Flanagan successfully defends against Cruz

Terry Flanagan successfully held off the challenge of Orlando Cruz to retain his WBO lightweight title.

Britain’s Flanagan controlled proceedings from the off in Cardiff and secured a comfortable eight-round stoppage against the Puerto Rican challenger.

The 27-year-old extended his unbeaten run as a professional to 32 fights, and he now wants to face the winner of the proposed rematch between Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares.

However, he will first face a mandatory title defence in the New Year against another Puerto Rican fighter, Felix Verdejo.

"Once I hurt him, he didn't want to know," said Flanagan.

"I think I'll have Christmas off and spend it with my family, because I've just finished a 15-year camp!"

Flanagan took his time to find his range in the opening three rounds, but when he began to gain the ascendancy in the fourth, Cruz never looked like causing an upset.

Prior to the sixth round getting underway, Flanagan spoke to the referee about Cruz’s lack of punches and the challenger was eventually sent to the canvas by a right hand in the eighth, which prompted the stoppage.