In his life, Muhammad Ali taunted opponents with razor-sharp rhymes and comical one-liners.
Wednesday, January 17 would have been his 76th birthday. Here are his most famous quotes on achievement, social justice, religion and war.
• Ali at a news conference to announce a comic book in which he beats Superman.
• “All I can do is fight for truth and justice. I can’t save anybody. He’s a science fiction character, and I’m a real character.”
• Ali at a news conference on October 28, 1984.
• “What I suffered physically was worth what I’ve accomplished in life. A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything in life.”
On racism and Islam
Muhammad Ali was an outspoken Muslim convert, and he became the unofficial spokesman for millions of blacks and oppressed people around the world. In Seattle for a benefit for Sugar Ray Seales, he famously said:
• “People say I talk so slow today. That’s no surprise. I calculated I’ve taken 29,000 punches. But I earned $57m and I saved half of it. So I took a few hard knocks. Do you know how many black men are killed every year by guns and knives without a penny to their names? I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.”
• Since the Paris attacks, Muhammad Ali spoke out against the incrimination of Islam with ISIL attacks.
• “I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.” – Ali, 2015. – Al Jazeera.