Muhammad Ali Curated

American boxer and activist

CURATED BY :  


  • What is the difference between your influence and the influence of other black athletes like Floyd Pattinson in your community?

  • Do you think that owing to your popularity, you could run for presidency in USA?

  • Being regarded as one of the most attractive athletes, how do you manage the fan worship from women?

  • Do you have any fears?

  • Did you ever get nervous before a fight?

  • Is intimidating your opponents just before a fight, your way to deal with nerves?

  • Is your predicting the fight result a way of show business?

  • Can you predict other things apart from boxing?

  • Do you fear you faced being messed up during a fight?

  • How would you address the problem of safety for boxers from brain damage that happened with Joe Fraizer?

  • Have you ever lost your temper in the ring and wanted to kill your opponent?

  • Do you think your time as a boxer had helped to develop the sport for good?

  • Do you think you would have been able to beat some of the great champions from the past era?

  • What are your plans for the future apart from fighting?

  • Do you think that the American people’s attitude towards you changed from the time when you refused to go to Vietnam War to the time when the War became unpopular?

  • What is your prediction for your return fight with Joe Frazier?

  • How do you respond to your fans who are frightened that you might get badly beaten and hurt if you step in the ring again?

  • Did you ever fight because you needed money?

  • Why do you think you will make a bad actor?

  • Why do you like horror movies?

  • Why did you want to make a musical movie?

  • Being a public figure and moving around so freely did you ever think about being assassinated?

  • Being a public figure, do you have a bodyguard?

  • Why are you participating in so many fights?

  • Why did you decide on fighting Al Blue Lewis?

  • Why do you call Floyd Patterson ‘The Rabbit’?

  • What do you feel about Joe Frazier as an opponent?

  • Have you been a singer in plays?

  • Why do you think, of all the sportsmen in the world you draw the most attention and support from the crowds?

  • Why do you think Joe Frazier beat you?

  • What made you take up boxing as a child?

  • Did you, as a child, have the goal to become an Olympic Champion?

  • Did coming back to your hometown with an Olympic Gold Medal completely change your life?

  • Did you ever feel that you and other blacks were second class citizens?

  • what attracted you to Islam?

  • Why do you think Black Muslims preach separation of races rather than integration of races?

  • Do you feel that USA should actually have separate states for the Blacks and the Whites?

  • What is a Holy War that you would be willing to fight even though you being a Muslim don’t believe in wars?

  • Do you believe in the separation of races that South Africa has?

  • What do you think Elijah Muhammad meant when he said that all White men are devils?

  • Do you agree with your teacher Elijah Muhammad when he calls not most but all the White American devils?

  • Why would you feel so badly about the White people of America when you yourselves have some White ancestry?

  • Why did you intimidate your opponents just before a big fight?

  • What did you say to your opponents on the ring to intimidate them?

  • Did you ever get in the ring anxious?

  • Why won’t you allow your son to become a boxer?

  • Are you better advised as far as investments are concerned to save you from getting broke like a lot of other boxers?

  • How would you like to respond to the comment that you can put a hex on people like a wizard?

  • Do you have any regrets that you embraced Islam as your religion?

  • How were you able to keep your calm when people were opposing your decision of not joining the army during the Vietnam War?

  • Did you want to retire after your title was taken away from you?

  • What was the poem that you wrote for the Attica prison riot?

  • Why do you consider Britain as your second home?

  • Who would you consider to be your strongest fans?

  • Where do you think you feel the happiest and in what company?

  • What did your mother want from you when you were young?

  • When did you come to know that you are the greatest?

  • What has been some of the lowest points in your life?

  • Would the 1964 Cassius Clay beaten the Muhammad Ali from the 70s?

  • When did you decide on your tactics in a fight?

  • Do you fear disqualification by referees when they feel you are wrestling and holding on too much?

  • Fighting which greatest boxer of all time would you think help you to exert yourself as the greatest of all time?

  • Do you think you would have been so great if you were not so handsome?

  • How do you feel about being speculated by a computer software as the number 6 in the line of all time great boxers?

  • Owing to the influence you have had over the Black community in America, would you consider joining politics after your boxing career is over to further help them?

  • Would you fight in a country which has an unhealthy attitude towards the Black community?

  • If you had a massive monetary offer to fight in South Africa, a country where racial discrimination is at peak, would you accept the offer?

  • How do you think you would perform if you were to fight a different type of opponent in the ring like a wrestler or a karate champion?

  • What was it when you said that your eyes were stinging in the fight against Sonny Liston?

  • Have you lost your speed when you entered heavy weight from medium weight and light heavy weight?

  • Do you work hard on your ability as a poet or it is just your sheer genius?

  • What are your thoughts on retiring from boxing?

  • When did you start your boxing career?

  • What were you thinking when you were fighting Henry Cooper, the first man to put you down?

  • Do you think Henry Cooper could have been a great heavyweight?

  • How would you rate Sonny Liston as a fighter and where you scared of him?

  • How important do you think it is to have a good referee in a boxing match?

  • What do you think of your opponent Floyd Pattinson?

  • Why didn’t you like Henry Terrell, your opponent from Cleveland?

  • Why did you refuse to go to the Vietnam War?

  • Was it tough for you to motivate yourself to back on the ring when you made a comeback?

  • Would you consider your three and a half year lay off as the main reason behind you having such a long career?

  • How important a figure has Angelo Dundee been in your life?

  • How did your supported you in your corner and helped you to make your decisions?

  • Can you tell us little bit about the time when you did not take your team’s advice and still managed to win the fight?

  • How would you rate George Foreman as a boxer?

  • How does it feel being a boxer to get beaten up in a fight and see a new champion?

  • Who would you consider the greatest influential personality in your life?

  • How would you describe the influence of your parents in your life?

  • Did the spiritual change in your life come to you suddenly or gradually?

  • In your sporting life who would be your greatest influence?

  • How do you deal with pressure?

  • Can you tell us a little bit about your charitable organization?

  • You are known as the most famous person on the planet. Do you feel like the most famous?

    It's surprising, but I never realized why I was so famous. The name Muhammad is the most common name in the world. In all the countries around the world—Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon—there are more Muhammads than anything else. When I joined the Nation of Islam and became a Muslim, they gave me the most famous name because I was the champ.

  • Do you believe that had you not become a Muslim, your fame would not have been as great?

    It would not have been worldwide.

  • Would you be the greatest in the world if you hadn't become a Muslim?

    I don't know. Before I became a Muslim, I ate pork and chased women—but all that stuff stopped.

  • But I understand. If you hadn't become a Muslim, you might not have had the concentrated spiritual power that sustained you. Did your greatness have to do with more than just your ability in the ring?

    Yes. The teachings of [Muslim leader] Elijah Muhammad made me say, "I am the greatest." And back then, black people didn't talk or boast like that.

  • When were you first introduced to Elijah Muhammad?

    Around 1961. He said, "Why are we called Negroes? Chinese are from China, Russians are from Russia, Germans are from Germany, and Indians are from India. What country is called Negro?" And I realized that Cassius Clay is a slave name—a European name that was given to me. Many of the blacks in this country have slave names.

  • Were you encouraged by Elijah Muhammad to announce that you were Muslim?

    No, no, no. It was just me. You're not forced to believe or to be a follower. You just have to do what's in your heart.

  • Do you see yourself as a brother to all the other Muslims around the world? I read that you said "Black Muslim" is a media term, because there's no such thing. If you go to Mecca, you're praying next to a blond.

    Right. Christians are my brothers, Hindus are my brothers, all of them are my brothers. We just think different and believe different.

  • But if a leader comes out and says that any particular race is the devil, then he or she is seen as a hatemonger. True?

    But the people who were keeping blacks out of restaurants and choosing to fight us were really the hatemongers.

  • Your brother said that when you came home after winning the Olympic gold in 1960, you were refused service at a restaurant in Louisville.

    I walked in and tried to order two hamburgers, and I was told, "We don't serve Negroes." I said, "Good—because I don't eat them either." They said, "You're a smart nigger—get out of here!" So I left and drove to the bridge and threw my gold medal in the river. A black man in America can win an Olympic gold medal, but he can't even come home and be served a hamburger.

  • Do you regret throwing your medal in the river?

    Now I do!

  • Ever since you began boxing, others have seen potential in you. When did you know that boxing was your gift?

    When I won the Golden Gloves in 1960, that made me realize I had a chance. And when I won at the Olympics, that sealed it: I was the champ.

  • Do you remember how you felt the first time, at the age of 12, when you stepped into the ring?

    I was nervous and scared. I was shaking.

  • After the Golden Gloves and the Olympics, did you think you'd box for the rest of your life?

    My father and mother were poor, and when I turned pro, I started making money. There was a show on television where boxers could make $4,000 for a fight.

  • When you first realized you had potential as a boxer, were you thinking, "I am the greatest"?

    I wasn't thinking of being the greatest. But I knew I had a chance. I don't want to brag.

  • With Sonny Liston, you said, "I meant to take him in eight, but I thought I'd send him to heaven in seven."

    "I'm the greatest of all time. I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Get ready to rumble, young man, rumble!"

  • Wow. Where did you get that idea?

    When I was 9, I saw a wrestler on television named Gorgeous George. He said, "I'm beautiful. I'm so pretty that if a sucker touches my face, I'll kill him. If he messes with my hair, I'll pummel him." I said to myself, "That's a good idea. I am the greatest, I'm pretty." And then I took it a little further than he did.

  • Did you talk that way partly for show?

    Yes. And next year, I'm going to shock the world even more. No boxer has ever come back at age 60. But I'm going to come back, get in shape, and be the number one contender again.

  • I remember one fight when Frazier knocked you down for a second, but you popped right up. What does it feel like to be knocked down?

    You're dazed and you look like hell. You can see the crowd, and you try and shake it off and get up. All those fights were good fights.

  • Do you still think of retirement?

  • You look fit. Have you have been training very hard?

  • How do you feel about the fight with blue louis?

  • What sort of chances does he (Blue Louis) have with you?

  • Why is that u think that draw the crowds of all sportsmen in the world?

  • What made you take up boxing?

  • Boxing led you to the Olympics. Was this your goal as a child or as a young man to be an Olympic champion?

  • You told a story on one occasion about coming back from the Olympics with the medal to your own hometown. Did this make you a very big man in your hometown?

  • How was it anyway to be a "Negro" boy in the south?

  • Did you feel that your and your family and other blacks were second-class citizens?

  • What attracted you to Islam?

  • Why do you think that black Muslims preached with separation of the races rather than the integration of the races?

  • Muslims don't believe in a war and you don't believe in a war. You have demonstrated by not joining the American army. But you said in one occasion that you could believe in a holy war?

  • Why do you think he (Joe Frazier) beat the last time?