Anthony Joshua Almost Didn’t Get To Go To The Olympics After Drug Charge Nearly Saw Him Miss The Qualifiers
Criminal barrister Tony Wyatt has played an essential part in making sure former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could have the storied career he has enjoyed for over a decade.
Joshua was pulled over in 2011 in his Mercedes-Benz when police officers found 9oz of cannabis in his possession. The Team GB star was charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug.
Wyatt was then approached to represent AJ, who although had won the ABA’s wasn’t a celebrity at this point.
“We were approached by his coach. ‘We’ve got this kid, he’s got himself in trouble. He could be fighting in the Olympics next year, but in order to qualify for the Olympics he has to fight in the Europeans and the Europeans are coming up in a few weeks. Because of the trouble, they’ve taken his licence away’.” Wyatt told ‘Anything Goes With James English‘
The 33-year-old had to resolve legal issues swiftly or his Olympic dream could’ve been in tatters before it even began.
“We went to court for trial. I couldn’t win the case. We had a very sensible conversation with the prosecutor/judge. We understand that he’s committed the offence. The punishment would’ve ended his career. On the back of all of that, I just fronted that up to the judge.
“If he were to plead guilty to possession, you could give him the harshest possible period of unpaid work.” The Barrister told the judge. “It would allow him to fight in the Olympics and in America in the future, which he could never have done if he had a ‘supply’ on his record. It allows him to have his life, it also allows him to spend 100 hours in boxing clubs in a few months’ time when he’s famous helping kids who might otherwise be on the streets.”
The lawyer believed that community service would do better for society than the British superstar spending several months in prison and ruining his career, as a result. Luckily the judge agreed and the rest is history.
“It’s not every day that I get to stand up and say ‘This man can be the Heavyweights champion of the world’, I got to say that one day and then he became that.”