“God tries you in certain, certain ways. Some people are rich, and they believe in God. They lose the money, things get hard, they get weak and quit going to church. Quit serving God like they did.”

“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.”

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

“I’m more at home with my log cabins than I am in my house in Cherry Hill.”

“No one knows what to say in the loser’s locker room.”

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”

“If you lose a big fight, it will worry you all of your life. It will plague you – until you get your revenge.”

“I figure I’ll be champ for about ten years and then I’ll let my brother take over – like the Kennedys down in Washington.”

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

“To make America the greatest is my goal, so I beat the Russian and I beat the Pole. And for the U.S.A. won the medal of gold. The Greeks said, ‘You’re better than the Cassius of old.'”

“There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people.”

“No intelligent black man or black woman in his or her right black mind wants white boys and white girls coming to their homes to marry their black sons and daughters.”

“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?”

“Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don’t let yourself believe it will happen to you.”

“No boxer in the history of boxing has had Parkinson’s. There’s no injury in my brain that suggests that the illness came from boxing.”

“Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head.”

“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 calculate that I took 20,000 punches, but I earned millions and kept a lot of it. I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.”

“My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.”

“I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.”

“The Nation of Islam’s main focus was teaching black pride and self-awareness. Why should we keep trying to force ourselves into white restaurants and schools when white people didn’t want us? Why not clean up our own neighborhoods and schools instead of trying to move out of them and into white people’s neighborhoods?”

“What keeps me going is goals.”

“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.”

“Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the U.S. Bureau of Wild Life.”

“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.”

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