I’m sure you’ve heard about Muhammed Ali, one of the greatest boxers (if not the best), was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky under the name Cassius Marcellus Clay. He started boxing at age 12- and the boxing isn’t the only thing he is known about.
Ali converted to Islam in 1964, changing his name from Cassius Clay — what he called his “slave name” — to Muhammed Ali after becoming affiliated with the Nation of Islam. His political activism and charity inspired millions throughout his life.
Here are some of the best quotes by this iconic boxer.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
What are you thinking about, you are becoming.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
I’m just hoping that people understand that Islam is peace and not violence.
It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
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.
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.
If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
My principles are more important than the money or my title.
Go up in an airplane. Go high enough, and it’s like we don’t even exist.
The man who has no imagination has no wings.
A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
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 don’t have to be what you want me to be.
The fact is, I was never too bright in school. I ain’t ashamed of it, though. I mean, how much do school principals make a month?
I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
Never put your money against Cassius Clay, for you will never have a lucky day.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.
My toughest fight was with my first wife.
My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.
I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.
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.
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.
Ali’s got a left, Ali’s got a right – when he knocks you down, you’ll sleep for the night; and when you lie on the floor and the ref counts to ten, hope and pray that you never meet me again.