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Posted under: Culture

7 Muhammad Ali Quotes To Make You Feel Like You're The Greatest To Ever Do It

Try saying these in the mirror.

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, is known as the greatest boxer of all time.

Though Ali's record speaks for itself, he also didn't have a problem letting anyone within earshot know. Why be modest if you know you're the s**t? Among his many accolades, Ali was the youngest boxer at 22 to unseat a heavyweight champion when he knocked out Sonny Liston — a win that would be immortalized by the iconic image of a victorious Ali standing over a defeated Liston. Ali passed away in 2016 at the age of 74, but his braggadocious quotes give us the ego boost we need.  

Try saying some of these in the mirror. 

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Rumble, young man, rumble.”

In a historic boxing fight that saw an undefeated Sonny Liston go up against Ali, this gem was born. The key to life is adapting while staying light on your feet. There's no better reminder than Ali's words about floating like a graceful butterfly while bringing massive heat. If you can't talk a little trash after your victories, did you really even win? 

2. “I'm the greatest, I'm a bad man, and I'm pretty!”

It's hard being pretty. It's difficult being bad. Not many people can know with certainty that they're the greatest. But it's almost impossible to be the greatest, a bad man and pretty. Somehow Ali was able to accomplish all three while still being able to knock out heavyweight champions.  

3. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” 

Ali is remembered for being one of the biggest celebrities to refuse the Vietnam draft. In a time when American racial discrimination and segregation were at an extreme high, Ali made a bold — and accurate — justification for not going abroad to kill people while he was being denied freedoms at home while speaking with New York Times Magazine. You probably don't have to say this one in front of the mirror, but it's a good one to remember. 

4. “I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky, my name not yours. My religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

At the height of Jim Crow, Black folks were to be seen and not heard. Considered even better if they were in a subservient role. From the beginning of his visibility, Ali let the world know that he would be seen, heard and unapologetic for being a proud Black champion. He was a shining warrior prince, and a "pretty" one at that. 

5. "Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me.”

On June 30, 1967, Muhammad Ali held a press conference to announce his name change from Cassius Clay. He cited his desire to be untethered from the non-ancestral name of "Clay." In the end, if we're able to make our own fortunes, why not be able to choose our own names? Ali's insistence on captaining his own ship while demanding the respect he deserved inspires us all to go out and create our own destiny. 

6. "Live every day like it’s your last, because someday you’re going to be right.”

When looking back over a life, hopefully, we'll able to say it was one well-lived. While most of us will never be able to say that we were the heavyweight champion of the world, there's always an opportunity to make every day you have count. Time is all we have, and we don't have a lot of it. 

7. "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."



True!

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Queer Multi-hyphenate creative who likes fruit snacks and well written TV. She is looking to be in somebody's writers' room. Her work is centered in narrative based social commentary. She forgot her twitter password ages ago, but you can still tag her @ImAmandaMonroe. On IG: @moe_sizslack. She has a cat named Eartha Kitt. Amanda thinks that joke is hilarious.