Who else? Ali was a poet in and outside of the ring. It's not hard to see why he became a hero to so many: his words and actions were infused with beauty, boldness, and truth. 

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“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
"To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are."
"Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer."
"Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you down. It's the pebble in your shoe."
"The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
"I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want."