During his time in the ring, he was seen as one of the strongest and scariest wrestlers to ever put on a pair of wrestling boots. Now, he is in a fight for his life and Ivan Koloff is calling on the fans of the world for help. Liver disease has really taken its toll on the 74-year-old Koloff and it is now threatening his life with serious symptoms beginning to show, and his family is hoping for help from the fans he entertained for so long.
The Post and Courier is reporting that Koloff was first diagnosed with liver disease 10 years ago, but some recent lab results have shown some bad signs. Levels that measure the disease have been incredibly increased and his symptoms are worsening as time goes on.
While he was able to pretty much take out anyone and everyone who came into the ring, this disease is taking its toll on him. The former WWWF World Champion and multi-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion is in desperate need of assistance as his condition continues to get worse.
Renae Koloff, Ivan’s wife of 21 years, said that her husband has extreme weakness in both of his knees and that is causing him to have trouble walking. Jaundice and shortness of breath, due to diminished liver function, are making everyday activities almost impossible for him to perform.
“Doctors say this will only get worse as time goes on. There’s really nothing they can do about it except to keep a watch on him.”
Ivan Koloff spent time in the ring well into the ’90s and even appeared in ECW when it was still Eastern Championship Wrestling. In 1995, he became a born-again Christian and did a lot of charity work and working with churches as an ordained minister so he could spread the word of Jesus Christ while also trying to be a motivational speaker.
He has continued to make appearances at wrestling conventions and such, but his wife says that Ivan simply is “not able to go out and do appearances” like he used to do. She said Koloff isn’t even “able to sign autographs at this point.”
For years, many have thought that Ivan Koloff should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and it isn’t just the fans that think so. Most recently, Sgt. Slaughter spoke up for the wrestling legend, as reported by Wrestling Inc.
“You have the WWE Hall of Fame. So far we have Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. I have some personal favorites that hope get inducted, maybe Ivan Koloff, Beth Phoenix or maybe Bob Barker for the celebrity wing.”
While it hasn’t happened yet, many hope that he will make it into the hall before it is too late. For now, his family has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of being able to raise some money for the former world champion.
It really isn’t that uncommon for former superstars to reach out to the fans as times get tough for them in later years. Most recently, Inquisitr reported that both Tugboat and Perry Saturn were in bad situations and just needed the assistance of the fans they fought for in WWE and other promotions.
Tugboat, real name Fred Ottman, had recently developed a serious illness which forced him to be hospitalized and have a couple of surgeries. While not back to 100 percent, his recent posts on Facebook do show that he has been feeling a little better.
Saturn has not only been dealing with a number of medical issues, but he let fans know he was also close to being homeless.
Ivan Koloff is one of those guys who just wanted to go out to the ring and do what he was paid to do and what he loved. Koloff loved to wrestle and entertain the fans and that is why he proceeded to do it for so long. As his liver disease worsens, he truly is in a fight for his life and his family hopes that the people he entertained for so long, can help. Hopefully, his condition improves and he can be around to hear his name called out for the WWE Hall of Fame.
[Featured Image by WWE]