Kamala the wrestling headliner is now a double amputee

As Kamala “The Ugandan Giant,” James Harris took his lumps in the ring from such pro wrestling legends as Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.

But that’s nothing compared with the challenges he now faces as a down-on-his-luck double amputee. But Harris, 64, of Senatobia, Miss., is refusing to let life’s takedowns pin him to the mat for good.

“I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because I’m Kamala,” he says in a video produced by Bleacher Report. “I will always be Kamala.”

A chance meeting in 1982 with wrestling promoter Jerry Lawler transformed him into Kamala, the 6-foot-7, 380-pound cannibalistic headhunter whose painted face and painted lips would send child wrestling fans running away from him when they saw him.

Harris tells Bleacher Report in a lengthy story that he once pulled a gun on Andre the Giant in the locker room when they got into a fight.

His fame grew when he grappled Hulk Hogan at Madison Square Garden.

But the good times didn’t last after he left Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation.  He fought 648 matches in a 30-year career, Bleacher Report says.

Harris was diagnosed with diabetes in 1992 but did little about it. In the fall of 2011 the disease forced doctors to amputate his toes, feet and left leg. A few months later his right leg had to be cut off due to the disease.

“When I came home and I would look down, I would cry,” Harris says in the video. “I would figure I’m not normal.”

He survives these days on a monthly disability check and building wooden chairs he sells online for $150. Recently his wife Emmer lost her job when she was laid-off. When Bleacher Report posted its story this week Harris was in the hospital.

McMahon’s organization told Bleacher Report it appreciated Harris’ contributions and “we send him our best wishes as he continues to fight his health challenges.”