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Muhammad Ali: ‘The Greatest’ Quotes

June 3rd will mark the one-year anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s death. Here are some of the boxing champion’s most memorable quotes that will inspire you and remind you of why he was ‘The Greatest.’

Muhammad Ali was a champion in and out of the ring. He lived up to the title he gave to himself — “The Greatest” — by not only emerging victorious with one of boxing’s most impressive records, but for standing up for social justice as an activist and capturing the popular imagination as a poet who packed a punch with his rhymes.

To remember the champion, who passed away a year ago on June 3, we’re revisiting some of his best quotes: 

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

“I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.”

“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.”

Muhammad Ali: Not long after his defeat at the hands of Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali continues to train for upcoming matches at Chris Dundee's 5th Street gym in Miami Beach, Florida, in March, 1971. (Photo by Chris  Smith/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Not long after his defeat at the hands of Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali continued to train for upcoming matches at Chris Dundee’s 5th Street gym in Miami Beach, Florida, in March, 1971. 

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

“I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”

“I shook up the world. Me! Whee!”

“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 am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

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