"I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds." Mike Tyson (born 1966)
Many boxing professionals have become legendary in the collective memory.
Several times the world champions of boxing, Olympic champions or victorious European championship boxers have entered the history of combat sports, and not only because of the famous power of their punches.
Some of them, like Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), have left behind their international career beautiful and/or memorable sentences.
The most beautiful quotes do not always come from the great writers of literature: if a boxer is - in the collective imagination - considered a kind of King-Kong ready to demolish everything that goes on in the boxing ring, he may also be the author of the most beautiful quotes.
All the best quotes reflect the thought of their author at a specific moment in their lives, or the state of a society at a given time in a given socio-historical context.
The best-known phrases and quotes can be used as a guideline, a model to follow for all practitioners taking their first boxing classes or preparing a first fight against other competitors.
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5 Great Muhammad Ali Quotes
Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), born under the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., is an American boxer in the heavyweight category.
At the same time idolized, adulated, and conspired, he is nicknamed "The Greatest", and was illustrated by his many positions in the political and social context of his time.
Here are his greatest cult phrases:
1 / "I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. "
Mr. Ali is the athletic muse of conscientious objectors, pacifist militants, anti-racism and has put his international notoriety at the service of peace ...
In 1966, Muhammad Ali publicly announced his refusal to serve the US military, which was then engaged in full military conflict in Vietnam.
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The following year, he reiterated his refusal to be incorporated into the ranks of the army, which would result in a trial, a fine of $10,000, a sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a withdrawal of his license to boxing and the cancellation of his title of world heavyweight champion (he was not imprisoned, and his debt was paid in 1971.)
A convert to Islam and a fervent opponent of military service, he became angry with the American public opinion - belligerent - of the time, and became the icon of conscientious objectors engaged against the Vietnam War.
2 / "In the ring we have a referee to stop the fight if one man should become too hurt physically. Boxing is nothing like going to war with machine guns, bazookas, hand grenades and bomber airplanes. "
Here is a positive thought to show that in boxing, even if the objective is to hit the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, it is not to kill the enemy as it is in war.
Ali is definitely at home in the history of boxing.
It is true that banging a punching bag is less damaging than the military-industrial complex.
3 / "You think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned? Wait till I whup George Foreman's behind. 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. I done rassled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone and hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick."
A few days later, on October 30, 1974, Mr. Ali resumed his title of boxing champion at the end of this fight against G. Foreman.
We continue with this beautiful quote on life in society, whether we believe in God or not:
4 / "It doesn't matter whether you're a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew. When you believe in God, you should believe that all people are part of one family. "
Here are two small examples showing the brutal side of his "bear paws":
5 / "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologise."
And a small bonus: "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.. "
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5 Memorable Mike Tyson Quotes
Mike Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1966, and is a boxing icon with a tumultuous bad-boy past. His childhood is steeped in violence and delinquency.
While having been placed in a correctional facility following several offenses, he was quickly noticed for his athletic abilities: he was only 13 when he began amateur boxing.
He became in 1986, at the age of 20, the youngest boxer in the heavyweight category to become world champion, in the last fight between T. Berbick and himself.
Here is a selection of the five most memorable phrases that Mike Tyson has said among many other gems:
1 / "I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds. "
No, it's not a love poem. This expression of dreams and aspiration could have come from an elegiac poet who mastered the art of lyrical flight, but it came instead from a boxer mounted on 100 kg of muscles: the brutes are sometimes not all we perceive them to be.
Mike Tyson can be a good reason to start boxing!
2 / "As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want. "
3 / "Real freedom is having nothing. I was freer when I didn't have a cent.. "
Mike Tyson has often had the paradoxical reputation of being a top athlete, and having had a hard time being happy. During his career, the boxer has accumulated 300 million dollars, and even so, he declared himself ruined and bankrupt at the end of it.
His punch and dazzling victories make him the richest champion of all time, and together the most beloved boxer of the late 20th century.
4 / "Everybody's got plans... until they get hit. "
5 / "Some people try to get you out of slavery for you to be their slave. "
With his unmatched battering style, high velocity, high accuracy, dodge ability, and devastating chaining, Mike Tyson terrorised his opponents for most of his career.
Watch the best movies about boxing to find other inspirational quotes!
10 Quotes from Other Celebrated Boxers
Like most of the great boxers of his time, George Foreman left beautiful quotes behind his international sports career.
4 Quotes from George Foreman
George Foreman was born in 1949 in Texas (US).
Having had a difficult childhood in the Houston ghetto, his first victories in heavyweight boxing are in a context of struggle against racial segregation.
1 / "Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it. "
2 / "That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy."
Being able to channel negative thoughts is, in a boxing fight, a means of achieving success, and therefore eternal recognition, especially for people from the lower classes and ethnic minorities.
3 / "A hero is someone right who doesn't change. "
4 / "I get up in the morning looking for an adventure. "
World heavyweight champion in 1973-1974, he was crowned again champion in 1994-1995. He has only five defeats to his credit, and garners 76 victories including 68 by K.O.
Until 2011, he holds the title of the "oldest" boxer to have been crowned champion, at the age of 46 (in 1995).
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6 Quotes From Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Born February 24, 1977, F. Mayweather Jr. is known to have held numerous world championship titles in five different weight classes:
- Super Welterweight (between 66.678 kg and 69.853 kg in boxing),
- Welterweight (between 63,503 kg and 66,678 kg),
- Super Light Weight (between 61,237 kg and 63,503 kg),
- Light Weight (between 58.967 kg and 61.237 kg),
- Super Featherweight (between 57,152 kg and 58,967 kg).
1 / "I want to be able to separate the average from the good and from the great. I want to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. "
2 / "A true champion will fight against everything. "
Floyd Mayweather, who retired in August 2017, was punctuated by thunderous and smashing entries in the ring, and had a very technical and martial boxing game.
3 / "Nobody is faster than me. "
4 / "God did only one perfect thing in this world, and that's my boxing record. "
5 / "Once I am in the square circle, I am in my home. "
6 / "Don't ever know who you may meet, or just because a person may not be dressed up all fancy, don't mean they're not an important person. You just don't ever know who you're gonna meet in life. So that's why I look at everybody as equal. Can't just judge. I treat everybody with respect. Every man. "
If we want to let off steam, we can always think of these fifteen quotes by hitting the boxing club.
Our great British boxers are also numerous and are an important part of boxing history.
See here 10 great reasons to start to box.