Muhammad Ali brought poetry to boxing but more importantly he created awareness on race and taught the world that colour really does not matter. He was loved by the many and inspired people to push harder and succeed in whatever they desired. He realised he could make an impact to the masses and he chose to speak on love. Big love to you Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his father were both named in honour of a nineteenth-century abolitionist who had emancipated 40 slaves after inheriting them from his father.
To show our appreciation for a truly inspirational man, here are 25 quotes from the champ himself.
- 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 hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
- He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
- 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.
- The word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace.’ The word ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who surrenders to God.’ But the press makes us seem like haters.
- Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.
- 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.
- Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
- It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
- I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.
- A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
- 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.
- If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
- Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
- I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.
- It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
- I don’t have to be what you want me to be.
- I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
- Terrorists are not following Islam. Killing people and blowing up people and dropping bombs in places and all this is not the way to spread the word of Islam. So people realize now that all Muslims are not terrorists.
- Cassius Clay is a name that white people gave to my slave master. Now that I am free, that I don’t belong anymore to anyone, that I’m not a slave anymore, I gave back their white name, and I chose a beautiful African one.
- I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace.
- Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.
- 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.
- My principles are more important than the money or my title.
- My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.