Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali’s best quotes as boxing icon dies aged 74: “I’m so mean I make medicine sick”

The sporting legend had the gift of the gab and was as sharp with his tongue as he was in the ring during his glittering career

Muhammad Ali was the greatest of all time – but his sharpness was not reserved for the boxing ring.

The sporting legend died aged 74 on Friday evening local time in Phoenix, Arizona having been taken to hospital to respiratory issues following a 35-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Known almost as much for his iconic quotes as his emphatic knockouts, Ali had the gift of the gab and was the king of trash talk.

Here, we look back on some of Ali’s most famous one-liners.

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Muhammad Ali with grand daughter Sydney

Muhammad Ali with grand daughter Sydney 



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“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.”

– Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali and announces his conversion to the Muslim faith after defeating Liston in 1964

“Get up sucker and fight. Get up and fight.”

– Ali taunts Liston during their second fight in 1965

“What’s my name, fool? What’s my name?”

– Ali taunts Ernie Terrell, who had refused to acknowledge Ali’s change of name before their bout in 1967

“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

– Ali explains why he refused to be inducted into the US armed forces in 1967 during the Vietnam War

“Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”

– Ali reveals his plan ahead of the George Foreman fight in The Rumble in the Jungle, 1974

“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale;
Handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail;
Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick;
I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

– Ali entertains the press with a poem in the leadup to The Rumble in the Jungle, 1974

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and got into bed before the room was dark.”

– Ali explains to the press how fast he feels ahead of The Rumble in the Jungle, 1974

“That all you got, George? That all you got?”

– Ali mocks Foreman’s punch power mid-fight during The Rumble in the Jungle, 1974

“It will be a killer and a chiller and a thriller when I get the gorilla in Manila.”

– Ali predicts a classic ahead of his third bout with Joe Frazier in The Thrilla in Manila, 1975

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