A BRITISH amateur boxing champion and leading Olympic hopeful will face a crown court trial after being accused of dealing cannabis.

Super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua, 21, is tipped as one of the country’s brightest young fighters, was allegedly caught with 8ozs of herbal cannabis in his Mercedes Benz after police pulled him over for speeding.

Today Hendon Magistrates Court heard how officers allegedly discovered the haul in a sports bag after stopping him on the afternoon of January 20 in Colindale, north west London.

The 6ft 6in fighter of Saffron Close, Temple Fortune, last year claimed the British amateur boxing title after only 18 senior bouts and has been part of the British Olympic training squad before his arrest, although he is currently suspended pending the outcome of the case.

He is part of the prestigious Finchley Amateur Boxing Club, which has produced British heavyweight champion Derek Chisora and Spencer Oliver.

Today at Hendon Magistrates Court, dressed in a grey suit and open-necked white shirt, he spoke only to confirm his name and address, before he was told the case was serious enough to be referred to crown court for trial.

Possession with intent to supply a class B drug carries a maximum 14-year sentence, and if convicted Mr Joshua would be barred from participating in the London 2012 Olympics.

He was released on unconditional and will appear again at Hendon Magistrates Court next month for committal proceedings.