Not only was the late, great Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, quick with his fists, he was also a master of wits. Given the stereotypical view most of us have of boxers as mentally quite slow1 - there are some well-known boxers who live up to that stereotype remarkably well - it’s impressive that he managed to come up with some of these quotes himself. There is, of course, no way for you who are reading this to be absolutely sure that he actually did. But I found the one-liners filed under “Muhammad Ali” on the internet, and if it says so on the internet, it’s true.

Here are a few of Muhammad Ali’s most memorable one-liners, all of them added to the ever-growing collection.

  • The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
  • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
  • To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.
  • What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.
  • Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.
  • The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life
  • Don’t count the days, make the days count.
  • Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
  • Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.
  • It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.
  • The will must be stronger than the skill.
  • If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.
  • Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
  • Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
  • If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
  • 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.
  • It’s not bragging if you can back it up.
  • It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
  • It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.

  1. Except for these guys, of course. ↩︎