When Serhii Bohachuk, a promising tremendous welterweight prospect, left the US the place he trains for his boxing profession, to return to his native Ukraine to resume his work visa, by no means did he anticipate the twists and turns his life would take.
When he arrived in Ukraine, he made a March appointment to go to the U.S. embassy to resume his visa, so he may return to the U.S. and resume his profession. He is 20-1 with 20 knockouts and on Nov. 3, he’ll battle Aaron Coley on a 360 Promotions card in Montebello, California, in a battle streamed on UFC Struggle Cross.
However on Feb. 24, the Russian navy invaded Ukraine and the warfare started. The eye of the world turned to Ukraine, and the nation’s sole focus turned defending itself. Whereas there was a max exodus of individuals fleeing the nation and a line of vehicles stretched practically 100 miles leaving the nation for protected harbor in Poland, males between the ages of 18 and 60 have been required to stay in case they have been wanted to serve within the navy as a part of the nation’s protection.
Although the U.S. had begun public warnings from its intelligence sources that Russia was planning to invade, it caught Bohachuk fully without warning.
“I used to be offended and I used to be caught there, however I could not consider this occurred,” Bohachuk stated. “I simply could not consider it. I assumed at the moment and at the present time, it was unattainable. I used to be in shock. I used to be very upset and really offended. On the day it occurred, I awoke and my mom informed me, ‘We’re at warfare. They began a warfare.’ I used to be shocked. I could not consider it.”
Bohachuk lived in Vinnytsia, a metropolis in west central Ukraine about 170 miles from Kyiv. It’s residence to Gorky Park, a theme park that was the setting for a 1983 film of the identical identify that starred William Damage, Lee Marvin and Brian Dennehy.
Bohachuk discovered himself within the worst potential circumstance. His journey to Ukraine was primarily a enterprise journey that might permit him to renew his boxing profession, however he was thrust into the center of a warfare.
Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions, who guided Gennadiy Golovkin’s rise to prominence at middleweight, believes Bohachuk is a possible world champion. His solely loss got here in Puerto Rico on March 4, 2021, to Brandon Adams. Bohachuk was main on all playing cards and was strolling Adams down when Adams hit him with a counter left that damage him. Adams later completed him late within the eighth with a left hook.
It was a battle he may have received, and would have been the largest of his profession, however a mistake price him.
“It is boxing,” Bohachuk stated. “I received caught with a superb [punch]. I used to be doing my job and transferring in and I made a mistake and he took benefit. It occurs in boxing.”
Nonetheless, Loeffler believes Bohachuk has numerous potential and each considered one of his fights has ended inside the gap.
He isn’t a one-punch knockout artist, like Golovkin or former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, however he is a stress fighter who wears his opponent down and will get to them later within the battle.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Bohachuk’s life, like all of his countrymen, turned to chaos.
“I am a sportsman, not a soldier,” Bohachuk stated. “I needed to battle to defend [the country], however everybody was telling me, ‘Serhii, you aren’t a soldier. You’re a sportsman. You want to [box]. We’ll battle for you.'”
His family and friends could not make that call, although. However when the sports activities ministry in Ukraine launched heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk so he may battle Anthony Joshua after which Vasiliy Lomachenko, it no less than opened the probability for Bohachuk to be launched.
Bohachuk stated Usyk’s win over Joshua of their rematch in Saudi Arabia made an enormous distinction within the nation’s morale.
“Usyk is such an amazing man,” Bohachuk stated. “What he did was wonderful. He fought for the title beneath these circumstances and he did an amazing job. He impressed everybody on this nation. He confirmed us what a hero actually is.”
The sports activities ministry in the end granted him his launch, however he needed to go to Poland first, after which to the U.S. embassy there to get his work visa to return to the U.S.
It was a harrowing journey to Poland, and when he arrived, there have been tens of hundreds of refugees. Individuals may solely keep in lodges for 3 days so he needed to hold trying out of 1 resort and into one other. He additionally had a language barrier, since he does not converse Polish. He stated Polish was shut sufficient to Ukrainian in order that he may talk, but it surely wasn’t preferrred.
Two days after he left Vinnytsia, the Russians bombed it and it brought on untold injury in a wholly civilian space. Twenty-six civilians died within the cruise missile strike, and greater than 200 have been injured. Automobiles have been destroyed and a medical heart was burned down.
“It was horrible and it was unnecessary,” Bohachuk stated. “Individuals have been simply dwelling their lives and there was no navy [actions] happening there. Simply regular individuals. Why do that?”
Bohachuk lastly received the visa and returned to the U.S. in July. When he returns to the ring on Nov. 3 in a card headlined by Callum Walsh, he’ll battle with a renewed vigor.
“I do know what this may imply to [the Ukrainian] individuals,” he stated. “There may be a lot happening and sport is a solution to have a [distraction] from the warfare.”