"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Rumble young man rumble."

- before fighting George Foreman in 1974

"I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong. How can I kill somebody when five times a day I pray for peace? You want me to be so scared of the white man I'll go and get two arms shot off and 10 medals so you can give me a small salary and pat my head and say, 'Good boy, he fought for our country.'"

- after refusing induction to the US Army in 1967 during the Vietnam War

"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, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

- before fighting George Foreman in 1974

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

- before his 1975 fight with Joe Frazier in Manila

"Now Clay swings with a right - what a beautiful swing - and raises the bear straight out of the ring; Liston is rising and the ref wears a frown, for he can't start counting 'til Liston comes down.

"Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic. But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic. Who would have thought when they came to the fight, that they'd witness the launching of a human satellite?

"Yes the crowd did not dream when they laid down their money, that they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny."

- before fighting Sonny Liston in 1964

"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."

- before fighting George Foreman in 1974

"I'll be the ghost that haunts boxing. People will say, 'Ali is the real champ and everyone else is a fake.'"

- in 1971 before fighting Joe Frazier

"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."

- announcing his conversion to the Muslim faith after beating Liston in 1964

"What's my name fool? What's my name?"

- during 1967 fight with Ernie Terrell, who refused to call him Ali

"Superman don't need no seatbelt."

- Ali's famous comment on an airplane

"Superman don't need no plane either."

- The flight attendant's reply.