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Anthony Joshua beats Dillian Whyte to claim British heavyweight crown

Anthony Joshua came through the biggest crisis of his career to produce a stunning seventh round stoppage of Dillian Whyte and capture the vacant British heavyweight title on Saturday.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist lifted the domestic belt and defended his Commonwealth title after the toughest fight of his 15-bout career at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.

But after being subjected to a torrid time in the second round, Joshua threw a thunderous right uppercut to leave Whyte crumpled in a heap on the canvas.

Whyte was supposed to be Joshua's toughest test yet and he proved to be so, going the longest with him in the paid ranks and troubling him with a sledgehammer of a left in the second round.

Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs), who previously had never been inconvenienced beyond three rounds, moves on to look at potential fights against the likes of Tyson Fury, David Haye and Dereck Chisora in 2016.

It is an exciting time for British heavyweight boxing with former champion Haye back on the scene and two weeks after Fury produced a shock points win over long-reigning Wladimir Klitschko. A fight with Haye at Wembley on June 4, on the undercard of Kell Brook-Amir Khan, could happen and the former champion will be another step up from Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs), who was ambitious and not intimidated by the Olympic gold medallist.

Fury has managed to offend most of the nation with his opinions but Joshua never seems to say the wrong thing or do anything wrong in the ring.

Joshua, who still lives at home with his mum in north London, had refused to be riled by Whyte's insults ahead of defending his Commonwealth belt and going for the British title vacated by Fury.

But Joshua was desperate to silence Whyte who had floored him and then won a points decision when they were amateurs in a bout held above a pub in 2009.

Jamaica-born Londoner Whyte, 27, was quickly under pressure and was left on wobbly legs towards the end of the first round.

Joshua, 26, went about his work in the first round with a smile but the opener ended in ugly scenes after both traded after the bell and the ring was filled with angry cornermen.

Fired-up Whyte was in trouble in the second until he threw a left hook that stunned Joshua, who looked vulnerable for the rest of the round.

Whyte also whipped in body shots in the second round and Joshua was still not himself in the third.

Joshua was better in the fourth as he began unloading combinations again and then nailed Whyte with a straight right in the fifth.

Joshua ended the thriller in brilliantly brutal style, first buzzing Whyte's head with a right and then chasing him about the ring until he loaded a shuddering right uppercut.

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