A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
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.
Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Ain’t no reason for me to kill nobody in the ring, unless they deserve it.
Allah is the Greatest. I’m just the greatest boxer.
At home, I am a nice guy, but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.
Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God – and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me.
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 last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
Floats like a butterfly, sting like a bee, his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.
Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.
Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head.
Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
Get up sucker and fight. Get up and fight.
Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Hey Floyd – I seen you! Someday I’m gonna whup you! Don’t you forget, I am the greatest!
I always bring out the best in men I fight, but Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I’m gonna tell ya, that’s one helluva man, and God bless him.
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.
I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace.
I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean I make medicine sick.
I figure I’ll be champ for about ten years and then I’ll let my brother take over – like the Kennedys down in Washington.
I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
I got nothing against no Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a ‘nigger’.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin’ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free.
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.
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.
I shook up the world! I shook up the world!
I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
If you dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologise.
If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
I’ll beat him so bad, he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.
I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.
I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.
I’m so mean I make medicine sick.
I’m the best [at golf]. I just haven’t played yet.
I’m the most recognized and loved man that ever lived ’cause there weren’t no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn’t know about them.
I’m the most recognized and loved man that ever lived cuz there weren’t no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn’t know about them.
In a competition of love we’ll all share in the victory, no matter who comes first.
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.
It’s a divine fight. This Foreman – he represents Christianity, America, the flag. I can’t let him win. He represents pork chops.
It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.
It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
It’s not bragging if you can back it up.
It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.
I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing. And the shadow won.
Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head.
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.
My toughest fight was with my first wife.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.
No one knows what to say in the loser’s locker room.
Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t!
Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.
One of these days, they’re liable to make the house I grew up in a national shrine.
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.
Over the years my religion has changed and my spirituality has evolved.
People don’t realize what they had till it’s gone. Like President Kennedy – nobody like him. Like The Beatles, there will never be anything like them. Like my man, Elvis Presley – I was the Elvis of boxing.
Religions all have different names, but they all contain the same truths… I think the people of our religion should be tolerant and understand people believe different things.
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.
Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can’t talk. The man can’t fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he’s gonna fight me, he needs falling lessons.
Superman don’t need no seat belt.
That all you got George?
The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
The man who has no imagination has no wings.
The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people.
There are no pleasures in a fight but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.
There are two things that are hard to hit and see. That’s a spooky ghost and Muhammad Ali.
There’s not a man alive who can whup me. I’m too fast. I’m too smart. I’m too pretty. I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.
To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.
Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.
What keeps me going is goals.
What’s my name, fool? What’s my name?
When you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble.
When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?
Why, chump, I bet you scare yourself to death just starin’ in the mirror. You ugly bear! You ain’t never fought nobody but tramps and has-beens. You call yourself a world champion? You’re too old and slow to be champion!
You’re always talking about, Muhammad, you’re not the same man you were 10 years ago. Well, I asked your wife, and she told me you’re not the same man you was two years ago!