Pier Olivier Cote didn't live up to his reputation as a big-time offensive fighter for the first four rounds today in Nottingham against Mark Lloyd, but landed good, clean shots in the fifth round to get the British fighter out of there, scoring two knockdowns before a final charge forced referee Terry O'Connor to call a halt to the action at 2:45 of the round.
[ Live Coverage Continues: Bute vs Froch Round-By-Round ]
Cote (19-0, 13 KO) looked really rusty from the get-go, not like himself at all. He was twitchy, seemed a bit unsure of himself, and just didn't have the accuracy and sharpness we're used to seeing from the 27-year-old prospect. He wasn't that same bomber in the fifth either, but he definitely did the job he was there to do, landing good shots to the body and head with both hands, finishing off a challenger in what mostly amounted to a rust-shedding fight, Cote's first appearance in the ring since November.
Cote should be knocking on the door of the top ten by the end of the year, but it remains to be seen how that will actually go down. The scheduled fight he had earlier this year with Mauricio Herrera might have wound up a step too far for him at this point, but an illness prevented that from actually happening. Tonight was just about getting back in action, nothing more, and he did that.
A quick turnaround to another stay-busy fight might be the best course of action -- Cote took zero punishment, as Lloyd was loathe to throw punches back, and the Colombian-born Canadian could get back soon if he wants to do that.
Our live coverage of the Bute vs Froch card continues, with the Carl Frampton vs Raul Hirales fight up next, followed by the main event.