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Anthony Joshua Aiming for 2017 SPOTY Award

Posted on October 28, 2017 by John Harris
Anthony Joshua is looking to be the fifth boxer to win the prestigious SPOTY Award.

Anthony Joshua is looking to be the fifth boxer to win the prestigious SPOTY Award.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Award is always a cherished honor and according to Betway Insider the favorite to claim the 2017 award is boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

Heading into his upcoming fight with Carlos Takam, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion has already had a good 2017 with his title unifying victory in April over former champion Wladimir Klitschko.

That victory in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium followed up three victories in 2016. Joshua first claimed the WBC International Heavyweight title in 2014 and then won the British Heavyweight title with a December 2015 victory over Dillian Whyte.

Joshua claimed the IBF (International Boxing Federation) title with a knockout of Charles Martin in April 2016. He twice retained his titles in 2016 with wins over Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.

The 2012 Olympic Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Joshua enters the Takam fight undefeated with a 19-0 career professional record, including five knockouts.

He was originally scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev, but Pulev suffered an injury in early October and was replaced just 12 days before the scheduled fight by the 36-year old Takem.

If Joshua does end up winning the 2017 SPOTY Award, he would become the fifth boxer to earn the prestigious honor and it would be the sixth time a boxer has won the award (Henry Cooper won it twice).

The SPOTY is annually selected by the public and has been awarded since 1954. Interestingly, Formula One racers have historically been popular choices for the award along with general athletes and then tennis players and boxers.

Though the award was first presented in 1954, it wasn’t until Cooper won in 1967 that a boxer received the honor. He was again selected in 1970 to become the first two-time winner. Cooper remains one of only four people – alongside Andy Murray, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill – to receive the award more than once.

Other boxers to receive the SPOTY include Barry McGuigan (1985), Lennox Lewis (1999) and Joe Calzaghe (2007).

Given the popularity Joshua has enjoyed following his victory over Klitschko, it seems likely that he would still be the favorite for the 2017 award even if he falters against Takem.

Other potential contenders for the 2017 SPOTY include Cyclist Chris Froome and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. The 2017 SPOTY will be awarded during a ceremony in Liverpool on December 17th.

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