More than “just” a boxing legend

When most people think of Muhammed Ali – myself included – I reckon they remember his famous quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Black and white photo of Mohammed Ali focusing on his fist.

Take a leaf out of Mohammed Ali’s book, you need to believe in yourself.

I reckon they remember he was a loud-mouth heavyweight boxing champion who conquered the sporting world.

And I reckon they remember he converted to Islam, changing his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammed Ali.

Those are the things I knew about that great man.

Then he died the other day, and suddenly I know a whole lot more stuff about him – and realise he was a truly fascinating man who was always going to get what he wanted.

Right from age 8, he called himself “The Greatest” and he really, truly believed that. He was right, too. Perhaps whatever path he chose, he’d have been the greatest.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Of course, belief alone isn’t enough and he knew that; but the belief needs to be there first. After all, if you don’t really believe you can achieve what you set out to do, you’re scuppered before you even get going.

Something else I never knew about him: he refused to take part in the Vietnam War. He was a conscientious objector, which was a pretty brave thing to do at a time when Americans were being all jingoistic. It cost him his boxing titles, but he stuck to his principles.

I’m going to make an effort to find out more about him, because I think his life is worth learning about.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS I’m always on the lookout for fascinating people to learn more about. If you’ve read a biography that’s stuck with you, please share. Hit the comments and recommend me up!

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