I'm the barrister who saved Anthony Joshua's boxing career – he thanked me with Klitschko tickets but I turned him down | The Sun
ONE of London's top criminal barristers has spoken out on how he helped save Anthony Joshua's boxing career.
But a family wedding meant he had to turn down ringside seats for AJ's epic Wembley win against Wladimir Klitschko.
Barrister Tony Wyatt has revealed how he helped keep Joshua's career on track in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.
It came after AJ, who has spoken openly about his past, was discovered by police with a large amount of cannabis in his car.
Wyatt was approached by Joshua's coach at Finchley Boxing Club in 2011 and was told to be able to fight in the Olympics, AJ had to qualify through the European Qualification Tournament.
However, the "trouble" he had got himself into meant he had his licence taken away from him.
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Recalling a conversation with the judge and prosecutor, Wyatt acknowledged that Joshua had committed the offence.
However, the potential punishment could have ended AJ's career as he would not have been able to fight in the European qualifying for the Olympics.
As a result, Kent "fronted that up" to the judge, and AJ submitted a guilty plea.
He said on the Anything Goes with James English podcast: "If he were to plead guilty of possession you could give him the harshest possible period of unpaid work.
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"That would allow him to get his licence back. It would allow him to fight in the Europeans. It would allow him to fight in the Olympics.
"It would allow him in his future to fight in America which he could never have done if he had supply 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 time once he's famous, helping kids who might otherwise be on the streets. So it allows it to be paid forward."
Wyatt said ultimately going down that route helped save Joshua's career.
He continued: "As an outcome for a case like this, surely that's a far more positive outcome to society than sending him into a prison for a short amount of time, ruining his future, no career left. Surely that's better?
"The judge agreed. Prosecutor ultimately agreed with some encouragement from the judge. And that's the route we went down."
Joshua was consequently able to get his licence back, and therefore fight in the European qualifying for the Olympic Games.
He went on to win gold at the 2012 Olympics in London before turning pro the following year.
One of Joshua's greatest nights came in 2017, when he knocked out Klitschko in the 11th round at Wembley.
But Kent couldn't be there to see it.
He revealed: "You mention the Klitscko fight. He gave me ringside seats to that and I couldn't go because of a bloody family wedding.
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"It wasn't even my family, it was my wife's family!
"I sat at the wedding watching the fights with my wife kicking me under the table! I was like look 'I didn't go to the fight, I'm at least watching the fight!'"
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