Terry Flanagan vs. Orlando Cruz – Results
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) remained undefeated with an easy 8th round knockout win against 35-year-old fringe contender Orlando Cruz (25-5-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday night in winning his fourth consecutive title defense at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. This was a dreadful mismatch of the first order.
The 27-yer-old Flanagan knocked down the hapless #13 WBO Cruz twice in round 8th. The fight was halted by referee Steve Gray after the second knockdown. The official time of the stoppage was at 0:43 of round 8. Flanagan knocked Cruz down with a right hand to the head to get the stoppage.
Cruz was trapped against the ropes and he took a brief flurry of shots from Flanagan before going down on the canvas. After Cruz got back up, the fight was stopped. It really didn’t matter that Cruz looked like could continue. He wasn’t throwing anything back in the fight, and was mostly just a punching bag for all intents and purposes.
The first knock down of the 8th came from a right hand rabbit shot from Flanagan to the back of Cruz’s head. As far as rabbit shots go, this was a thing of beauty. Flanagan’s punch hit Cruz squarely in the back of the year.
Should the knockdown have counted? Nope, not unless you count rabbit punches as legitimate shot, but Cruz couldn’t do much about it. He fighting in Flanagan’s home country, and he wasn’t offering much resistance as far as throwing anything back at him. It was pretty much target practice for the 5’9” Flanagan from start to the bitter finish.
In round one, there was very little action between Cruz and Flanagan. Both guys moved around the ring with little being thrown. Flanagan appeared to do a little bit better with his jabs and straight lefts. Cruz did land one nice left-right combination in the round, but other than that, he did nothing.
In the 2nd round, Flanagan dominated with his jabs and left hands to the head. Cruz stopped throwing punches for the most part in this round. When he did try and land something, he was countered by Flanagan. This made him stop throwing shots.
Cruz suffered a cut over his right eye in the 3rd. Flanagan was teeing off on Cruz in this round.
Flanagan stalked a mobile Cruz around the ring in round 4, and caught him against the ropes on several occasions to batter him with punches to the head and body. There was one brutal episode in the round in which Flanagan trapped Cruz against the ropes and worked him over big time with shots. Flanagan couldn’t miss with his punches.
Cruz was covering up like a sparring partner and not offering anything back in return. Even the boxing fans at ringside didn’t seem thrilled at the one-way action in the fight.
In the 5th, Cruz went to the ropes immediately at the start of the round and took a boatload of head and body shots from Flanagan. Around this time, I started wondering why Cruz’s trainer didn’t step in and halt the fight because it was just too one-sided. Cruz getting hit too much and painfully obvious that he had NO chance of winning the fight. Cruz was getting a shellacking from Flanagan, and it wasn’t really sporting.
The beating continued into the 6th and 7th rounds with Flanagan pounding the living daylights out of Cruz with nothing coming back. Cruz tried to move around the ring, but Flanagan was able to catch him over and over to give him a pounding.
I must say that this was not a good fight at all. It was all one-way traffic with Flanagan hitting the smaller 5’4” Cruz with everything but the kitchen sink in each round with Cruz doing nothing to return fire.
All in all, you can argue that the fight was one for Flanagan the moment the contracts were signed for him to fight the fringe contender #13 WBO Cruz instead of a more talented fighter. This fight was more embarrassingly one-sided that Flanagan’s last fight against 42-year-old Mzonke Fana last July. That was another fight between Flanagan and a bottom fringe contender. The boxing fans didn’t get a great fight from that one too, as Fana gave Flanagan zero resistance in losing by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision.
Don’t ask me why Flanagan was fighting the 42-year-old Fana rather than a more talented higher ranked contender. I didn’t understand that match, but I also didn’t understand why Flanagan fought Orlando Cruz.
Cruz came into the Flanagan fight with a five-fight winning streak against weak opposition. The last time that Cruz had fought quality fighters was back in 2013 and 2014 in him losing to Orlando Salido and Gamalier Rodriguez in one-sided contests.
I’m not impressed at all with the way that Flanagan has been matched since he captured the World Boxing Organization lightweight title in 2015 with his 2nd round injury stoppage victory over Jose Zepeda. It’s been mismatches ever since Flanagan won his title with him successfully defending his WBO title against Diego Magdaleno, Derry Mathews, Mzonke Fana and Orlando Cruz. I’d like to see Flanagan face some live bodies like Richard Commey, Javier Fortuna, Petr Petrov, Mason Menard, Luke Campbell and Jose Felix Jr. I guess it’s too much to hope for in seeing Flanagan face a live body.
In other action on the card, unbeaten #2 WBO middleweight contender Tommy Langford (18-0, 6 KOs) defeated Sam Sheedy (17-2, 4 KOs) by a 12 round split decision in a tougher than expected fight to capture the vacant British middleweight title. The judges’ scores were 116-114, 117-113 for Langford and 115-113 for Sheedy. The performance showed how little punching power Langford has, because he was no more of a puncher than Sheedy. What I got from the fight is that it’s going to be bad news for Langford when he eventiually challenges for a world title against one of the middleweight champions. Langford needs to find some power somewhere. Langford is still unbeaten, but he’s going to be in for a world of hurt when he eventually challenges for a world title against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders or whoever winds up as the WBO champion in 2017.
Unbeaten junior middleweight champion Liam Williams (16-0, 11 KOs) defeated replacement opponent Gabor Gorbics (22-5, 13 KOs) by an 8th round knockout to win the vacant WBO European 154lb title. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens eventually when Williams finally faces a quality opponent. Williams’ problem is he’s fighting in a tough division stacked with talent from top to bottom. It doesn’t really matter that Williams can punch a little. He’s in a division where everybody can punch, and they have arguably more talent than him, a lot more talent.
Undefeated lightweight Kid Galahad (21-0, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten in defeating 22-year-old journeyman Reynaldo Mora (7-20-1, 4 KOs) by a 3rd round knockout in a scheduled eight round fight. Referee Martin Williams halted the fight at 2:21 of the 3rd round. For Mora, this was his 20th straight loss. It’s unclear why Galahad’s promoters matched him against a guy at this level. I mean, you would think that Galahad should be fighting better opposition at this point in his seven-year boxing career. I’m just saying. Galahad should be fighting better opposition than this.
WBO European lightweight champion Craig Evans (16-1-2, 3 KOs) defeated Tom Stalker (11-2-3, 2 KOs) by a 10 round majority decision. The final judge’ scores were 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95.
Other Boxing results on the card:
Alex Hughes pts 8 Harry Matthews
Nathan Gorman RTD 3 Igor Mihaljevic
Jay Harris TKO 4 Phil Smith
Reuben Arrowsmith pts 6 Ivica Gogosevic
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