The award for BBC Sports Personality Year is one of the most sought for sportsmen and women in the United Kingdom for excellence in their field. It’s a prize that unites the entire country and becomes extremely competitive in Olympic years when there are a number of worthy candidates, who have excelled themselves in the name of British sport.
England cricketer Ben Stokes won the award last year for his brilliance on the field, winning a Test match single-handed against Australia at Headingley. He previously produced a legendary display in the World Cup final to win the trophy for the Three Lions for the first time. Unfortunately for Stokes, he has barely been in action this season and there are other worthy candidates for the prize.
That said, Stokes is backed in the odds on the Sports Personality of the Year 2020 at 50/1 to win the award for a second time in a row. But Fury is perhaps the standout name given his exploits in the boxing ring. He has no shortage of personality, albeit occasionally controversial. Fury can be accused of being aloof at times, but when he gets into the ring he is all business. The Mancunian is a formidable boxer at the peak of his powers, boasting an unbeaten record in 31 fights. He notably defeated the great Wladimir Klitschko in a unanimous points’ decision in 2015 in Berlin, a difficult place to visit for boxers fighting the Ukrainian and his brother Vitali.
However, he put down his most impressive performance to date in 2020 against American Deontay Wilder. The two faced off in 2018 and the contest was called a draw in a very controversial decision in Los Angeles. Fury vowed to fight Wilder again to prove that he could defeat the American. The Mancunian delivered with an emphatic performance to knock out his opponent in the seventh round, claiming the WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles. The 31-year-old is the outstanding candidate to win the award based on his performances in the ring, putting Britain back on the map in the world of boxing.
The 35-year-old has been frustrated in the last two previous attempts to win the award for a second time, finishing second behind Stokes in 2019 and Geraint Thomas in 2018. No athlete in history has finished second more times than Hamilton’s four, although he did win the award in 2014. Hamilton has dominated Formula One over the last six years, winning five titles. The Mercedes driver is on course for his sixth crown in seven years in the 2020 campaign. He has already built a dominant lead over the rest of the field and looks destined to win his seventh Drivers’ Championship.
The feat alone has seen him place second in the race for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. However, this year more than any other may see him beat out his competition. Another Formula One crown would see him draw level with Michael Schumacher as the most successful driver of all-time. He has certainly re-established Britain as the dominant country in motor racing. There’s still a little way to go for the 35-year-old, but he has triumphed more often than not since 2014. His popularity could result in his second BBC Sports Personality win.
So there are your two big contenders – who do you think will triumph come December?