By Hans Olson
Due to an undisclosed illness, IBF Inter-Continental 140 lb. champ Pier Olivier Cote has been forced to pull out of his November 3 title defense against France’s Ali Chebah.
The bout had been scheduled as the co-feature to Lucian Bute’s return against Denis Grachev.
“He’s going to undergo more tests in Montréal,” said Cote’s longtime trainer Francois Duguay to Boxing Insider Thursday afternoon.
“He’ll get another point of view, from another doctor. He passed all the blood tests here in Québec City. Everything was perfect except, he can just not recuperate any time that we do small training. Something very, very light; it takes like two or three days for him to be able to come back in the gym to have his power again.”
Fans may recall that Cote became ill back in January, prompting a fight cancellation against Mauricio Herrara that was never rescheduled.
Cote recovered though, and returned May 26 to destroy England’s Mark Lloyd in 5 rounds.
Speaking with Boxing Insider back in April, Duguay noted that the previous illness could have resulted from overtraining, but that might not be quite the case this time.
“It’s pretty much the same…but now, I mean, he’s not able to even train at a lower level, a medium level. Just doing the basic things, he can’t recuperate.”
“He’s not even training hard yet. He’s just been training lightly for the last like five weeks. Very lightly. But he just can’t recuperate from that. I think he has been too [weight] drained all of his way to his IBF title. We fought at 130, 135, and we waited maybe too long for him [to get up to 140]. This is why we think his body needs a rest to recuperate.”
It’s unknown at this time if Ali Chebah will remain on the Bute/Grachev undercard against another opponent.
For Cote, once healthy, a move to 147 lb may be imminent.