In his own words...
"At home I'm a nice guy but I don't want the world to know. Humble people don't get very far."
"Twenty-six years after beating Sonny Liston in Miami I listened to a tape of me talking after the fight. I was great but, man, I was crazy."
"I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. I'm not going to Vietnam to help bomb brown people when black people back home in Louisville are being treated like dogs."
"A man whose views are the same at 50 as they were when he was 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
"I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was."
"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down and come up with the extra power it takes to win when the fight is even."
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before it was dark."
"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."
"Jimmy Ellis (a former world champion who was a sparring partner for Ali in 1977) dreamt last night that he beat me. The first thing he did when he came in this morning was apologise."
"A big fight is just like chasing a pretty girl. You slap on the cologne and you get very excited. Then, when it's all over, you wonder what all the fuss was about."
"My toughest fight was with my first wife."