Muhammad Ali is easily one of the most captivating public figures to have ever lived. Not only is he considered to be one of the greatest boxers to have entered the ring, but he has also delivered words that were as iconic and powerful as his punches.
At 74, the famed athlete died in Scottsdale, Arizona as a result of his life-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The one anniversary of his death was marked yesterday, June 3.
Although his unfortunate passing has come and gone, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion will never be forgotten.
In honor of the legendary boxer, International Business Times wants to celebrate Ali’s memory with a list of the boxer’s 20 most memorable quotes (in no particular order, of course).
“Impossible is just a 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 potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I was really the greatest.”
“I don’t count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.”
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted his life.”
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
“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.”
“Service to other is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
“It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it — then I achieve it.”
“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
“The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
“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.”
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
“Live every day as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”