Alan Dawson – London
The momentum Pier-Olivier Cote gathered in 2011 continued in his first bout of 2012 as the Canadian up-and-comer secured a fifth round technical knockout over Mark Lloyd on the Lucian Bute versus Carl Froch undercard at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday, May 26. When Cote got going, he was exciting, but the four rounds that preceded his finishing round were uneventful.
Official verdict: Cote by way of fifth round TKO.
Considering regionally-experienced Mark Lloyd had not yet fully established himself on the national scene in Britain, there was always a danger he could be out of his depth against Pier-Olivier Cote, a Canadian super featherweight champion and one of the more notable super lightweight prospects from 2011. Indeed, Cote dominated the opening stanza with his swift fists and double jabs while Lloyd simply assessed what was in front of him but it was not until the fifth round where Cote established his authority.
Like Interbox stablemate and Capital FM Arena headliner Lucian Bute, Cote is partial to body blows and demonstrated good combination work – to the head and midsection – in the first two rounds. Lloyd became more aggressive in the second round, closed the gap to trade on the inside but, whenever he did so, Cote either clinched or pumped uppercuts into the Englishman’s frame. That rapid succession of uppercutting became a motif for the round and eventually inspired the 27-year-old’s traveling support to chant his nickname – ‘Apou! Apou! Apou!’
While the fluidity in Cote’s game had begun to dissipate as early as round three and, bar the jab, he became over-reliant on the right hand, he was still one level above Lloyd whose experience at the higher weights – welterweight and junior middleweight – stood him in good stead against the 140lb power of Cote. That was, until, round five’s genesis when Cote’s left jab/right uppercut combo put Lloyd on his seat and forced the referee to administer a mandatory eight count.
As seemingly uneventful Cote was in the first half of the fight (against a challenger who was serving the purpose of a heavy bag) when Pier-Olivier sensed danger, he really enhanced his shot output, power and aggression, putting Lloyd down a second time with a sweetly scientific left hook before stopping the Brit on his feet moments before the round’s end. The stoppage was timely… Lloyd was behind but not outclassed for the first four rounds but was in no position to continue when Cote hit higher gears in the fifth.
With the victory, Cote rose to 19-0-0, 13ko.