Though there's been no official word published anywhere to explain why, the Demetrius Hopkins-Freddie Norwood fight has been less-than-surprisingly scrapped for Thursday night in Commerce, California, though Hopkins will indeed fight on. His replacement will be Jesse Feliciano, a guy that most feel should hang up the gloves before he gets hurt.
Feliciano (15-8-3, 9 KO) last fought in December, and did score a knockdown of Carlos Quintana in the second round, before the fight was stopped in the third. The ringside doctor recommended the stoppage because of a nasty gash on Feliciano's right eyelid. Before that, Feliciano had been stopped by Andrey Tsurkan (TKO-8) and Kermit Cintron (TKO-10). Tsurkan battered Feliciano, and Cintron wailed on him mercilessly, injuring his own hands before finally getting the stoppage win.
Feliciano, 27, is 3-7-2 in his last 12 fights. He has fought mostly solid opposition over that stretch, but has taken a metric ton of punishment in the process. He's a really gutsy guy whose skills are that of a club fighter, but he's so tough and so durable that he's been a valuable opponent for a lot of people. The upside is I think he'll be remembered a lot more than most guys with his record and, I hate to say, his talent. The downside is he's now running the risk, people fear, of getting himself hurt out there.
Hopkins (28-1-1, 11 KO) has not fought since a 2008 loss to Kendall Holt, when he was a late replacement for Ricardo Torres. Since then, he's arrested at a weigh-in for a card he was supposed to be on in June of last year, and subsequently cut loose by Top Rank. He's looking to get his career back on track with a move to welterweight.
Since I don't know why Norwood pulled out, I'm hesitant to bash him or anything like that, but I'm sure it's of no surprise to anyone that he's not actually fighting. This is hardly the first fight Norwood has been signed for that he hasn't made in recent times.