In the generation that he has presided over the Klitschko era of heavyweight dominance and Gennadiy Golovkin’s powerful middleweight title reign that featured 23 consecutive knockouts, promoter Tom Loeffler never missed any part of fight week.

That all changed this week in New York, where Southern California’s Loeffler is guiding a Madison Square Garden Theater card Friday headlined by his promising Irish fighter, Callum Walsh (9-0).

Yet, when the opportunity arose for Loeffler to accompany his former longtime heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine to a tour of military and political dignitaries, he jumped at it.

“That’s why Wladimir came here [to the U.S.],” Loeffler told BoxingScene Wednesday. “He’s got a lot of friends in the military. He knew a lot of people killed in action. This was a real passionate plea for him … he was literally fighting for his country, fighting for their lives.”

Serving as an unofficial Ukrainian ambassador, Wladimir and his brother Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, are pressing the sharply divided House of Representatives to push for a bipartisan agreement that will help fund the next wave of military support for Ukraine in its war against neighboring Russia.

“This took a high priority … I hadn’t seen Wladimir in more than three years. Him being able to come to Washington to speak at a military conference [meet] with some influential politicians on Capitol Hill yesterday, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi [D.-Calif.], Rep. Darrell Issa [R.-Calif.] and Rep. Eric Swalwell [D.-Calif] … the timing is critical now,” Loeffler said.

“It’s a situation now that Wladimir is the best ambassador for that because he’s been on the front lines. He is prominent and can put a face to the requests for financial support at a time when people might want to put this on the backburner because the Russia-Ukraine war has been going on for two years now when many didn’t think at the beginning that it would last three or four days. But [the Ukrainians] have a great fighting spirit. And that’s what Wladimir said: ‘We’ll fight ourselves. We just need the weapons to hold off Russia.’”

Last month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported 31,000 of his troops have been killed in the war, with more than 10,000 more civilians killed.

While those in Congress siding with former President Trump want to reject a bill proposing Ukrainian support and instead advocate for support to be given as a loan, Klitschko, who reigned as heavyweight champion from 2006 to 2015, hoped to cut through the political posturing. 

“We know Vitali, as mayor of Kyiv, has information on the war that he shares with Wladimir. Wladimir accompanies Vitali on official trips. He’s there on the front lines with Vitali,” Loeffler said. “He’s privy to [things] even though he’s not in an official capacity. He supports his brother like he did when they were boxing. Only now, they’re fighting for their survival.

“[Wladimir’s] being a great ambassador for Ukraine by bringing that message back here to the U.S. so the U.S. politicians don’t lose focus on the dire consequences,” Loeffler said. “If Ukraine falls to Russia, then there’s no telling how far Russia will go – that’s the point they’re making to Europe and Europe’s strongest ally, the U.S. This is of critical interest here, as well.”

President Biden authorized a $300 million military aid package for Ukraine Tuesday. Another $95 million with Senate-approved funds earmarked for both Ukraine and Israel is bound for the critical House of Representatives vote by month’s end.

Klitschko gave interviews to both strong-willed conservatives and proud liberals like Pelosi while also giving interviews this week along the media spectrum, from Fox News and Wall Street Journal to CNN.

“He knows he needs as much support as possible from both sides of the aisle,” Loeffler said. “They really believe their existence rides in the balance.

“That’s why when this opportunity came along and I presented it to him – it started with him being a speaker at this Irregular Warfare conference with NATO partners. It turned into a lobbying and political effort. It was a very effective trip.

“I could tell by the reaction of the politicians. Wladimir is a very eloquent speaker and he was able to get his message across passionately and emotionally in emphasizing how important this is. One of the points he made was to stress they need older weapons the U.S. doesn’t need anymore. So the U.S. can modernize its weapons systems. The [monetary value] seems like high numbers, but the U.S. can still create jobs in updating its own weapons systems.”

Loeffler inspected the rooms Klitschko spoke to this week, and he saw emotions running deep, ultimately coming to believe it may generate votes of approval.

“He made everyone else emotional because it was such a powerful plea for help in describing the situation over there – [because Klitschko was formerly] on the front lines when Russia first invaded, and he knew how they treated the civilians. I could see the people getting emotional. Wladimir has been through the ringer over there. It had a profound effect, and the people who set up these meetings feel he’s the perfect person to get this message across.”

Will it move the needle and help increase Ukrainian war support? 

“I think so,” Loeffler said. “Everyone who was involved thought it went well and while it’s always hard to read the effect, hopefully it will sway some people.

“He covered all the various spectrums on the media side, too, because he knows it’ll take a bipartisan agreement to support Ukraine.The first-hand accounts of what’s happening over there now, how he gets in and out of the country, how Russia is hiring outside mercenaries because the deaths of young soldiers is weakening support for the war and increasing costs for Putin.”

Loeffler arrived back Wednesday night in New York for Walsh’s fight, which is a very different one.

“This is the ultimate fight week,” Loeffler said. “They are literally fighting for their existence.”