Can Tyson Fury make it a memorable 2020 by winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year?

It feels like ages since Tyson Fury got the better of Deontay Wilder in the pair’s much anticipated rematch back in February. It was a mammoth performance by the ‘Gypsy King’, leaving Wilder struggling throughout the fight’s seven rounds, with the American’s camp eventually throwing in the towel to spare him further misery.

For Fury, it was the culmination of one of the most remarkable comebacks professional sport has ever seen. To come from being stripped of his titles back in 2017, and struggling with drugs, depression and obesity, to becoming the WBC Heavyweight Champion by defeating the sport’s most fearsome puncher, represented a comeback story like no other.

Now, Fury stands as the favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year odds from Paddy Power. On one hand, it would be surprising to see Fury land the award, as he is quite different personality-wise compared to other recent winners of the award. But then, there are few sportsmen more deserving of the accolade. In terms of sporting achievement, Fury has shown remarkable dedication and talent to come back from such a low place and make it to the top of such a competitive, unforgiving sport.

He has also become a champion for positive discussions around mental health, having suffered greatly from depression and other mental health issues throughout his life. This aspect of his recent career is a major one, especially since the boxer was formerly criticised heavily for his outspoken views on social issues. To show a character change such as Fury has is deserving of recognition, and it could be that winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award would be yet another symbol of Fury’s reformation as both a sportsperson and a character.

The ‘Gypsy King’ still has big aims in boxing, with a mooted third fight against Wilder in the offing, as well as a showdown clash with Anthony Joshua in the pipeline. It’s clear that Fury will not be content to rest on his laurels and will continually seek to earn more triumphs and establish himself fully as boxing’s best fighter. If he can defeat Wilder again, and get the better of Joshua, you feel that Fury will have a strong case as the best boxer of his generation.

It’s that kind of ambition that has got Fury where he is today, and without that singular drive and focus he would not have beaten Wilder, and he would not be in the running for Sports Personality of the Year. It’s been 13 years since a boxer won the award, when Joe Calzaghe triumphed in 2007, and boxing is due a return to the top as far as the BBC accolade is concerned.

Fury’s story is one that is bound to have struck a chord among the British public this year, even his most ardent critics. He may be outspoken, brash, and headstrong, but those are the traits you would expect to see in any heavyweight boxer. The most important thing is that Fury has proven he can back up his credentials in the ring. To win the Sports Personality of the Year award would be fitting for a sportsperson who has more personality than most.