RIP: 15 of Muhammad Ali’s Most Memorable Quotes
“A lot of people will pay to see someone shut your mouth. So keep on bragging, keep on sassing and always be outrageous,” pro wrestling great Gorgeous George reportedly advised a young Muhammad Ali, words the fighter took to heart as he carved a legacy as, simply, the greatest boxer of all time.
Whether chasing or defending the heavyweight championship of the world, the Kentucky native earned the nickname “the Louisville Lip” thanks to the verbal jabs he dished out before a fight. From “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” to “I am the greatest!”, Ali would often cut a foe down to size in interviews before he even stepped foot in the ring, where he’d invariably leave him staring up at the lights.
In memory of Ali, who passed away Friday from a respiratory illness complicated by Parkinson’s Disease at age 74, we’ve compiled 15 of our favourite, funny, cutting Muhammad Ali quotes.
1. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”
2. “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, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”
3. “Never put your money against Cassius Clay, for you will never have a lucky day.”
4. “If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
5. “I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”
6. “Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head.”
7. “Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the U.S. Bureau of Wild Life.”
8. “Superman don’t need no seat belt.”
9. “Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can’t talk. The man can’t fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he’s gonna fight me, he needs falling lessons.”
10. “The crowd did not dream when they laid down their money, that they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.”
11. “I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.”
12 “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.”
13. “When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.”
14. “Ali’s got a left, Ali’s got a right – when he knocks you down, you’ll sleep for the night; and when you lie on the floor and the ref counts to ten, hope and pray that you never meet me again.”
15. “I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.”