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List I – Muhammad Ali – Quotes

  1. 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.

  2. I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.

  3. I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.

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

  5. I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace.

  6. I calculate that I took 20,000 punches, but I earned millions and kept a lot of it. I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.

  7. I didn’t want to submit to the army and then, on the day of judgment, have God say to me, ‘Why did you do that?’ This life is a trial, and you realize that what you do is going to be written down for Judgment Day.

  8. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.

  9. I don’t have to be what you want me to be.

  10. 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.

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

  12. I give thanks to God and to all the people in the U.K. who have supported me over the years.

  13. I got no quarrel with them Vietcong.

  14. I had a good time boxing. I enjoyed it – and I may come back.

  15. I had to prove you could be a new kind of black man. I had to show the world.

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

  17. I have been so great in boxing they had to create an image like Rocky, a white image on the screen, to counteract my image in the ring. America has to have its white images, no matter where it gets them. Jesus, Wonder Woman, Tarzan and Rocky.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. I said I was ‘The Greatest,’ I never said I was the smartest!

  22. I shook up the world, I shook up the world.

  23. I should be a postage stamp, because that’s the only way I’ll ever get licked. I’m beautiful. I’m fast. I’m so mean I make medicine sick. I can’t possibly be beat.

  24. I used to tease Joe Louis by reminding him that I was the greatest of all time. But Joe Louis was the greatest heavyweight fighter ever.

  25. I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world.

  26. I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.

  27. I would say things like ‘I am the greatest! I’m pretty! If you talk jive, you’ll drop in five! I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! I’m pretty!’ When white people heard me talking like this, some said, ‘That black man talks too much. He’s bragging.’

  28. If I said I would knock out Sonny Liston in 1 minute and 49 seconds of the first round, that would hurt the gate.

  29. If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.

  30. If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.

  31. If you lose a big fight, it will worry you all of your life. It will plague you – until you get your revenge.

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

  33. I’m just hoping that people understand that Islam is peace and not violence.

  34. I’m more at home with my log cabins than I am in my house in Cherry Hill.

  35. I’m no leader; I’m a little humble follower.

  36. I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.

  37. 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.

  38. I’m the greatest thing that ever lived! I’m the king of the world! I’m a bad man. I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived.

  39. 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.

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

  41. It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.

  42. It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.

  43. It’s in my blood to be around people while I was training.

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

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

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

  47. It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

  48. I’ve been everywhere in the world, seen everything, had everything a man can have.

  49. I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.

  50. I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.

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