Remembering the finest quotes by Muhammad 'The Greatest' Ali two years on from his death

June 3 will always be remembered as the day the world said farewell to one of the most charismatic and entertaining sports personalities in history; Muhammad Ali.

The American boxer passed away two years ago to the day after a respiratory illness, made more complicated by Parkinson’s – a disease he suffered with after retiring in 1981.

Formerly known as ‘Cassius Clay’, the heavyweight dazzled at the Olympics in Rome before turning professional and becoming the World heavyweight champion on three separate occasions.

Known for his speed and elusiveness in the ring, Ali was just as quick out of it too.

An impassioned civil rights activist, some of his defining moments came outside of the ring thanks to his quick wit and incredible showmanship.

Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at some of the best quotes from ‘The Greatest’, who was named ‘Sportsman of the Century’ by Sports Illustrated.

In no particular order, here are some the finest quotes by the legendary Muhammad Ali.

“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.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

 “I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.”

 “Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.” Jesse Jackson said this as early as 1983, according to the Associated Press, and Ali used it in his 2004 book.

 “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

English heavyweight Henry Cooper came close to shocking the world when he shared the ring with Ali in 1963

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

 “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

“Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.”

 “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

 “I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

“I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

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