The 21 Greatest Muhammad Ali Quotes

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I grew up watching Muhammad Ali's highlights on YouTube and reading the dozens of stories about his legendary feats. Looking back, I realize that I wasn't trying to mirror his fighting ability, after all I was a basketball player. No, I was trying to emulate Ali's passion, his tenacity, his confidence and charisma-- he was the ideal role model for a timid insecure kid who was still learning how to hold his head up high.

The legend of Muhammad Ali was instrumental in my athletic success, and will continue to be as I develop my confidence in business and in life. To show my admiration I put together a list of The 21 Greatest Muhammad Ali Quotes. 

After reading through these it reminded me just how brilliant this man was who change so much more than just the sport of boxing.

Muhammad Ali truly was 'The Greatest'.


  1. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

  2. The Man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

  3. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

  4. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

  5. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

  6. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

  7. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

  8. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

  9. “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

  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’”

  11. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once the belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

  12. “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses- behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

  13. “Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

  14. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

  15. “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

  16. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

  17. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

  18. “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

  19. “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-- a desire, a dream, a vision.”

  20. “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.”

  21. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."


By Cole Schafer