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Cote still looking for answers

Photo: Herby Whyne

By Dave Spencer

When Interbox pulled out all the stops with its most recent Montreal show presenting an ultra competitive card, one local name was conspicuous by his absence. Pier Olivier Cote (19-0 13KO) who had burst onto the international boxing scene with his highlight reel knockout of Jorge Luis Teron a year ago on Showtime’s Championship Boxing and was poised to headline on the network’s ShoBox series in February has been battling fatigue in a case that has left doctors and experts scratching their heads trying to find solutions.

“I have news today,” Cote’s trainer Francois Duguay told FightNews. “One of his doctors who is working with him had done a series of tests to see if he has sleeping problems. They monitored his sleep for two nights but didn’t see anything. Everything seemed normal. Now we have to go back and check out the blood tests. Again.”

It has been frustrating for Cote who is not presently training to battle a condition that so far nobody has been able to put their finger on and is not only affecting his boxing, but his day-to-day life as well. “He just doesn’t have any energy, he’s a bit better now because he’s not in the gym, he’s just trying to take care of himself. It has been pretty confusing.”

So far the problem has been going on for about a year and a half and solutions are no closer now than they were then. “The fight after Las Vagas (May 2011) it became worse and worse,” said Duguay. “The fight with Teron, we really had to take care of him, we had to go moment to moment and see how he felt. We had to go day by day and see how he felt each day; we couldn’t really make a big training plan.”

The Teron fight that ended in a second round destruction of the New York fighter proved to be a delicate balancing act. “We were confident going in, not enough to postpone it, the recuperation was longer than before when we were preparing. The morning he woke up (before the fight) he had all the power, all his energy, it came at a good moment.”

The win gave him definite momentum heading into 2012 but the February ShoBox fight was cancelled and when he fought in England in May, hopes were that he was getting better. “He was feeling better but then one morning he woke up and he was weak, he was tired, I don’t know.it’s been strange. When we cancelled November 3rd, people thought it was because we over-trained, it wasn’t that because we didn’t train at all. He was too weak to be in the gym. If he did train, he would be tired for three days. We could never reach a peak.”

It is at point where it is a problem that has made its way outside the ring and into Cote’s daily life. “This is the main point right now, even in normal life he has problems with that. He is always trying to get his energy back. It’s tough in real life, not just for boxing, it’s tough for everything.”

Duguay is hopeful that another round of blood tests might reveal something. “We’re going to go with a specialist of blood tests. Sometimes a doctor looks at a test doesn’t see everything well, so we want a second opinion to make sure everything is okay with his blood, that’s where we’re at right now. It could be hormonal or testosterone, those are things we’re still looking at. Our concern is for him and his normal life. He has a daughter to take care of. The last few weeks he has felt better, but it’s like when you plug in a cell phone and get one line. If he’s going to come back to the gym, I want him fully charged.”




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