The Greatest: 33 Classic Quotes From Muhammad Ali

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons


I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.


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.


If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize.


Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.


The man who has no imagination has no wings.


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.


He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.


It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.


Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.


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.


I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.


I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.


I’m a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I’m no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won’t hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.


It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.


It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.


It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.


A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.


A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.


We can’t be brave without fear.


I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.


My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.


Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.


It’s not bragging if you can back it up.


Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.


Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.


People don’t realize what they had till it’s gone. Like President Kennedy, there was no one like him, the Beatles, and my man Elvis Presley. I was the Elvis of boxing.


Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.


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.


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?


The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.


Don’t count the days; make the days count.


Live every day as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog