Muhammad Ali (1942-Present)

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.”

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

“The man with no imagination has no wings.”

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”

“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”

“I’m a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I’m no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won’t hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.”

“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”

“You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”

“The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

“Others may know pleasure, but pleasure is not happiness. It has no more importance than a shadow following a man.”

“Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are”

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

“Jokes? There are no jokes. The truth is the funniest joke of all.”

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

“I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace. ”

“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.”

“I am the greatest.”

“I’m the greatest, I’m a bad man, and I’m pretty!”

“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

“The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.”

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

“What keeps me going is goals.”

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life. ”

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

“Superman don’t need no seat belt.”

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”

“Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.”

“Go to college, stay in school. If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread,
they can sure make something out of you.”

“Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don’t let yourself believe it will happen to you.”

“There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people”

“Allah is the Greatest. I’m just the greatest boxer”

“I Ain’t Got No Quarrel With The VietCong … No VietCong Ever Called Me Nigger.”

“This is the legend of Cassius Clay,
The most beautiful fighter in the world today.
He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y,
of a muscular punch that’s incredibly speed-y.
The fistic world was dull and weary,
But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary.
Then someone with color and someone with dash,
Brought fight fans are runnin’ with Cash.
This brash young boxer is something to see
And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y.
This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance,
But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.
This kid’s got a left; this kid’s got a right,
If he hit you once, you’re asleep for the night.
And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten,
You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again.
For I am the man this poem’s about,
The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
This I predict and I know the score,
I’ll be champ of the world in ’64.
When I say three, they’ll go in the third,
10 months ago

So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word.
He is the greatest! Yes!
I am the man this poem’s about,
I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment,
I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went.
When I say two, there’s never a third,
Standin against me is completely absurd.
When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse,
Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is!
I AM THE GREATEST!”

“I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.”

“Put yourself out on a limb, sucka, like me! – young Cassius Clay to heavily favored thug Sonny Liston during the weigh in before Cassius wins his first title and changes his name to Muhammad Ali.”

“If your mind can conceive it; and your heart can believe it – then you can achieve it.”

“I have wrestled with an aligator!! I’ve gone tossling with a whale!! I’ve gone handcuffed lightning and put thunder in jail!! Thats bad……only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick!! .. “I’m so mean I make medicine sick!!”

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths.”

“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.”

“Wisdom is knowing when you can’t be wise.”

“The man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

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