getting slimmer by the day.
Dina Asher-Smith is another leading contender for the gong, but her chances of winning the award could be destroyed by the Coronavirus. The 24-year-old sprinter is the fastest recorded woman in British history and is the reigning world champion over 200m having won gold last year. She was a bronze medallist at the Olympic Games back in 2016 and was considered a front-runner for gold at this summer’s Games, but the event has been put back to 2021 and that almost certainly rules out Asher-Smith as a contender for Sports Personality of the Year.
Laura Kenny is another British sporting star who is relying on the Olympics to put her in contention for Sports Personality of the Year. The 27-year-old cyclist has racked up medals throughout her career, winning 28 gold medals, nine silver medals and one bronze medal so far, but her chances of claiming a fifth Olympic gold this summer hinge on whether or not the games take place. If they do not, it is massively unlikely that she will be able to summon the public backing needed to win the award.
So Why You Should Back Tyson Fury?
Tyson Fury should already be a one-time winner of this award but a string of controversial comments knocked him out of the running after he upset Wladimir Klitschko to become world heavyweight champion back in November 2015.
However, since that night his reputation has recovered considerably to the point where he is now a national sporting hero. From his incredible recovery from what looked like a fight-ending punch from Deontay Wilder in December 2018 to the documentaries and news reports that have took people inside his personal life and his much-publicised struggles with mental health issues, Fury has massively rehabbed his reputation over the past couple of years.
And to top off that rehabbing he outclassed and stopped the previously unbeaten Wilder to become a two-time heavyweight champion back in February. Even if he does not fight again this year, the manner in which he took out ‘The Bronze Bomber’ will still be one of the most talked about sporting stories come voting time. His odds are only going to get shorter as time goes by, so if you are planning on backing Fury now is the time to do it!