Wrestling legend Ivan Koloff has sadly passed away at the age of 74. He is another great wrestler to have passed away in what has been a devastating week in the wrestling world with so many legends passed on.
In the past week, along with Koloff, fans of wrestling have seen Nicole Bass, George 'The Animal' Steele, Marty Prince, and Chavo Guerrero Sr. pass away, a truly tough time for anyone that loves the business and has watched it transform over the generations thanks to people like them.
Koloff, also known as 'The Russian Bear', passed away over the weekend after a battle with liver cancer. His daughter, Rachel Marley, had recently set up a GoFundMe page requesting financial support for “urgent medical care.” Her father had been suffering from liver disease for a decade and doctors had pointed out that his health was rapidly declining.
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She said on the page: "My dad was diagnosed with liver disease about 10 years ago but he chose not to make this announcement public to his fans and friends. Instead, he wanted to follow doctors orders and keep on going out and spreading God's Word. In previous years, my dad enjoyed staying busy trying to help as many people as he could.
"He enjoyed making wrestling appearances, helping with various fundraisers (such as signing autographs to support Children's Miracle Network), among other appearances over the years since he retired from wrestling in 1989, earning extra money to offset his disability check.
"He enjoyed meeting his fans and friends and having my mom, Renae, travel with him to help him. After a bad report from the doctors, he was no longer able to travel or make appearances. His liver function was failing and then came the liver cancer diagnosis. We were saddened and shocked at how fast things progressed but we are thankful he did not suffer. He passed away Saturday, peacefully with my mother, Renae, by his side."
The page is still open if you wish to make a donation to help support the Ivan Koloff Memorial Fund.
During his time as an active wrestler, Koloff was best known for ending Bruno Sammartino's reign as WWWF champion in January 1971 at Madison Square Garden after Bruno almost held the title for eight years.
The Russian Bear would only hold the championship for 21 days before being beaten by Pedro Morales in February the same year. This was his first and only title reign with the company.
Below are some of the matches from Koloff's career.News Now - Sport News