It is said quotes that helped turned the younger generation onto Muhammad Ali. The charisma with which they were delivered worlds apart from the tasteless, classless, volatile way in which so many modern boxers deliver their own brand of trash talking.
Ali just didn’t speak for himself, he spoke for entire generations of African Americans.
Here’s just a small selection of the Greatest’s greatest quotes:
I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and got into bed before the room was dark.
Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammed Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me
When will they ever have another fighter who writes poems, predicts rounds, beats everybody, makes people laugh, makes people cry, and is as tall and extra pretty as me? In the history of the world and from the beginning of time, there’s never been another fighter like me. Eat your words! Eat your words! I am the greatest.
“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
“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.”