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Muhammad Ali, in his own words

June 04, 2016 14:14 IST

IMAGE: Curator Shannon Pratt, 37 polishes a case containing a signed 'Float like a butterfly sting like a bee' robe worn by cornerman Bundini Brown at the 'Rumble in the Jungle' fight - at the preview of the 'I Am The Greatest' Muhammad Ali exhibition on March 3, 2016 in London. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images.

Muhammad Ali was not only a boxing champion, he was a championship talker. Following are some quotations from Ali:

* "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

* "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."

* "Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up."

* "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."

* "I've wrestled with alligators. I've tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning, and throw thunder in jail. You know I'm bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

* "I'm not the greatest. I'm the double greatest. Not only do I knock 'em out, I pick the round. I'm the boldest, the prettiest, the most superior, most scientific, most skillfullest fighter in the ring today."

* "I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin' hell but as long as they ain't free, I ain't free."

* "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong."

* "I may not talk perfect white talk-type English but I give you wisdom."

* "If Ali says a mosquito can pull a plow, don't ask how. Hitch him up!"

* "I'm the onliest person that can speak to everybody in the whole world. My name is known in Serbia, Pakistan, Morocco. These are countries that don't follow the Kentucky Derby."

* "Sometimes I feel a little sad because I can see how some things I said could upset some people. But I did not deliberately try to hurt anyone. The hype was part of my job, like skipping rope."

* "Now the things that once were so effortless - my strong voice and the quickness of my movements - are more difficult. But I get up every day and try to live life to the fullest because each day is a gift from God."

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