Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images
On Saturday, November 26, 2016, Terry Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) scored an eighth TKO victory against Orlando Cruz (25-5-1, 13 KOs) to successfully defend his WBO Lightweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.
The scheduled 12-round fight was televised on beIN Sports Español in the U.S. The main event was initially going to be Billy Joe Saunders’ first defense of his WBO title, but it was moved to next Saturday in Scotland.
For the rest of the card’s results, check out our results page here.
The fight started with both men tentatively jabbing and pawing at each other. Cruz relied on his footwork to offset Flanagan’s early attack, while Flanagan pushed forward and tried to wear Cruz down.
By Round 4, however, Cruz seemed to be slowing down, and in Round 5, Cruz stopped moving. Cruz was essentially a sitting duck and stood against the ropes with a high guard as Flanagan unleashed hard shots.
The change in Cruz’s activity suggests that Flanagan had worn him down, and by Round 8, Flanagan scored two knockdowns, caused by an accumulation of punches, that put an end to the fight.
Flanagan, 27, was seeking to make the fourth defense of the title after winning the WBO strap against Jose Zepeda in 2015. The UK native had also scored wins against the likes of Diego Magdaleno and Derry Matthews.
Flanagan’s win tonight puts him on a course towards a bigger fight, but Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla are scheduled to have their rematch early next year. Other title holders include Dejan Zlaticanin and Robert Easter both have fights scheduled, the former of which will face Mikey Garcia.
As for Cruz, a 35-year-old native of Puerto Rico, it is unlikely he will continue competing at Lightweight as he is very undersized of the division.
What do you think is next for both fighters? Let us know in the comments section below.
Gabe Rivas has written for Round By Round Boxing since July of 2013. He studies Literature and Philosophy, tutors English, and teaches Boxing. Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @GabeRivas03.