30 of Muhammad Ali’s best quotes

Muhammad Ali, one of the most iconic sportsmen in history, died on Friday at 74.

Here are 30 of some of his best quotes

  1. I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
  2. 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.
  3. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
  4. It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
  5. Friendship … is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
  6. 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.
  7. A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
  8. Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
  9. It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
  10. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
  11. I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
  12. If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. There are no pleasures in a fight, but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.
  16. I’ve wrestled with alligators / I’ve tussled with a whale / I done handcuffed lightning / And throw thunder in jail.
  17. 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.
  18. If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.
  19. Don’t count the days; make the days count.
  20. It’s not bragging if you can back it up.
  21. 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.
  22. I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.
  23. It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.
  24. I’m the most recognised and loved man that ever lived.
  25. If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologise.
  26. If you sign to fight me, you need speed and endurance but what you need most is to increase your insurance.
  27. Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don’t let yourself believe it will happen to you.
  28. The man who has no imagination has no wings.
  29. Hating people because of their colour is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which colour does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.
  30. Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.