All eyes were on Andres Cortes and Abraham Nova at Wednesday’s press conference in anticipation of their 10-round co-feature bout tonight (June 21) at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Last July, junior lightweights Cortes (21-0, 12 KOs) and Nova (23-2, 16 KOs), exchanged heated words ahead of Cortes’ fight against Xavier Martinez. 

But the press conference marked a subdued second act compared to last year’s fiery encounter. 

“I spoke this fight into existence,” the 26-year-old Cortes said. “And you gotta be careful what you ask for.

“I believe in my team. I believe in my skills and everything I do. So, I’m ready for whatever.”

Confident hometown favorite Cortes believes consecutive stoppage wins over Bryan Chevalier and Martinez, along with victory over the 30-year-old former title challenger Nova, will earn him a title shot.

“There are zero distractions,” said Cortes. “The people that are going to come here are going to come because they support me, and you guys are going to hear them.”

However, undeterred Nova promised to present a formidable challenge.

“For me, it’s simple. Win,” Nova said. “Winning itself is a skill. There’s no pressure at all. I’ll come, perform, and do my job.”

In contrast to his usual loquaciousness, Cortes appeared subdued at the press conference, dressed in all-black with sunglasses. Nova, on the other hand, spoke at length and feels he has been underrated, with losses only coming to titleholders Robeisy Ramirez and, in his last fight, against O’Shaquie Foster.

“I have incredible skills,” Nova added. “I feel like I’m really underrated in my skill set. I had a lot of tweaks that I fixed from my past fights. I fixed some things in camp, and staying active has helped me in my training. I feel like my skills, experience, and the journey I've been on in my boxing career will prevail and show out Friday night to get that victory.

“I need credible names. Andres Cortes is undefeated and has beaten some good names. This is the type of fight I need to get back in the mix to fight for a world title.”