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World Champion AJ Heads SPOTY Shortlist

Anthony Joshua remains the clear favourite to win the Sports Personality of the Year Award after the 12-name shortlist was confirmed last week. The IBF, WBA & IBO world heavyweight champion, who beat both Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam in 2017, is no bigger than 2/7 with Coral, Betfair and Paddy Power to claim the award, which has been won by Andy Murray in three of the last four years, including 2015 and 2016.

If he does he will become the first boxer to take the prestigious award for a decade, since Joe Calzaghe pipped Lewis Hamilton to the prize in 2007. Hamilton, who was the SPOTY in 2014 and was also runner-up in 2008, is 6/1 with most firms after confirming his fourth F1 Drivers’ Championship.

Chris Froome, who has dominated the Tour de France of late, winning his sport’s most prestigious race in four of the last five years, is the 10/1 third favourite and seemingly without much hope of ever getting his hands on this particular trophy.

Froome, born in Nairobi, doesn’t cut across into popular culture in the same way as Bradley Wiggins (2012 SPOTY – one Tour title) and lacks the explosive style and persona of Mark Cavendish (2011 SPOTY – no Tour titles). If the award was purely about sporting achievement, he would have won it by now. As it is, he has never even made the podium.

All odds quoted are subject to change