Confident Andres Cortes gunning for first-round knockout statement

Andres Cortes believes he will stop Bryan Chevalier in a round. 

The 26-year-old Las Vegas native Cortes clashes with Chevalier in a super-featherweight fight on Friday, February 16, in the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

With a record of 20-0 (11KOs), Cortes knows he is one signature performance away from a big fight, one that might just be a world title shot. He hopes his bout against Chevalier (20-1-1, 16 KOs), as the co-feature on Friday’s ESPN telecast, will net him that opportunity.

“I just want everyone to tune in and I am knocking this dude out in one round,” Cortes told ProBox TV. “This fight helps me get to a world title. The fight is for the [WBO] Intercontinental world title. A win will improve my world ranking. You will have to tune in to see how fast I knock him out.

“[The WBO super-featherweight champion] was, I don’t know if it still is [Emanuel] Navarrete, but you know he is moving up. So it might be vacant.”

Cortes once foresaw his big fight as Navarrete, but it was recently announced that the Mexican will fight for the vacant WBO lightweight title against undefeated Ukrainian Olympian Denys Berinchyk, so it would appear Navarrete has left the division. 

That means two things for Cortes. For starters, his fight with Navarrete is off the table for now, and two, he could be targeting the vacant title.

When asked about current WBO super-featherweight No. 1 contender Albert Bell, Cortes said the following.

“Who has he fought?”

“This is the thing with a lot of fighters. They don’t want to fight nobody. I want the hardest fights every time if possible. I always want the hardest fights. In these other guys positions they want the easiest fights. Do you actually believe in yourself? Do you actually believe you can beat that guy? So that is why I always say yes to the best opponent. I have tried to make even better fights, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.”

Super-featherweight is a changing division with Navarrete possibly gone. The IBF champion is Welshman Joe Cordina, the WBC beltholder is O’Shaquie Foster. The WBA ruler is Lamont Roach Jr.

“I don’t want to chase fights, I want to chase the titles,” Cortes added. “Whoever I have to beat to get a title is what I am willing to do.”

His opponent Chevalier is no pushover. He is undefeated in seven years and holds recent wins over Albert Machado, Cesar Juarez and James Wilkins.