Eleven sports are reperesented across the nominees, including boxing, but there is no place for BBBoC Fighter of the Year Carl Frampton.
In 2016 the Belfast man unified his IBF super bantamweight title with Scott Quigg’s WBA belt in Manchester in February before moving up to featherweight and taking Leo Santa Cruz’s WBA strap in July. Since then ‘The Jackal’ has agreed to face Santa Cruz in a rematch which will take place on January 28th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Frampton was also awarded with an MBE for his services to boxing in the New Year’s Honours list.
The 29 year old Ulsterman is also one of the leading contenders for worldwide Fighter of the Year alongside the likes of Andre Ward and Manny Pacquiao. However, his achievements in 2016 have not been deemed sufficient to garner a nomination for the prize which was won by his mentor Barry McGuigan in 1985. Three other boxers have won the prestigious award: Henry Cooper (twice), Lennox Lewis, and Joe Calzaghe.
The sixteen nominees for the prize are:
Nicola Adams – Boxing
Gareth Bale – Football
Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon
Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian
Kadeena Cox – Athletics/Cycling
Mo Farah – Athletics
Jason Kenny – Cycling
Laura Kenny – Cycling
Andy Murray – Tennis
Adam Peaty – Swimming
Kate Richardson-Walsh – Hockey
Nick Skelton – Equestrian
Sarah Storey – Cycling
Jamie Vardy – Football
Max Whitlock – Gymnastics
Danny Willett – Golf.
Scottish tennis player Andy Murray is favourite to take the gong, which he also won last year, following a stellar year that saw him win Olympic gold, the Wimbledon title, and reach two other Grand Slam finals.
Other notable names who have not received nominations include cricketer Alastair Cook, and cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
The official Team Frampton Twitter account led the chorus of fans who were outraged at the shortlist:
— Team Jackal Official (@Team_Jackal) November 28, 2016
— Kyle White (@KylewhiteNew) November 28, 2016
— Nathan Boyle (@17_Hammie_LUFC) November 28, 2016
How does Frampton not make that list?! 2 weight world champion and beats 2 top fighters, contender for fighter of the year never mind spoty!
— Craig Boultwood (@boltycr78) November 28, 2016
There’s a few that can feel a bit hard done by not getting on the spoty shortlist, itoje and Carl frampton the most hard done by.
— lyndon jackson (@indilyndi) November 28, 2016