Andres Cortes, 26, is a junior lightweight contender and native of Las Vegas who trains under his brother, Luie Cortes, out of their gym. Andres is set to fight Abraham Nova on Friday at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas in a bout that he hopes will propel him into a title opportunity.

Andres Cortes recently took time out to discuss with BoxingScene his upcoming fight against Nova and his aspirations to become a world champion.

BoxingScene: What do you think of Abraham Nova?

Cortes: He's good. I don't really see too much. He has been knocked out. I mean, he did go 12 rounds in his last fight. He has that world title experience. Other than that, I don't think he's better than me in any way, and I just think I am better overall. 

BS: Before Nova’s last fight, against WBC titleholder O’Shaquie Foster, you made a bold prediction that it would be a close fight. How did you know that?

Cortes: I was just aware of both of those guys. I knew it'd be a good fight. I've known Foster. My brother fought him as an amateur. So I've known him for a really long time. Nova, I've seen him plenty of times. It played out how I thought it would, and I kind of figured that Nova would not do well on the back end.

BS: What makes Nova the world-class fighter he is?

Cortes: I think he just had the fight of his life last fight. That's my honest opinion. I'm expecting to see that Nova again. If I do see that Nova, I think I knock him out. I just think he had the fight of his life in his last fight.

BS: You often make bold knockout predictions. Do you have any prediction for this fight?

Cortes: I think I knock him out in under three rounds.

BS: Nova is a good fighter, so you are saying you will stop him in less than three rounds?

Cortes: Yeah, of course. I'm doing things differently. I'm taking boxing way more serious than I was. Everything is coming along. I'm giving it all, 100 percent. No shortcuts. That’s why I am making these fights look so easy. It's not that these opponents are not good. They're very good. I think my work ethic is definitely showing in these last fights.

BS: How are you taking boxing more seriously now? 

Cortes: Paying attention closely to my diet, paying attention to how I'm training, how I'm sleeping, what vitamins I'm taking, what I feel like I need to do as far as exercise, what I need to do as far as, like, running sprints. I think all that stuff really matters. It's more than just getting into shape. It's the way you're in shape. I didn't come from a fighting family, so I didn’t have those people behind me. Now I’m around great athletes, I’ve been around [Floyd] Mayweather, seeing those kinds of things and putting them all together.

BS: At this point, if you win, who do you target next? 

Cortes: I don't even care at this point. I don't care as long as it's just a world title shot. That’s all that I want. I don't even – it could be anybody, just give me a world title. That's really all I'm looking for. It's just that world title.

BS: So the title is all you want? 

Cortes: Absolutely. I think that is why every fighter fights: to be the best. And to be the best, you got to be the world champion. I'm waiting for that moment. I'm not looking past this fight. I'm very focused on this fight. I know what I got to do in there. And once I knock this guy out, I’m definitely looking for that world title.

BS: You have fought a lot of highly ranked fighters. Do you feel you have the best resume in the division?

Cortes: Of course. As far as BoxRec goes, I am ranked No. 2 in the United States. I'm listed above world champions. I know that that goes by, like, numbers and stuff, so I don't look at it like that. But if you go by the numbers and the stats that they put out, I am No. 3 in the world and I don't even have a title yet. So I know I've been fighting tough guys, and that speaks for itself. I love to fight tough fights. I think that's what wakes me up every morning, is knowing that I have a tough fight in front of me. I wouldn't be too motivated if I was getting, you know, easy fights. So I do want tough fights and I do ask for tough fights.

BS: Your brother Luie is your trainer and a former fighter himself. He is also a larger-than-life personality. Any stories about him from the gym?

Cortes: I don't know. He spars sometimes. He actually sparred four people in a row and knocked out all of them in a row. That is probably the most memorable one recently. 

BS: How is the bond with you and your brother during this pro journey? It is rather unique, right? 

Cortes: I think it speaks for itself. You know, I did beat, two fights ago, a fighter trained by Robert Garcia – a Hall of Famer. If not, he's going to be a Hall of Famer. And then we just beat one of Puerto Rico's best coaches. So, I mean, we're beating really good teams. And, I mean, we're not [just] beating them – we're stopping them. So I think that that really speaks for itself, and not just anybody can wake up and want to be a coach, and I think people don't understand that. I think you have to know how to coach somebody. I think, too, not everybody is coachable with a certain type of fighter, if that makes sense. Like, for example, I don't know if my brother could coach like a Cuban-style fighter, if that makes sense. Our styles match up well, and everything just fits perfectly. So that's why we're doing good.

BS: Fighting at home in Las Vegas, how is that? 

Cortes: I love it. I have had the majority of my fights here. So it feels like home, it's normal. Everything's good. I know a lot of people get distracted with people asking for tickets, all that kind of stuff. But I just block all that off.

BS: What is mission accomplished at this point in your career?

Cortes: Oh, I really have no clue. Because I've set my standards really, really high. Because I've been wanting this since I was a kid, so I won't be happy with just a title, I think. And that's what I really want to achieve, and I'm on the path. So once I win my world title, I think you guys are just going to see more and more improvement. I think fighters make more and more money, but you're supposed to invest that into yourself and make yourself even a better fighter, and I think sometimes fighters forget that part. They don't do that. I'm all in, because I invest everything I got into my career for the next fight.

BS: How do you stop yourself from overtraining? 

Cortes: I don't believe it. There's never really a limit to what your body can do. I think that's more of, like, a mental thing. If people can run 100 miles, how do they get in shape for that? We're only fighting 10 or 12 rounds. I don't see it like that. I don't see it as that, there is overtraining. Yes, you got to let your body rest, and I believe in recovery, which I'm always in recovery. But as far as overtraining, I don't believe in that too much.

BS: Final words for Nova? 

Cortes: I am going to knock you out.

Cortes: So I have a question for you: What do you want? What do you want the knockout shot to be?

BS: Selfishly, I just want something compelling to write about.

Cortes: A stiff jab? A hook? You can call the shot!

BS: For the sake of argument, how about a left hook?

Cortes: OK, when I hit him with a left hook, you will be like, “damn.” That is all you had to say.