Muhammad Ali was not only a boxing champion, he was a championship talker.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands cna’t hit what your eyes can’t see.”
“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
“Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.”
“At home I am a nice guy but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”
“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’m not the greatest. I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round. I’m the boldest, the prettiest, the most superior, most scientific, most skillfullest fighter in the ring today.”
“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.”
“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong… No Viet Cong ever called me n*****”
“I may not talk perfect white talk-type English but I give you wisdom.”
“If Ali says a mosquito can pull a plow, don’t ask how. Hitch him up!”
“I’m the onliest person that can speak to everybody in the whole world. My name is known in Serbia, Pakistan, Morocco. These are countries that don’t follow the Kentucky Derby.”
“Sometimes I feel a little sad because I can see how some things I said could upset some people. But I did not deliberately try to hurt anyone. The hype was part of my job, like skipping rope.”
“Now the things that once were so effortless – my strong voice and the quickness of my movements – are more difficult. But I get up every day and try to live life to the fullest because each day is a gift from God.”
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