Junior middleweight Serhii Bohachuk delivered the most impressive victory of his career last Saturday. 

Bohachuk won a 12-round unanimous decision over Brian Mendoza to win a junior middleweight interim title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It was a long road for Bohachuk (24-1, 23 KOs) to arrive here, and Mendoza (22-4, 16 KOs) made it just a bit longer, pushing the Ukrainian until the final bell. Originally set to fight Sebastian Fundora for a vacant title, Bohachuk got caught in a game of falling dominoes.

When Keith Thurman got hurt, Fundora was drafted to fill his place against Tim Tszyu in the main event. That fight became a junior middleweight unification bout as a result, and Bohachuk could only watch as his pay-per-view title fight was turned into an interim title fight on the Prime Video prelims. It could be argued that he dodged a bullet against Fundora, a 6-foot-5 southpaw, but Mendoza, despite being a late replacement and more conventional opponent, is as competent and durable as they come.

So what are Bohachuk’s next steps after securing an interim belt in the most meaningful win of his career? 

“For me, I need the champions – I need the best boxers,” Bohachuk recently told Boxing Scene. “I don’t know who is next?”

Bohachuk mentioned Erickson Lubin as a viable possibility, and Charles Conwell, scheduled to fight Nathaniel Gallimore on April 20 on the Devin Haney-Ryan Garcia card, is the current No. 1 contender for the junior middleweight title.

“For me, it doesn’t matter,” Bohachuk said. “I need [to fight] the best boxers. … I need the titles – I need all titles.

“I don’t feel that I am a champion. I don’t know why. Maybe I will feel like a champion later. Maybe I will feel like a champion when I have four titles.”

Bohachuk could be forgiven for being dissatisfied or distracted. Lately he has been troubled by the hardships in his homeland. Bohachuk was working on getting his visa back to the United States when Ukraine was invaded by Russia in 2022. Before the Mendoza fight, Bohachuk spoke of winning to honor Ukraine. 

Now he has a new goal:

“I want to fight in the Ukraine,” Bohachuk said. “Now it is impossible, because of war. I want to show my Ukrainian friends my boxing."