Muhammad Ali quotes

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Muhammad Ali

Birthdate: 17. January 1942
Date of death: 3. June 2016
Other names: Muhammed Ali

Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer and activist. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial, and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring.

Cassius Clay was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training as an amateur boxer when he was 12 years old. At age 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and turned professional later that year. At age 22 in 1964, he won the WBA, WBC, and lineal heavyweight titles from Sonny Liston in a big upset. Clay then converted to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay, which he called his "slave name", to Muhammad Ali. He set an example of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1966 , Ali further antagonized the white establishment by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges, and stripped of his boxing titles. He successfully appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, by which time he had not fought for nearly four years and thereby lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Ali is regarded as one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century. He remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, having won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25 and September 19, 1964, Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion. He is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He was ranked as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight; the "Fight of the Century", "Super Fight II", the "Thrilla in Manila" versus his rival Joe Frazier, and "The Rumble in the Jungle" versus George Foreman.

At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali thrived in and indeed craved the spotlight, where he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash talking, and often freestyled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, both for his trash talking in boxing and as political poetry for his activism, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music. As a musician, Ali recorded two spoken word albums and a rhythm and blues song, and received two Grammy Award nominations. As an actor, he performed in several films and a Broadway musical. Additionally, Ali wrote two autobiographies, one during and one after his boxing career.

As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam and advocated their black separatist ideology. He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, practicing Sufism, and supporting racial integration, like his former mentor Malcolm X.

After retiring from boxing at age 39 in 1981, Ali devoted his life to religious and charitable work. In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which his doctors attributed to boxing-related brain injuries. As his condition worsened, Ali made limited public appearances and was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Photo: Ira Rosenberg / Public domain

Works

„All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.“

—  Muhammad Ali, book The Soul of a Butterfly

The Soul of a Butterfly, 2004
Variant: All through my life I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.
Source: The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey

„I think Terrell will catch hell at the sound of the bell.
He's going around saying that he's a championship-fighter,
but when he meets me he fall 20 pound lighter.
He thinks that he's the real heavy weight champ
but when he meets me, he'll just be a tramp
Now I'm not sayin' just to be funny, but I'm fightin' Ernie because he needs the money.“

—  Muhammad Ali

About Ernie Terrell before their February 1967 boxing match, - ( YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVZYo2MYmfg
Source: https://books.google.ca/books?id=6ClZDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=I+think+Terrell+will+catch+hell+at+the+sound+of+the+bell&source=bl&ots=2atsVuDXae&sig=ACfU3U0qSka952BOrSsGqAg13ji8vvdxPw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiK1sa854jvAhWY_J4KHe0xAf0Q6AEwEnoECAQQAw#v=onepage&q=I%20think%20Terrell%20will%20catch%20hell%20at%20the%20sound%20of%20the%20bell&f=false Ali: The Official Portrait of "The Greatest" of All Time

„Archie's been living off the fat of the land.
I'm here to give him his pension plan.
When you come to the fight don't block the door.
'Cause you'll all go home after round four.“

—  Muhammad Ali

Before his fight with Archie Moore (1962), as quoted in "Muhammad Ali was also great for civil rights" by Mark Wiedmer, in Times Free Press (17 January 2012) http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/17/muhammad-ali-also-great-for-civil-rights/?print

„I'm not the greatest; I'm the double greatest. Not only do I knock 'em out, I pick the round“

—  Muhammad Ali

As quoted in "Ali's Quotes" at BBC Sport : Boxing (17 January 2007)

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„How do you feel about Hitler sharing yours?“

—  Muhammad Ali

Alleged response by Ali to a reporter who asked how he felt about sharing the Islamic faith with the suspects of the World Trade Center terrorist attack, as debunked at Snopes.com http://www.snopes.com/rumors/ali.htm.
Misattributed

„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.“

—  Muhammad Ali

Written by copywriter Aimee Lehto for a series of Adidas ads in which this was superimposed over stills of various figures, including Muhammad Ali. Documented by Quote Investigator https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/11/28/impossible-is/.
Misattributed

„Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wildlife.“

—  Muhammad Ali

As quoted at "Ali's Quotes" at BBC Sport : Boxing (17 January 2007) http://news2.thdo.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/6267397.stm

„I'm retiring because there are more pleasant things to do than beat up people.“

—  Muhammad Ali

As quoted in Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople (2003) by Roger Dawson , p. 192

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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