BY OYINDA BAMGBOLA
Muhammad Ali was more than a record-setting boxing icon; he was and is the Champion of the World. No one else claimed and owned that title as much as he did.
“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in 1942, Muhammad Ali began training at 12 years old and at the age of 22 won the world heavyweight championship. After this, Ali converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
“Cassius Clay is a name that white people gave to my slave master. Now that I am free, that I don’t belong anymore to anyone, that I’m not a slave anymore, I gave back their white name, and I chose a beautiful African one.”
“Never put your money against Cassius Clay, for you will never have a lucky day.”
Ali displayed talent during his career. Asides his outlandish and confident statements, his sleek moves and leg work in the boxing ring before he knocked out his opponents earned him the alias G. O. A. T – Greatest Of All Times.
This move considered is considered Ali’s best move throughout his career.
Here are some of his best knockouts in history. Watch his leg moves
Another thing Muhammad Ali was known for were his epic quotes, jokes and rhymes. His words served as motivation for many, inspiration to Muslims and Black Americans and living principles for his ardent fans.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
“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.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
“The fact is, I was never too bright in school. I ain’t ashamed of it, though. I mean, how much do school principals make a month?”
“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”
“I have been so great in boxing they had to create an image like Rocky, a white image on the screen, to counteract my image in the ring.”
“America has to have its white images, no matter where it gets them. Jesus, Wonder Woman, Tarzan and Rocky.”
“My trainer don’t tell me nothing between rounds. I don’t allow him to. I fight the fight. All I want to know is did I win the round. It’s too late for advice.”
“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”
“Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can’t talk. The man can’t fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he’s gonna fight me, he needs falling lessons.”
“I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”
“I used to tease Joe Louis by reminding him that I was the greatest of all time. But Joe Louis was the greatest heavyweight fighter ever.”
“No one knows what to say in the loser’s locker room.”
“When I won the Golden Gloves in 1960, that made me realize I had a chance. And when I won at the Olympics, that sealed it: I was the champ.”
“It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.”
“At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”
“Terrorists are not following Islam. Killing people and blowing up people and dropping bombs in places and all this is not the way to spread the word of Islam. So people realize now that all Muslims are not terrorists.”
“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
“I’m the most recognized and loved man that ever lived cuz there weren’t no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn’t know about them.”
“I said I was ‘The Greatest,’ I never said I was the smartest!”
Muhammad Ali holds a Guinness World Record for being the most written about human being in history.
On October 10, 2014, a biographical movie detailing the life and times of Muhammad Ali titled I Am Ali was released. Will Smith took on the lead role by imitating the boxing champion.
These videos of Ali with his parents, brother Rahman Ali, his schoolteacher, Oprah Winfrey, little Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Jones and more prove why he was loved by many and why he served as a great inspiration to the world.
Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3 at the age of 74.
He remains the Greatest Of All Time.
“Don’t feel sorry for me.”
This post first appeared on ID Africa.