Although former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight Super Champion Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters is yet to formally decide whether he will fight as a featherweight (126 pounds) or super featherweight (130 pounds) this year, it is clear that the various controlling bodies have made up their minds that he is now in the higher weight class.Three of the major controlling bodies in professional boxing, who issued their rankings this week, have placed him in the super featherweight division.He is ranked No. 2 by the WBA, No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 7 by the World Boxing Council (WBC). With these rankings, he can fight for any of these world titles, if his promoters Top Rank, led by Bob Arum, can get the respective champion to agree.Walters won the vacant WBA featherweight title on December 8, 2012 when he defeated Daulis Prescott here in Jamaica by way of a seventh round tko. After two successful defences of that title, he earned super champion status when he stopped Nonito Donaire on October 18, 2014 in the sixth round in Carson City, California. In his first scheduled defence as super champion, however, he faltered.ONE POUND OVERWEIGHTHe weighed in at 127 pounds for his title fight against Miguel Marriaga in New York on June 13, 2015, and that one pound overweight cost him his title and a possible million-dollar fight this year against WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko, which was in the making at that time. He went on to beat Marriaga decisively, however, by way of a unanimous decision, and his stocks remained high.On December 19 last year, he fought American Jason Sosa in the super featherweight, 130-pound class, which was seen as a test fight in that weight category. He looked good, but the fight was ruled a draw. The decision was a controversial one and most commentators stated emphatically that it was their opinion that Walters had won.Walters told The Gleaner after that fight that he felt comfortable fighting at 130 pounds, but also made the point that he could easily have fought at 126 that night. He said, recently, that he and his team would be making the decision early this year as to which weight class he will fight in.The decision seems to have been made for him.Ranked at No. 2 in the 130- pound class by the WBA, he is eligible to fight the Japanese champion in that division, Takashi Uchiyama, in the near future. Uchiyama, who is 36 years old and has a 24-0-1 record, made a successful title defence on December 31, by stopping Oliver Flores in the third round.Walters, who is 29 has a 26-0-1 record and told The Gleaner that he is confident that he will fight for a title early this year.
Jeremy Osborne, a Bethel resident, has two repairs to make to his power equipment. They are easy for him to do, but some residents might find their repairs more difficult and must search for an elusive electrician. (Photo by Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel)A recent letter from the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative startled residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The letter told customers to repair their electric equipment by August or have their power cut off. While most of the repairs are minor, others require more professional handling from an electrician, which are scarce in the region.Listen nowJeremy Osborne is one such homeowner. Osborne works at Yuut Elitnaurviat, a workforce development organization in Bethel, and also works part-time as a copy editor at KYUK. He’s one of 450 customers in Bethel who got the letter from AVEC.“I was a little alarmed at first because they say that your electrical service will be disconnected on or about August unless you make the repairs,” Osborne said.AVEC took over control from the local utility, Bethel Utilities Corporation, in 2013 and residents have been receiving these letters since then, according to the cooperative. AVEC recommends that residents hire an electrician to do the work, but in Bethel, that’s not easy. Michael Langlie, who has co-owned The Lumber Yard for 20 years, says that it can take as much as a month to get an electrician to a house in Bethel.The Lumber Yard stocks the electrical supplies people in Bethel may need for repairs and Langlie has seen an uptick in people coming into his store for these supplies over the past two years. Bethel has long nurtured a do-it-yourself culture because of its remote location and lack of services, which may have sparked some of the letters, but AVEC CEO Meera Kohler says that the repairs are not just confined to older homes or the result of do-it-yourself jobs. Homes and business can fail to meet code because of shifting permafrost, wind storms, or other natural causes.Kohler says that most of the repairs are minor. She says that many just require replacing a ground rod or other repairs that people can do themselves. But what happens when they need an electrician? Kathy Hanson is another homeowner who received the AVEC letter. She says that the easy part is tracking them down.“I think it’s not hard getting hold of one,” Hanson said. “ You see them in their trucks driving around. Now to get them to come out to your house and fix something, I think it might be rather difficult.”KYUK tried to reach out to several electricians that were listed online or given through word-of-mouth. Out of the five that KYUK tried to call, only one, Sea Lion Electric Services, had a working phone number. And they never picked up.KYUK also drove around Bethel for about an hour to look for one of the vans, but couldn’t find one. Osborne consulted with an electrician who’s also a friend, but is doing the work himself. He says that he’s lucky that he doesn’t have to do more to bring his house up to code. AVEC’s Kohler says that the utility doesn’t require the repairs to be made by an electrician, but she advises homeowners who might not feel up to task to hire a professional. read more