Two Time World Kickboxing Champion, 8th Dan in USA Goju Karate and Professional Wrestling trainer Dan Magnus Fights for his Life.
Two time World Kickboxing Champion under the Professional Karate Association (PKA), 8th Dan black belt in USA Goju Karate, Professional Wrestling trainer and former bounty hunter, Dan Magnus is not fighting for another championship, he is fighting for his life.
The 64-year-old Magnus, a native of New York and California resident, is waiting on a heart transplant. However,
his situation is extremely rare in comparison to others in his hospital ward. Magnus, who previously had three surgeries is quite possibly the healthiest person in the hospital as he has a stationary bike and dumbbells in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“It’s pretty funny because I have no symptoms. I’m not breathing hard or anything, it’s just the tests show my heart’s weak. They save we have to wait and get you a good heart. There were two offers already but they weren’t strong enough. It’s really weird. Usually when you’re having a heart transplant you take what ever you can get but they have to find me a heart that strong enough to do what I do,” said Magnus from his hospital room.
Magnus spends a minimum of 30 minutes on his stationary bike in the ICU ward and uses 3 lb. weights during his shadow boxing sessions. Mangus would lift heavier weights, but the doctors will not allow it. When going for walks around the hospital floor, he practically laps his nursing staff and quips that the wheelchair they follow him around with, he will eventually have to push them once he’s tired them out.
Magnus has a Swan-Ganz catheter attached through his neck leading to his heart that feeds the medication directly into his valves. Once they took it out of his neck, Magnus went about 20 laps around the ward, walking for an hour just to keep himself active.
“My biggest fear when I get out of the hospital is not that I am going to do too much, it is that Tracee is going to yell at me a lot. I’m actually scared! She’s prepared. She’s by my side. It’s going to be a little different for me because with my other two heart surgeries I had nobody,” said Magnus about his girlfriend Tracee Meltzer, professionally known as Roxy Astor in the original incarnation of the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (GLOW).
Following the photo taken of Magnus in the hospital wearing his boxing gloves (pictured above), Magnus received an outcry of support from legends within the Karate World including Jeff Smith, Don “The Dragon Wilson and Billy Blanks.
To understand who Dan Magnus is, we have to go back to the 1980s where all his heart problems first began:
After winning the World Championship in 1982, Magnus was chasing a fugitive and was hit by a car that sent him flying over a 4-foot retaining wall.
In April 1983, Magnus was preparing for a world title fight in Denver, CO against the late Tom Dalton when doctors detected a heart murmur an hour before the match. The doctors canceled the fight even after Magnus continued
protest and even choked one of the physicians.
Following the canceled fight, doctors discovered that he was bleeding internally, which was caused by broken ribs due to the car accident and punctured his heart, tearing his aortic valve.
After undergoing surgery, about a quarter of his heart was now now made of metal. At the same time this was going on, he was stripped of his title, his wife filed for divorce, he lost his home and his dog. Magnus was alone in his recovery and did the one thing he could do and that was to fight.
One year to the day following his surgery, Magnus proved all the doubters wrong, got back into the ring and won the World Championship from Tom Dalton by unanimous decision. All seven of his cardiologists were seated ringside as a sign to show them he had more heart than everyone in that Atlantic City, NJ arena.
In June, 1994, 10 years following his first procedure, the valve ripped again. During the original surgery, the doctors were hoping to avoid replacing the heart valve so they stitched it back together that lead irreparable damage, replacing it with a mechanical valve. After being given a 50/50 chance of survival, Dan Magnus walked out of the hospital four days later!
In 1997, Magnus, along with Ryan Katz, co-founded Central Wrestling Organization (CWO) in Colorado. He eventually went on to work with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) an World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Magnus continued to work, train, find love and now fights for his life and when listening to the interview, wants to fight one more 12-round fight for his old title, only this time with a healthy heart.
“Let me tell you, I’m a human being, I’m scared. I just don’t let it effect me. I make it like a fight; you get nerves. Anybody that says go into a professional fight and they’re not scared or they’re not nervous; they’re liars! That’s what keeps you going, but you have to over come it. You have to accept it…this is going to be a long road, but I’ve been down this road a couple of time,” said Magnus about his pending transplant.