Tom Loeffler Explains Serhii Bohachuk’s Journey to Sebastian Fundora Fight

Serhii Bohachuk has had quite the journey to make it to his title fight.

Bohachuk faces Sebastian Fundora for the vacant WBC middleweight title on the Keith ThurmanTim Tszyu pay-per-view undercard on March 30.

Bohachuk, 28, almost didn’t get this shot. Not because of politics in the ring, but because of those outside of it. Bohachuk was in his home country of Ukraine when the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out. People were dying on a daily basis, and life was no longer the same. The word “conflict” is often used in newspaper accounts and on television broadcasts, but it undersells the severity of what is occurring on the ground in Ukraine.

Tom Loeffler, Bohachuk’s promoter, recalled the events that led to getting Bohachuk back to the United States.

“Serhii Bohachuk has a very interesting story,” Loeffler said. “He was [in the U.S.]. We needed to send him back to the Ukraine to renew his visa, and we had an appointment. And I remember the dates exactly. We had an appointment on March 14 at the U.S. consulate in the Ukraine, in Kyiv. He was over there, just waiting for his appointment. Then all of the sudden, Feb. 24, Russia invades Ukraine.”

The sequence of events afterward seems ripped from the narrative of “Tinker Tailor, Soldier Spy.” Bohachuk was caught in a war. He had faced a bit of adversity in his boxing career – his first career loss to Brandon Adams, in 2021, for instance – but never anything like this.

“So now the borders are closed,” Loeffler continued. “[Men of Serhii’s age] are not allowed to leave the country. Serhii’s brother is in the military. He is in his city, Vinnytsia. Missiles are flying in and landing in the city center. It was a really scary time.

“We had to get official permission from the minister of sports to allow Serhii to leave the country, to pursue his boxing campaign and fight for the Ukraine. It could’ve easily been that he was recruited into the Ukrainian military.”

While most would relish a world title shot, Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KOs) was uncertain of his career. He was trying to fulfill a bureaucratic demand, yet got caught in the middle of a global crisis. Fighting is his passion. It is his legacy. But fighting in the ring and the fight his country is currently embroiled in are vastly different things.

Since reaching Poland, waiting a month on a visa and finally flying back to the United States to resume boxing, Bohachuk has won three straight fights. Loeffler, for one, understands how fortunate his fighter is just to receive those opportunities.

“He might have been fighting on the [front line] somewhere in Ukraine,” Loeffler said. “It shows you how delicate the balance of life is. I know a lot of people in the Ukraine, with my relationship with the Klitschko brothers. It is not reported as widely as it was before, but they are losing a lot of people daily in that war defending their country. Serhii has a very compelling story.”