"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 near me or preparing a first fight against other competitors.

Look to the great quotes of the greatest boxing champs.
Actions only sometimes speak louder than words. (Source: Unsplash)
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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.

A real life man of myth.
The man, the hero, the legend... Ali is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, boxers of all time.

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.

Look to these words to get you in the ring.
Push yourself! Perhaps these quotes can help you find the motivation you need to achieve greatness. (Source: Unsplash)

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.."

Find "boxing classes near me" and learn to box like Muhammed Ali.

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.

Youngest heavyweight at twenty years old.
The youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old.

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 with 100kg of muscles, proving that even the toughest are sometimes not all we perceive them to be.

Mike Tyson could 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, yet having 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!

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).

Big George, a boxing olympian.
Nicknamed "Big George", he is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist.

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 champion again in 1994-1995. He has only five defeats to his credit, and garners 76 victories including 68 by K.O.

Until 2011, he held the title of the "oldest" boxer to have been crowned champion, at the age of 46 (in 1995).

Be careful to choose your gloves for boxing classes Melbourne before you start!

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).
Multiple world title holder.
During his career, he held multiple world titles in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four weight classes.

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."

6 Quotes from Manny Pacquiao

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao Sr., born December 17, 1978, is a Filipino politician and former professional boxer. Nicknamed "PacMan", he is regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time. He has been serving as a senator of the Philippines since 2016.

1 / “I can be a champion and a public servant also.”

At the age of 14, Pacquiao moved to Manila and lived on the streets, worked as a construction worker, and had to pick between enduring hunger or sending money to his mother. Pacquiao completed his elementary education at Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City, but dropped out of high school due to extreme poverty.

2 / “I remember as a little boy I ate one meal a day and sometimes slept in the street. I will never forget that, and it inspires me to fight hard, stay strong and remember all the people of my country, trying to achieve better for themselves.”

3 / “Life is meant to be a challenge, because challenges make you grow.”

Pacquiao is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing and has won twelve major world titles. He was the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classesthe first boxer to win major world titles in four of the eight "glamour divisions" (flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight), and is the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s).

4 / “I consider myself a student of boxing, a philosopher so to speak, and my philosophy is to keep learning.”

In July 2019, Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40, and the first boxer in history to become a recognised four-time welterweight champion after defeating Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title.

5 / “Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance.”

As of 2015, Pacquiao's fights had generated $1.2 billion in revenue from his 25 pay-per-view bouts. According to Forbes, he was the second highest paid athlete in the world in 2015.

6 / “I’m just a regular person who believes life is simple, and I like a simple life.”

6 Quotes from Julio César Chávez

Julio César Chávez González, born July 12, 1962, is a Mexican former professional boxer who competed from 1980 to 2005. A multiple-time world champion in three weight divisions, Chávez was listed by The Ring magazine as the world's best boxer, pound for pound, from 1990 to 1993.

Chávez's father, Rodolfo Chavez, worked for the railroad, and Julio grew up in an abandoned railroad car with his five sisters and four brothers. Chávez came from a poor family and became a boxer for money.

1 / “We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.”

2 / “It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.” 

3 / “History will judge societies and governments and their institutions, not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”

During his career, he held the WBC super featherweight title from 1984 to 1987, the WBA and WBC lightweight titles between 1987 and 1989, the WBC light welterweight title twice between 1989 and 1996, and the IBF light welterweight title from 1990 to 1991. He also held the Ring magazine and lineal lightweight titles from 1988 to 1989, and the lineal light welterweight title twice between 1990 and 1996.

Chávez was named Fighter of the Year for 1987 and 1990 by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring respectively.

4 / “There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance.”

Chávez holds records for the most total successful defences of world titles, most title fight victories and fighters beaten for the title, most title fights, and he has the second most title defences won by knockout. He had an 87-fight win streak until his draw with Pernell Whitaker in 1993 and his first professional loss to Frankie Randall in 1994. Chávez's 1993 win over Greg Haugen at the Estadio Azteca set the record for the largest attendance for an outdoor boxing match: 136,274.

5 / “To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence.”

He is ranked as the 17th best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by BoxRec, #24 on ESPN's list of "50 Greatest Boxers of All Time", and 18th on The Ring's "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years". In 2010 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011.

6 / “True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.”

If we want to let off steam, we can always think of these quotes by hitting the boxing club.

Our great Australian boxers are also numerous and are an important part of boxing history.

See here 10 great reasons to start to box.

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Jon

As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.