Why now is the time to back Anthony Joshua for Sports Personality 2016

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SPOTY 2016 Winner: Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua could prove the value pick for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 at the current prices but anyone tempted to back the Heavyweight contender needs to act fast.

The Olympic gold medalist has had a perfect start to his professional career, with 16 knockout wins from 16 fights, and is currently rated as a 7/1 shot to pick up the SPOTY gong in December.

The awards ceremony may be some time away but with AJ attempting to win the IBF Heavyweight title this weekend those odds could soon disappear.

Joshua’s opponent at the O2 Arena this Saturday is something of an unknown quantity after picking up the belt on a technicality in his last bout.

American Charles Martin was crowned IBF king after fight favourite Vyacheslav Glazkov retired with an injured knee in their Brooklyn bout in January this year.

As such, despite being the champion, the St. Louis-born 29-year-old goes into the Joshua bout as the 7/2 underdog, with AJ the odds-on favourite at 2/9.

A win would catapult Joshua’s already-rising stock into the stratosphere and there appear to be few credible challengers to a potential SPOTY crown if that proves to be the case.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is the current market jolly at 6/1 with his record-breaking goalscoring run and potential to land a shock Premier League crown marking him out as football’s success story this season.

However, just one footballer – Ryan Giggs – has taken the top prize in the BBC show since 2002 and just three of the sport’s representatives have reached the top three in that time.

Jessica Ennis-Hill (7/1), Andy Murray (8/1) and Lewis Hamilton (14/1) are also in the running, but with the tennis superstar taking the accolade in two of the last three years and the Formula One ace suffering a sluggish start to the new season the heptathlete is the only real cause for concern.

In short, if you’re looking to back AJ ahead of his quest to become world champion this weekend the better value could lie in an early SPOTY shout instead.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing