Monday 26 September 2016

Ali: in his own words

Published 05/06/2016 | 02:30

Muhammad Ali being interviewed by Catal O’Shannon for RTE in 1972. Photo: RTE Archive - Stills Collection
Muhammad Ali being interviewed by Catal O’Shannon for RTE in 1972. Photo: RTE Archive - Stills Collection

"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."

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"I'm young; I'm handsome; I'm fast. I can't possibly be beat."

"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."

"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."

"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."

"How tall are you? So I can know in advance how far to step back when you fall down!"

"I've wrestled with alligators. I've tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail."

"I'm the most recognised 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."

"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."

"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion'."

"A man who has no imagination has no wings."

"If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."

"I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I'm in a world of my own."

"It's not bragging if you can back it up."

Sunday Independent

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