MANCHESTER’s Marcus Morrison produced a stunning win when he overcame Emanuele Blandamura at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome on Thursday (July 11).

Morrison was not expected to win but in the ninth round landed a monstrous right hand, thumping the shot down the middle to drop the Italian. Dazed, Blandamura crawled to the ropes and leaning on the strands slowly rose. He was in a bad way and referee Francisco Alloza Rosa ended it at 2-44 for of the penultimate round.

For Morrison, who has suffered significant setbacks against Jason Welborn as well as journeymen Tyan Booth and Alistair Warren, this is a key victory over a former European champion that should set his career on a new trajectory.

Northern Ireland’s Tommy McCarthy was due to meet Florence’s Fabio Turchi. The Italian however withdrew at a late stage. McCarthy still competed on the show, forcing stand-in Francesco Cataldo to retire after two rounds.

Italian Olympian Valentino Manfredonia, a bronze medallist in the European championships, made his professional debut on the show, unanimously outpointing Serbia’s Sokol Arsic in a four rounder.

Emiliano Marsili, a former European champion, 42 years old yet still unbeaten, chalked up a six round unanimous points win over Spain-based Nicaraguan Brayan Mairena. Francesco Ramacciotti scored 60-55 in Marsili’s favour, both Raffaele D’Erasmo and Marco Marzuoli had it 60-54.

Marcus Morrison (159¾lbs), 21-3 (15), w rsf 9 Emanuele Blandamura (160lbs), 29-4 (5); Serhiy Demchenko (170¼lbs), 22-14-1 (15), w rsf 7 Hakim Zoulikha (174½lbs), 26-11 (11); Tommy McCarthy (199¾lbs), 15-2 (8), w rsf 2 Francesco Cataldo (203¼lbs), 7-6 (2); Emiliano Marsili (138¾lbs), 38-0-1 (15), w pts 6 Brayan Mairena (136¾lbs), 10-12-1 (4); Vincenzo Bevilacqua (156¾lbs), 16-0, w pts 6 Novak Radulovic (156½lbs), 9-4-1 (4); Mirko Natalizi (155¾lbs), 6-0 (3), outpd Antonio Gomez (155¾lbs), 4-4-2 (2); Valentino Manfredonia (174½lbs), 1-0, w pts 4 Sokol Arsic (173¼lbs), 1-3-2.