TIME Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali’s Wit and Wisdom: 6 of His Best Quotes

The legendary boxer also had a way with words

Muhammad Ali, the legendary heavyweight champion, died on Friday at the age of 74. He was known perhaps as much for his wit and wisdom as his boxing skill.

Here are some of Ali’s own words to remember him by:

  1. “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life,” he said in a 1975 issue of Playboy.
  2. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Rumble, young man, rumble,” he said in 1964, before his fight with Sonny Liston.
  3. “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,” he said at a news conference on Oct. 28, 1984 in Houston.
  4. “Don’t count the days. Make the days count,” he said, according to ESPN.
  5. “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,” he said.
  6. “When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts,” he said.

For much more on Muhammad Ali, see TIME’s ALI: The Greatest, a 112-page, fully illustrated commemorative edition. Available at retailers and at AMAZON.COM

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