"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- in Time, 1978
Cassius Clay before his bout vs. Archie Moore (1962)
you come to the fight
don't block the halls
And don't block the door
For y'all may go home
After round four
King Liston will stay
Until he meets Cassius Clay
Moore fell in four
Liston in eight
Song about me (Cassius Clay before the first Liston-bout).
comes out to meet Liston
And Liston starts to retreat
If Liston goes back any further
He'll end up in a ringside seat.
Clay swings with a left,
Clay swings with a right,
Look at young Cassius
Carry the fight.
Liston keeps backing
But there's not enough room
It's a matter of time.
There, Clay lowers the boom.
Now Clay swings with a right,
What a beautiful swing,
And the punch raises the bear,
Clear out of the ring.
Liston is still rising
And the ref wears a frown,
For he can't start counting,
Till Sonny comes down.
Now Liston disappears from view.
The crowd is getting frantic,
But our radar stations have picked him up.
He's somewhere over the Atlantic.
Who would have thought
When they came to the fight
That they'd witness the launching
of a human satellite!
Yes, the crowd did not dream
When they laid down their money
That they would see
A total eclipse of the Sonny!
I am the greatest!
Before his bout vs. Patterson in 1965.
gonna put him flat on his back,
So that he will start acting black.
Because when he was champ he didn't do as he should.
He tried to force himself into an all-white neighbourhood.
Muhammad Ali on his refusal to fight in Vietnam (1966):
Keep asking, no matter how long
On the war in Vietnam I sing this song
I ain't got no quarrel with the Vietcong.
More Ali on Vietnam:
Clean out my cell
And take my tail to jail
'Cause better to be in jail fed
Than to be in Vietnam, dead.
think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned?
Wait till I whup George Foreman's behind.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see
Now you see me, now you don't
George thinks he will, but I know he won't.
Before the "Rumble in the Jungle" 1974
I done wrassled with an alligator
I done tussled with a whale
Only last week I murdered a rock
Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick
I'm so mean I make medicine sick
Ali in 1975:
is the legend of Muhammad Ali,
The greatest fighter that ever will be.
He talks a great deal and brags, indeed,
Of a powerful punch and blinding speed.
Ali fights great, he's got speed and endurance;
If you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.
Ali's got a left, Ali's got a right;
If he hits you once, you're asleep for the night.
Before the "Thrilla in Manila" 1975:
It will be a killer
And a chiller
And a thrilla
When I get the gorilla
"The man who has no imagination has no wings."
"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 am America. I am the part you won't recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky -- my name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me."
"It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself."
"It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am."
"Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths."
"People don't realize what they had till it's gone. Like President Kennedy - nobody like him. Like The Beatles, there will never be anything like them. Like my man, Elvis Presley - I was the Elvis of boxing."
"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."
"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."
am the greatest."
figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was
just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I just beat people
lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in
to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
man who has no imagination has no wings."
always liked to chase the girls. Parkinson's stops all that. Now I might have a
chance to go to heaven."
man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of
"Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life."
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 the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I'm in a world of my own.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ''Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.''
It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am.
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
I am the greatest. Not only do I knock 'em out, I pick the round!
I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.
It's not bragging if you can back it up.
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 wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.
I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.
It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.
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.
I'm the most recognized and loved man that ever lived cuz there weren't no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn't know about them.
If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize.
Love is a net that catches hearts like a fish.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. That's the funniest joke in the world.
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 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.
There are no pleasures in a fight but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.
We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.
When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.
want no pie in the sky when you die,
You want something here on the ground while you're still around.
"Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise."
"To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich."
"Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it, and I didn't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God - and I insist people use it when speaking to me and of me.''