Can Pier Olivier Cote Be the Next Manny Pacquiao?

Takeo SportsCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 14:  Manny Pacquiao celebrates his 12 round TKO victory against Miguel Cotto with trainer Freddy Roach during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao didn’t start his career in the United States and didn’t get much recognition in the first years. However, Pacquiao had heart and determination—so does Cote.

Pacquiao needed three years to get his first title belt, Cote needed about the same amount of time. Pacquiao has a long relationship with a successful and strong motivator: his trainer, Freddie Roach. Pier Olivier Cote has a similar relationship with Francois Duguay.

Both fighters are relentless and explosive. Both athletes are now fighting around 140 pounds. My list of similarities could go on. You don’t know him yet, but 10 years ago, you didn’t know Pacquiao either.

Learn his name right now. He is Pier Olivier Cote and could soon be featured on ESPN or Showtime.

Canadians are raving about him, and the American market is about to hear more and more about this 27-year old boxing talent.


A late Bloomer

Pier Olivier Cote was born in Cali, Colombia. His biological mother left him at the orphan at the age of eight months. At 18 months old, he had not yet learned how to walk, but everything was about to change for him. Indeed, Rejean Cote and Christine Pleau from Quebec, Canada adopted him and brought him back to their hometown.




The couple raised their kid in Charlesbourg, Quebec, situated at the North-West of Quebec City. At 14, Cote wasn’t in a boxing gym. At 17, Cote had never had an amateur boxing fight.

While most boxers start their amateur career at a young age, Cote didn’t do things as everyone else. He had his first amateur fight at the age of 20. However, when it started, everything went fast. Within two years, he won the Canadian Amateur Championship.

Cote ended up with a solid amateur record of 65-10, and turned pro in 2008. It was only the beginning of the fairy tale. Cote moved on with 18 straight professional wins, including 12 by way of knock out.  His latest achievement was the most impressive one yet. On November 5, Cote stole the show at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City. Cote was the star, not the Bute vs. Johnson friendly fight.

In front of a Showtime television audience, Cote knocked out Jorge Luis Teron explosively in the second round. With this win, he grabbed the vacant IBF Inter-Continental light welterweight title.

Don’t get the false impression that this kid has a well-built record by his team. Cote is fighting against solid opposition. In his last four fights, his opponents had a losing percentage of 16 percent, which is a very good number. 

In comparison, Lucian Bute faced an opposition with a losing percentage of 13 percent in his last fights. However, the boxer trained by Stephan Larouche, has held the IBF super middleweight title since 2007. We would expect a bigger discrepancy in opponent strength when comparing an established long-time champion and a rising star.




The Man Behind the Boxer


Pier Olivier Cote has heart, talent and everything a boxer needs to succeed. However, behind most great boxers there is a great coach.

Indeed, Francois Duguay, Cote’s personal trainer, is doing a fantastic job with his protégé and he is one of the main reasons why Cote will soon get worldwide recognition.

Duguay started a boxing amateur career in the 1980's. He started his coaching experience in the 1990's and spent more and more time coaching in the early 2000's. He spent years in boxing gyms to master his coaching techniques and abilities. However, even though Duguay developed great fight strategies, he always had the premier aspects needed for a worldwide class coach.

First, he believes in his boxer. Second, he is always present and devoted to his athletes. Finally, he is an excellent motivator. This is how you distinguish amateur coaches and successful ones. This is how you get the trust of your protégé. Cote and Duguay have chemistry, and you can see it in the corner when it’s fight time.

Talking of a boxing corner, he is one of the most intense corner coaches I have seen in the most recent years. He isn’t sleeping like some other trainers. He is able to adjust his strategy and to give the extra boost needed between every round.  


Duguay delivers a one-minute intense performance for his boxers between every round. Combine his premier motivator skills with the trust of his athletes, and we can all better understand how he became so successful.


It’s refreshing because in the past years I have seen horrible motivators in some boxing corners, and it includes well-known trainers in major championship fights.

In the past, coaches of champions Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, Eric Lucas and Leonard Dorin got all the recognition in Quebec and Canada. However, Duguay remained in the dark, perfecting his skills. He was slowly making his way to the top.

I have personally witnessed his work for a few years, and I can confirm that a premier world-class trainer can be found at the Empire Club in Quebec, Canada. Cote will be his window to show to everyone else that he deserves credit for his accomplishments.


Cote’s Future

In 2010, Marco Perez, a journalist from Colombia, found Cote’s biological parents. A few days ago, Cote met them for the first time. He was supposed to meet his mother and sisters, but they finally also retraced his father. Guess what? Cote’s biological father was also a boxer back in the years. Is there a boxing gene I am not aware of? Who knows!

Currently, negotiations with ESPN and Showtime have started to present Cote’s story to the general public. I told you, you’re not done hearing about him. It’s only the beginning.


Pier Olivier Cote and Francois Duguay will be on your television and in your newspapers. They already fought in Romania and at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Just have a look at their reaction when they win. It is refreshing compared to all the boxing controversies and below average fights we have been offered lately.

I can only hope that Duguay and Cote’s relationship will stay intact once the big sharks come to try to get their hands on this new born boxing star. It’s in their best interest to stay together and shine for the upcoming years.

Definitely, this team could follow the steps of Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao to become one of the most dominant tandems in boxing. They are heading for greatness.

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