By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 11/07/19 11:32pm
Marcus Morrison reignited his career in dramatic fashion on Thursday night after a devastating right hand finished former world title challenger Emanuele Blandamura.
The Manchester middleweight was behind on the scorecards at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome, cutting a frustrated figure after a promising start, but found a huge equaliser in the ninth round to win the WBC silver international title.
After his fifth consecutive victory, Morrison improves his record to 21-3.
‘Sweet MNM’ made a spritely start to the scheduled 10-round contest, the Brit stabbing out a stiff jab over the first three minutes, a series of well-crafted right hands getting the better of his frustrated Italian counterpart
A rousing speech in the home corner quickly followed and Blandamura duly fired back in the next, the 39-year old putting his foot on the throttle, his jerky movement causing the visitor to regularly miss.
The Italian had only ever stopped five opponents in his professional career prior to Thursday’s fight and, when he engaged in a brief shootout with his younger foe in the third, it was Morrison who unsurprisingly won the mini escapade with a walloping left hand.
The pace then settled into the mid-rounds of the contest, the local hero, his every punch roared on by the partisan crowd, using his experience to make things tricky on the inside, cleverly nullifying his more powerful counterpart.
The 26-year old Brit did box well in the fifth, again countering with the right, but he started to look puzzled from there on, Blandamura scoring small attacks to keep him on top.
‘Sweet MNM’ was struggling to find any sort of rhythm or accuracy but a spirited attack at the end of the eighth suddenly sparked life into the visiting entourage, his heavy right hand seeming to cause some damage.
After a minute’s interval, Morrison sustained the onslaught, rallying forward before a final right hook ended proceedings in dramatic fashion.
Earlier in the night, Tommy McCarthy dealt with late replacement Francesco Cataldo to improve his record to 15-2.
The Belfast cruiserweight dropped Cataldo twice in the second period before the Italian’s corner decided he had taken enough damage and threw in the towel.
Dillian Whyte battles Oscar Rivas on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with David Allen against David Price and Derek Chisora versus Artur Szpilka on The O2 bill.