By Hans Olson
Saturday November 3, Quebec’s Pier Olivier Cote (19-0) will defend his IBF Inter-Continental title against Frenchman Ali Chebah (35-2) in a 12-round jr. welterweight clash.
The bout, which will be Cote’s first since his 5-round destruction of Mark Lloyd last may, will be the the co-feature to Lucian Bute’s return versus Denis Grachev.
Last week, Boxing Insider caught up with Cote’s trainer, Francois Duguay.
Boxing Insider: How has everything been going with Pier Olivier since the fight over in England?
Francois Duguay: “It’s been good! Now we’re just in the training camp right now for the next fight on November 3rd.”
You’re fighting Ali Chebah, what are you expecting in this fight?
“I’m expecting a good boxer, you know? He has a good record. He also puts a lot of pressure, so that’s the kind of fighter that we’re looking at. We were ready to fight number one, number two, number three…but they said it wasn’t available, so we had to go with number four which is Ali Chebah. But it’s perfect for us.”
What kind of style do you think Ali Chebah is going to bring, and what kind of fight will that make Pier Olivier fight against him?
“Well Ali is a guy who puts a lot of pressure. I don’t think that he will change his style. He has to fight that way, he’s always fought that way in his career. Every fight that we’ve watched of him. That’s what we expect. He’s going to come forward and put pressure.”
In the last fight, Pier Olivier, his body punching was really effective and I was really impressed with that. Is that something you guys had been working on, attacking the body more?
“Yeah, there are a lot of things we’ve been working. At the last fight it was he was throwing his right hand to the body. Now we’re working on the left hand, and if he can have that weapon, he will be a better fighter from the inside.”
Apou has a lot of power. Where do you think that power comes from? Is he a natural puncher, or is it something that you guys have developed techincially? Or is it a combination of the two?
“He’s always been a good puncher, that’s a natural thing. But I mean of course we do a lot of things. We work on things with technical preperation to be more fluid. To have fluiditity. If he’s more relaxed on his shot it will be faster, so that’s what we’re looking at.”
Finally…during the English language broadcast on Epix, Sugar Ray Leonard was talking about how natural of an athlete Apou was. Did you guys hear those comments and what did you think?
“Oh no, I didn’t hear that! That’s good. From the mouth of Sugar Ray Leonard it’s very good! Also with [Antonio] Tarver. Tarver was saying the same thing when we were fighting in Quebec City for the title so it’s a plus for us to be recognized by those kind of champions you know?”