Top 12 Muhammad Ali Quotes Of All Time

Top 12 Muhammad Ali Quotes Of All Time

The Louisville, Kentucky-born born Muhammad Ali or Cassius Clay is not only one of the most legendary boxers to ever live, but also undoubtedly the most influential. His story truly is inspiring, he was not only a phenomenal boxer but also a devoted activist and motivational speaker. He was not only known for his silky footwork but for the work he did for the black pride movement, civil rights, and for simple human rights. 

In his young career the then Cassius Clay won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, it was at the point where he was hailed to be a future heavyweight boxing champion. Throughout his career, he continued to defy what people thought was possible in incredible fights with the likes of Sonny Liston, and Joe Frazier in both the fight of the century and Thrilla in Manila on his way to becoming the legendary boxer he is to this day.

Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after his conversion to becoming a devoted Muslim. Over his career, he provided the world with some of the best quotes and most inspirational quotes on his pursuit of a better world and to benefit the goodness of others.


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."

This is undoubtedly the most famous quote from the great Muhammad Ali. The line ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ is not only one of Ali’s most famous quotes but is also one of the most famous quotes of all time. However, not everybody knows the brilliance of the full quote, Ali in his prime was not only the greatest in the ring but also the greatest on the microphone, his sharp wit and intelligence were truly unmatched. 

The quote truly encapsulates the life and career of Muhammad Ali, he was light on his feet and his speed and accuracy stunned everyone he faced. This was an infamous line that he said in the build-up to his unforgettable showdown with George Foreman at the rumble in the jungle.


2 - "If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it--then I can achieve it."

This again is a quote that fully encapsulated the character of Cassius Clay. His self-belief and drive along with his incredible talent were the reasons why he became such a star and still is to this day.

It's amazing to look back at this quote and realise that Ali really did achieve everything that he could ever have dreamed of. He also inspired millions of people around the world to believe in themselves and to dream big. He is proof that if you believe in something so much, then you will do everything you can to achieve it.


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

This quote is so brilliant as it can be applied to anything in life, not just boxing. In simpler terms, the quote is talking about the fact that it is not the dream or the end goal that stops you, it is the everyday tasks that have to be done that lead to the end goal that brings you down.

I think we have all been through situations like this, where there are so many problems or distractions that have acted as barriers to us achieving a goal or a dream that we have. Here Ali is helping us to realise that we should not focus on the ‘pebbles’ in our shoes, and focus more on the mountains ahead.


4 - "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

Courage is definitely not something that Muhammad Ali was lacking. There is no one who defines courage more than the late Muhammad Ali. He fought for what he believed in over and over and would not rest until he won. 

For the last 28 years of his life, the champion suffered greatly from Parkinson's disease. His strength was not only inside the ring but also outside. He was a champion inside the ring and fought like a champion until the day he sadly passed.


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

Muhammad Ali in his prime was young, handsome, fast and seemingly unbeatable and he was not at all shy to let people know. This quote truly encapsulates the personality of Ali in his prime. He was strong, confident, brave and with the true mindset that he is untouchable. 

This was by no means false confidence, in his first 31 fights Ali was very much untouchable, and in 56 of his 61 professional fights. His confidence was not only genuine but was also what helped to make him so beloved and must-watch TV.


6 - “It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am."

As you can probably tell, there seems to be a theme among the quotes of Muhammad Ali. His self-belief and confidence truly were unmatched. His breathtaking speed and reflexes allowed him to beautifully master the sweet science. Hitting and not getting hit was what Ali did best, this allowed him to have an air of invincibility throughout a huge portion of his career.


7 - "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."

While Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest boxers to have ever lived, losses were not all that uncommon to him by the end of his long illustrious career. In his 61 bouts he suffered 5 losses, so getting back up after a tough defeat and keep moving forward was not something that Ali ever shies away from. 

Throughout his career, he had to dig deep many times in tough fights or when the odds were seemingly against him.


8 - "I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

This quote is arguably one of Cassius Clay’s greatest ever quotes. It is a perfect example of his brilliance on the microphone. He is by far the greatest ever boxer on the microphone, his sharpness, intelligence and wittiness has never been challenged.

He undoubtedly set the blueprint that fighters have been following ever since. He showed that the best marketer for any fighter is themselves.


9 - “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.”

Nothing was ever impossible to the great Muhammad Ali, both inside and outside the ring. He never had small dreams, he wanted to become heavyweight champion of the world and change the world along the way. He achieved both. 

Not only did Ali win the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions, the first fighter to ever do so, but he also stood up for what he believed in, which was equality. His black pride social message truly helped to change the world.


10 - “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”

This is a phenomenal quote that can be applied to almost anyone's life. There are so many things that we want to do and achieve in our lives. However, more often than not people quit when it gets hard or when the ‘suffer’ starts. But that suffering is merely a roadblock to success, after the suffering comes to the celebration.

Ali suffered for years in the gym, but he will forever be known and admired as a champion.


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

This is a beautiful quote that truly shows the mentality and the strength of a fighter. To most people watching in the crowd on their TV, it is a brutal sport for their viewing enjoyment. However, to the fighters it's their job, it's their livelihood, it's how they put food on the table for their families, just like any other job.


12 - “Live every day as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right.”

I could not think of a more fitting quote to end off with on the 6 year anniversary of the great Muhammad Ali’s death. Ali lived every day and every minute as if it were his last. Over the course of his career, he established a legacy that cannot be taken away or rivalled by any man.

He was an incredible fighter, and an even better human being. The career and life of Muhammad Ali will forever be celebrated and admired. 

Rest in peace champ.