Anthony Joshua has defeated Dillian Whyte in an explosive battle to extend his unbeaten run to 15-0 and claim the British heavyweight title.

Joshua, 26, rocked his rival in the first round but was then given the most thorough examination of his professional career by Whyte who absorbed the blows that so easily dismissed his opponent's previous challengers.

But in the seventh round, his resistance was broken with a vicious right hook to the head before he was floored with a devastating upper-cut, forcing referee Howard Foster to end the bout.

The 2012 Olympic champion started with the intention of ending the bout as he has done in his previous 14 - swiftly. But despite catching his opponent with some heavy blows the Brixton fighter stood strong and survived the onslaught.

After the bell rang at the end of the first round, a late Joshua punch caught Whyte, prompting a furious response from the 27-year-old who immediately started throwing back. Members of both camps flooded the ring to separate the two with referee Foster also appearing to catch a blow during the melee but the contest continued.

For the first time in his professional career, Joshua was hurt when Whyte caught him with a stiff body shot in the second that briefly rocked him.

Joshua resorted to throwing jabs as he tried to regain control of the contest in the third but again Whyte withstood and returned with more powerful lefts with the undefeated Olympian looking vulnerable for the first time in his career.

Whyte, who defeated Joshua during their amateur days in 2009, had succeeded in wiping the menacing grin from his opponent's face, but Joshua methodically regained the advantage before landing a heavy right hand that left his rival wheezing.

Neat combinations to pick up points, something Joshua has seldom had to utilise in previous bouts, saw him win the sixth before that tremendous right caught Whyte in the temple in the seventh.

Sensing the end was close, Joshua went in with a flurry of shots before stalking his opponent to the ropes, finishing him with the devastating uppercut.