Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born on January 17, 1942. After joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Nicknamed, "The Greatest", Ali is quoted as saying, "I figured if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest". Just as Ali's nickname suggests, he is considered to be one of the greatest boxers that has ever lived but there is so much more to this three time World Heavyweight Champion than just his life inside the ring. His statements throughout his career and life have been considered by many to be inspirational.
Probably one of the most famous quotes from Muhammad Ali is, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!" These famous words can be seen on many Ali products available for sale, from shirts to coffee mugs but it isn't the only phrase uttered from his mouth to be on product, another famous quote from Ali, "It's not bragging if you can back it up" is also featured on an Everlast leather medicine ball.
Some of his quotes have gone so much farther than his life inside the ring but also about life in general. Ali is quoted as saying, "Inside the ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong". This statement is proof that Ali had more to talk about than boxing, he had life, love, friendship, as well as many more other things to talk about too.
Ali tackled the problem of racism by saying, "Hating people because of their color is wrong and it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong".
Religion is also a topic that Muhammad was quoted many times. Among those were quotes such as, "Rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams - they all have different names but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths" and "Religions all have different names, but they all contain the same truths....I think the people of our religion should be tolerant and understand people believe different things". From those statements, it is evident that Ali not only had respect for his own religion but also for the religions of others as well.
Despite the tough guy image that Ali may have portrayed in the ring, he was also a man with a big heart. He believed in having a cause to care about, "You lose nothing when fighting for a cause....In my mind the losers are those who don't have a cause they care about".
Muhammad Ali definitely is a man with a sense of humor. He was quoted once as saying, "My toughest fight was with my first wife, and she won every round".
Muhammad Ali was clearly a great boxer, but he is also a great man, and simply an inspiration to many, "To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are".
The quotes in this article are few among many. If you wish to be inspired more by Muhammad Ali quotes then you can visit his website, http://www.ali.com where an Ali quote is published daily. You can also find them daily if you follow him on twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
© McKenna Cole