Muhammad Ali . The Greatest. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. A poetic trash talker. Cassius Clay.
Muhammad Ali brought trash talking in to the realm of poetry:
- Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the U.S. Bureau of Wild Life.
- 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.
- I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.
- It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.
- 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.
Ali had an unshakable and well-placed confidence in his abilities:
- It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.
- My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.
- Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.
- I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.
- It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.
Muhammad Ali could also be endearingly humble:
- 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 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 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.
- I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
- 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.
Muhammad Ali had a big heart and wise soul behind that pretty face:
- It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
- I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
- A man who has no imagination has no wings.
- It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.
- A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
- He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
- Don’t count the days; make the days count.
- 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.
Photo #1 By Ira Rosenberg [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Muhammad_Ali_NYWTS.jpg
Photo #2 [[File:Muhammad Ali 1966.jpg|Muhammad Ali 1966]]
Photo #3 By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland (World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2006) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons