ONE of London’s top criminal defense lawyers has spoken out about how he helped save Anthony Joshua’s boxing career.
But a family wedding meant he had to turn down ringside seating for AJ’s epic Wembley win over Wladimir Klitschko.
Lawyer Tony Wyatt has revealed how he helped keep Joshua’s career on track ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
It came after AJ, who has been open about his past, was spotted by police with a large amount of cannabis in his car.
Wyatt was approached by Joshua’s trainer at Finchley Boxing Club in 2011 and was told he should be able to fight at the Olympics, AJ had to qualify through the European Qualifying Tournament.
However, the “trouble” he got himself into resulted in his license being revoked.
Wyatt recalled speaking to the judge and prosecutor and conceded that Joshua committed the crime.
However, the potential punishment could have ended AJ’s career as he would not have been able to fight in the European qualifiers for the Olympics.
As a result, Kent “brought that to the judge” and AJ filed a guilty plea.
He said on the English podcast Anything Goes with James: “If he pleaded guilty to possession, you could give him the maximum amount of time unpaid labor possible.
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“That would allow him to get his license back. It would allow him to fight at the European Championships. It would allow him to fight in the Olympics.
“It would allow him to fight in America in his future, which he could never have done if he had supplies on his record.
“It allows him to have his life. It also allows him to spend 300 hours in boxing clubs in a few months once he’s famous and helping kids who might otherwise be on the streets. That way it can continue to be paid.”
Wyatt said this path ultimately helped save Joshua’s career.
He continued: “As an outcome for a case like this, that’s certainly a far more positive outcome for society than sending him to prison for a short time, ruining his future, having no career left. Surely that’s better?
“The judge agreed. The prosecutor eventually agreed, with some encouragement from the judge. And that is the path we have chosen.”
As a result, Joshua was able to get his license back and fight in the European qualifiers for the Olympics.
He won gold at the 2012 London Olympics before turning professional the following year.
One of Joshua’s greatest nights came in 2017 when he defeated Klitschko in the 11th round at Wembley Stadium.
But Kent couldn’t be there to see it.
He revealed: “You mention the Klitscko fight. He gave me ringside seating and I couldn’t go because of a bloody family wedding.
“It wasn’t even my family, it was my wife’s family!
“I sat at the wedding and watched the fights while my wife kicked me under the table! I was like, ‘I didn’t go to the fight, at least I’m going to watch the fight!’”