Christmas Day is fast approaching, and while some sports are winding down, the domestic football campaign is heading towards its busiest stage.

The same can be said of horse racing as the national hunt season continues, while the NFL playoffs are nearly within touching distance.

December also means the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony and sporting fans will get the chance to vote for the World Sport Star of the Year for 2021 on December 19.

There are six nominees for the award, which former UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov won in 2020.

Boxing – Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

The Mexican is widely regarded as the pound-for-pound star of boxing and his stock rose again in 2021.

Alvarez has fought three times this year, and he was successful in all of those bouts, beating Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.

His win over Plant ensured he became the first undisputed super-middleweight champion of all time and he is 16/1 to add another accolade to his haul.

Horse Racing – Rachael Blackmore

Blackmore has enjoyed an incredible 12 months, making history on both sides of the Irish Sea and is the 1/5 favourite to scoop the award.

She became the first female rider to win the Grand National when she led Minella Times to victory in April, while just weeks before that, she was the first woman to be the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival after riding six winners.

American Football – Tom Brady

There’s not a lot that hasn’t been said about 14/1 Brady, who despite still being active in the NFL, is already regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time.

After leaving the New England Patriots, sceptics questioned whether he still had what it takes to win at the highest level.

Within months, Brady had silenced everyone as he helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the Super Bowl.

To add to that, he also became the NFL’s leading passer in October when the Bucs beat the Patriots.

Tennis – Novak Djokovic

The 12/1 Serbian came desperately close to making history, but he missed out on winning all four tennis majors in the same year.

Djokovic only failed to win the US Open, and he will be out for revenge in 2022.

Athletics – Elaine Thomspon-Herah

Another history-maker, Thompson-Herah, made history this year as the first woman to complete the Olympic sprint ‘double double’.

The 29-year-old successfully defended her titles from Rio, despite having issues with an Achilles tendon injury and is 7/1 to be named BBC World Sports Star Of The Year.

Formula 1 – Max Verstappen

The 24-year-old could end the year on a high this weekend when he tries to win the Drivers’ Championship in Abu Dhabi.

His thrilling battle with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has caught the headlines most weekends, and if successful, is likely to be shorter than 8/1 come next Sunday’s ceremony.

SPOTY Betting Odds