The world lost a legend last week. Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3.
Ali was not only a world-class boxer but a world-class talker and his enigmatic personality and showmanship completely changed the face of boxing. Making not only the fight itself, but the promotion, training and lead-up to the matches must-see events.
In 1999 Sports Illustrated named Ali Sportsman of the century ahead of other athletes such as Jesse Owens, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky further solidifying Ali’s place among the greatest athletes ever.
The same passion and workmanship that made Ali into a world champion could still be seen well after his retirement from boxing in 1981 with his charity work and dedication to finding a cure for Parkinsons disease, one he lived with for the last 30 years of his life.
Ali was truly one of a kind.
Here, in no particular order, as some of the best quotes from one of the most quotable and charismatic athletes the world has ever seen.
“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.”
“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.”
“If you ever dream of beating me, you better wake up and apologize”
“The will must be stronger than the skill.”
“You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”
“Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.
“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.”
“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.”
I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning and throw thunder in jail. You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick! I’m so mean, I make medicine sick!
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”