There isn't a way i can accurately express the pain i felt when i logged into my twitter and saw Muhammad Ali tributes on my "Incase you missed it". I didn't know what to feel, could it be that the great Ali had taken a hit he couldn't recover from?
It took me some time to learn to appreciate this great man but alas, my dad made sure I accorded Muhammad Ali the respect due before he met the same inevitable fate as Ali. I almost immediately remembered the witty quotes... the trash talking... the Rope-a-dope... everything that made Ali a boxer unlike any other.
He wasn't only good with his fists, his words hurt equally also.
Here are my best 18 quotes from the greatest.
1. "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.
2. "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
3. "I'm young; I'm handsome; I'm fast. I can't possibly be beat."
4. "Don’t count the days; make the days count."
5. “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it."
6. “It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am."
7. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
8. “If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize.”
9. “Braggin' is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.”
10. "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."
11. "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."
12. "I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."
13. "I should be a postage stamp. That's the only way I'll ever get licked."
14. “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.”
15. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
16. "A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
17. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
18. "I shook up the world. Me! Whee!"
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Muhammad Ali fought against a lot of things; men, the government, racism and more recently, Parkinson.If a life was a movie then it certainly is this man's life. From winning the heavyweight title to going against the government to being stripped of his boxing titles and been denied of a boxing licence, an ordinary man would quit... an ordinary man, but this man wasn't one.
He got up and with his return even more glorious winning the world heavyweight title two more times and till today, remains the only professional boxer to do so three times.
His notable fights include: "Fight of the Century", "Super Fight II" and the "Thrilla in Manila" versus his rival Joe Frazier, the first Liston fight, and "The Rumble in the Jungle" versus George Foreman.
I'll leave you with 10 of his best knockouts, not knockdowns, knockouts cause when Ali sends you down, you stay down.
Rest well, Ali.
Rest well, Legend.