Special Online Tribute Book & Life Lessons On “THE GREATEST” Muhammad Ali

"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something". -Plato


 In his world pragmatic book, HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK, veteran author, John Maxwell The #1 New York Times Bestselling Author argued under the chapter, * Utilize Strategic Thinking*that" When Failure Is Not An option, nothing serves a person better than strategic thinking, for some people don't plan, for while some plan their lives one day at a time, others just live life as it comes”

But such was my thinking when the inspiration first got to me to do a mini success book on the greatest Muhammad Ali, many have often asked me , why book on Ali? Here is a man who have indeed inspired millions globally

In words of Malcolm Brown, Americas boxing writer, we can learn few important things from Ali and these lessons forms the summary of this epic quote book

·     Believe in Yourself.

I AM THE GREATEST! Billions of people heard these words rise from the spirit of Muhammad Ali. He devoured Sonny Liston, went to war with Joe Frazier, and made a mockery of the man who hit so hard, he made larger than life heavyweights fly across the ring. Yes, George foreman himself had to take account of Ali’s genius.

I don’t think anyone exemplified this any better than Ali. When you’ve dug so deep within who you are.  You’ve pushed yourself to the limits and have gone past what you thought you could do. You discover things about yourself that give you supreme confidence in your ability. Some people give it a negative connotation and call it arrogance. They’ll tell you to tone it down and be humble.
The truth is we live in a world of timid people who are fighting and trying their best to be “normal.” So your confidence offends them. But Mr. Ali teaches us different. He teaches us to exalt and proclaim your greatness. Win or lose, understand and fall in love with your greatness. Never dull yourself down to make weak people feel comfortable. It’s a warriors’ mentality at its purest form.

·     Stand For Something.

Its 1967, Muhammad Ali is in his prime. Nobody in sight could touch him. He sustained victories over Cooper, Patterson, Chuvalo, Terrell just to name a few. All of a sudden the war in Vietnam has a huge flare. M
Muhammad Ali had been inducted to the U.S. draft. He then does something so against the grain it did two things. It first infuriated people. In the eyes of some Americans, denying the draft meant that you were “unpatriotic.” The Ali camp received huge backlash from his denial, position against the war, and his comments.
The second thing it did was inspired people. Most people understood that his position was strong and rooted in good morals. Being able to stand against the ridicule and hate to maintain your position was a huge sign of bravery.
My mom always said to stand for something or fall for anything. This is a call to again, find your identity and who you are. Knowing this is the only way to know what is acceptable in your life. Knowing who you are is knowing who you are not.
Ali knew this, and he taught us this in an infallible fashion. By sacrificing his time, money, passion, title, and potentially his freedom.

·      Have Faith.

According to biblical text, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”-Hebrews 11:1 Let’s hone in on the, “evidence of things not seen” part. We live in a day in time where skepticism is a way of life. People wouldn’t believe their own hand if it weren’t attached to them.
There’s more to life and its inner workings than our eyes can see. And far past our level of understanding. That’s why science is always playing ketchup ( Haha…get it? I meant catch up, but I said ketchup…oh never mind!). But fear of the unknown is what keeps the minds of people trapped in a box.
This box is called logic. But faith on the other hand is the absence of fear. It is pure and highly concentrated belief. Having this will propel you farther than the well thought out facts and statistics.
Ali definitely had this. As a child he would tell the neighborhood children how great he was going to be. “I’m going to be the heavyweight champion of the world.” Of course they all would laugh.
Especially because no one in his family was anywhere close to heavyweight size. But he did what few people are persistent enough to do. And that’s make good on your promises. Faith allows you to borrow strength from the vision of your future and conquer the challenges facing you today.
The life lessons to learn from Ali are so numerous to name in one day, it s our hope and aspirations @ CERUTTI MEDIA & BOOKS INC that this token tribute book on best of Ali’s quote will inspire all and sundry to live their dreams and never think of the option of quitting the big picture


1.     "My principles are more important than the money or my title."
2.     "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."
3.     "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
4.     "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
5.     "Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything."
6.     "I've made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven't lived in vain."
7.     "If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."
8.     "Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even."
9.      "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."
10.                         "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. "
11.                        "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."
12.                        "The man who has no imagination has no wings."
13.                        "Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are."
14.                        "A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
15.                        "I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world."
16.                        "My only fault is that I don't realize how great I really am."
17.                        "It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself."
18.                        "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
19.                        "I never thought of losing, but now that it' s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That's my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life."
20.                        "Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer."
21.                        "It's not bragging if you can back it up."
22.                        "What keeps me going is goals."
23.                        "When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace."
24.                        "I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world."
25.                        "I'm no leader; I'm a little humble follower."
26.                        "Old age is just a record of one's whole life."
27.                        "Don't count the days; make the days count."
28.                        "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."
29.                        "Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong."
30.                        "Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right."
31.                        "I don't count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they're the only ones that count. That's what makes you a champion."
32.                        "The will must be stronger than the skill."
33.                        "Inside of a ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong."
34.                        "At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far."
35.                        "Now the things that once were so effortless - my strong voice and the quickness of my movements - are more difficult. But I get up every day and try to live life to the fullest because each day is a gift from God."
36.                        "Life is short; we get old so fast. It doesn't make sense to waste time on hating."
37.                        "I try to learn as much as I can because I know nothing compared to what I need to know."
38.                        "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change."
39.                        "You lose nothing when fighting for a cause ... In my mind the losers are those who don't have a cause they care about."
40.                        "You don't lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down."
41.                        "When a man says I cannot, he has made a suggestion to himself. He has weakened his power of accomplishing that which otherwise would have been accomplished."
42.                        "Just remember that you don't have to be what they want you to be."
43.                        "The only limitations one has, are the ones they place on themselves"
44.                        "I don't smoke but I keep a match box in my pocket, when my heart slips towards sin, I burn the matchstick and heat my palm with it, then say to myself, "Ali you can't even bear this heat, how would you bear the unbearable heat of hellfire?"
45.                        "My soul has grown over the years, and some of my views have changed. As long as I am alive, I will continue to try to understand more because the work of the heart is never done."
46.                        "What you are thinking is what you are becoming."
47.                        "Whatever the challenge was, however unattainable the goal may have seemed, I never let anyone talk me out of believing in myself."
48.                        "I'd like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mix willingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well, then he spreads it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met."
49.                        "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."
50.                        "I am grateful for all my victories, but I am especially grateful for my losses, because they only made me work harder."

PART 3: ali’s profile

Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., (who was named after the 19th-century abolitionist and politician Cassius Clay). Ali would later change his name after joining the Nation of Islam. He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975.

Early boxing career

Standing at 6’3″ (1.91 m), Ali had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal boxing style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on his quick feet and ability to avoid a punch. In Louisville, October 29, 1960, Cassius Clay won his first professional fight. He won a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker, who was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia. From 1960 to 1963, the young fighter amassed a record of 19-0, with 15 knockouts. He defeated such boxers as Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, Lamar Clark (who had won his previous 40 bouts by knockout), Doug Jones, and Henry Cooper. Among Clay’s victories were versus Sonny Banks (who knocked him down during the bout), Alejandro Lavorante, and the aged Archie Moore (a boxing legend who had fought over 200 previous fights, and who had been Clay’s trainer prior to Angelo Dundee).
muhammad_aliClay won a disputed 10 round decision over Doug Jones, who, despite being lighter than Clay, staggered Clay as soon as the fight started with a right hand, and beat Clay to the punch continually during the fight. The fight was named “Fight of the Year” for 1963. Clay’s next fight was against Henry Cooper, who knocked Clay down with a left hook near the end of the fourth round. The fight was stopped in the 5th round due to a deep cut on Cooper’s face.
Despite these close calls against Doug Jones and Henry Cooper, he became the top contender for Sonny Liston’s title. In spite of Clay’s impressive record, he was not expected to beat the champion. The fight was to be held on February 25, 1964, in Miami, Florida. During the weigh-in before the fight, Ali frequently taunted Liston. Ali dubbed him “the big ugly bear”, and declared that he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” Ali was ready to dance around the ring, as he said, “Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.”
This was a typical buildup for Ali, who increasingly enjoyed playing to the crowd and creating a buzz before a fight. It was good news for fight promoters, who saw increased interest in any fight involving the bashful Ali.

Vietnam War

In 1964, Ali failed the Armed Forces qualifying test because his writing and spelling skills were inadequate. However, in early 1966, the tests were revised and Ali was reclassified 1A. He refused to serve in the United States Army during the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector, because “War is against the teachings of the Holy Koran. I’m not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers.” Ali also famously said,
Ali also famously said,
“I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong” and “no Vietcong ever called me nigger.”
Ali refused to respond to his name being read out as Cassius Clay, stating, as instructed by his mentors from the Nation of Islam, that Clay was the name given to his slave ancestors by the white man.
“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.”
By refusing to respond to this name, Ali’s personal life was filled with controversy. Ali was essentially banned from fighting in the United States and forced to accept bouts abroad for most of 1966.
From his rematch with Liston in May 1965, to his final defence against Zora Folley in March 1967, he defended his title nine times. Few other heavyweight champions in history have fought so much in such a short period.
Ali was scheduled to fight WBA champion Ernie Terrell in a unification bout in Toronto on March 29, 1966, but Terrell backed out and Ali won a 15-round decision against substitute opponent George Chuvalo. He then went to England and defeated Henry Cooper and Brian London by stoppage on cuts. Ali’s next defence was against German southpaw Karl Mildenberger, the first German to fight for the title since Max Schmeling. In one of the tougher fights of his life, Ali stopped his opponent in round 12.
Ali returned to the United States in November 1966 to fight Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams in the Houston Astrodome. A year and a half before the fight, Williams had been shot in the stomach at point-blank range by a Texas policeman. As a result, Williams went into the fight missing one kidney, 10 feet of his small intestine, and with a shrivelled left leg from nerve damage from the bullet. Ali beat Williams in three rounds.
On February 6, 1967, Ali returned to a Houston boxing ring to fight Terrell in what became one of the uglier fights in boxing. Terrell had angered Ali by calling him Clay, and the champion vowed to punish him for this insult. During the fight, Ali kept shouting at his opponent, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom … What’s my name.” Terrell suffered 15 rounds of brutal punishment, losing 13 of 15 rounds on two judges’ scorecards, but Ali did not knock him out. Analysts, including several who spoke to ESPN on the sports channel’s “Ali Rap” special, speculated that the fight only continued because Ali chose not to end it, choosing instead to further punish Terrell. After the fight, Tex Maule wrote, “It was a wonderful demonstration of boxing skill and a barbarous display of cruelty.”
Ali’s actions in refusing military service and aligning himself with the Nation of Islam made him a lightning rod for controversy, turning the outspoken but popular former champion into one of that era’s most recognisable and controversial figures. Appearing at rallies with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and declaring his allegiance to him at a time when mainstream America viewed them with suspicion — if not outright hostility — made Ali a target of outrage, and suspicion as well. Ali seemed at times to even provoke such reactions, with viewpoints that wavered from support for civil rights to outright support of separatism.
Near the end of 1967, Ali was stripped of his title by the professional boxing commission and would not be allowed to fight professionally for more than three years. He was also convicted for refusing induction into the army and sentenced to five years in prison. Over the course of those years in exile, Ali fought to appeal his conviction. He stayed in the public spotlight and supported himself by giving speeches primarily at rallies on college campuses that opposed the Vietnam War.
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?”
– Muhammad Ali – explaining why he refused to fight in Vietnam
In 1970, Ali was allowed to fight again, and in late 1971 the Supreme Court reversed his conviction.

Muhammad Ali’s comeback

In 1970, Ali was finally able to get a boxing license. With the help of a State Senator, he was granted a license to box in Georgia because it was the only state in America without a boxing commission. In October 1970, he returned to stop Jerry Quarry on a cut after three rounds. Shortly after the Quarry fight, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Ali was unjustly denied a boxing license. Once again able to fight in New York, he fought Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden in December 1970. After a tough 14 rounds, Ali stopped Bonavena in the 15th, paving the way for a title fight against Joe Frazier.

The Fight of the Century

Ali and Frazier fought each other on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden. The fight, known as ‘”The Fight of the Century”, was one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of all time and remains one of the most famous. It featured two skilled, undefeated fighters, both of whom had reasonable claims to the heavyweight crown. The fight lived up to the hype, and Frazier punctuated his victory by flooring Ali with a hard left hook in the 15th and final round and won on points. Frank Sinatra — unable to acquire a ringside seat — took photos of the match for Life Magazine. Legendary boxing announcer Don Dunphy and actor and boxing aficionado Burt Lancaster called the action for the broadcast, which reached millions of people.
Frazier eventually won the fight and retained the title with a unanimous decision, dealing Ali his first professional loss. Despite an impressive performance, Ali may have still been suffering from the effects of “ring rust” due to his long layoff.
In 1973, after a string of victories over the top Heavyweight opposition in a campaign to force a rematch with Frazier, Ali split two bouts with Ken Norton (in the bout that Ali lost to Norton, Ali suffered a broken jaw).

Rumble in the Jungle

In 1974, Ali gained a match with champion George Foreman. The fight took place in Zaire (the Congo) – Ali wanted the fight to be there to help give an economic boost to this part of Africa. The pre-match hype was as great as ever.
“Floats like a butterfly, sting like a bee, his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”
– Muhammad Ali – before the 1974 fight against George Foreman
Against the odds, Ali won the rematch in the eighth round. Ali had adopted a strategy of wearing Foreman down though absorbing punches on the ropes – a strategy later termed – rope a dope.
This gave Ali another chance at the world title against Frazer
“It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.”
– Ali before Frazer fight.
The fight lasted 14 rounds, with Ali finally proving victorious in the testing African heat.

Muhammad Ali in retirement

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the early 1980s, following which his motor functions began a slow decline. Although Ali’s doctors disagreed during the 1980s and 1990s about whether his symptoms were caused by boxing and whether or not his condition was degenerative, he was ultimately diagnosed with Pugilistic Parkinson’s syndrome. By late 2005 it was reported that Ali’s condition was notably worsening. According to the documentary ‘When We Were Kings’ when Ali was asked about whether he has any regrets about boxing due to his disability, he responded that if he didn’t box he would still be a painter in Louisville, Kentucky.
Speaking of his own Parkinson’s disease, Ali remarks how it has helped him to look at life in a different perspective.
“Maybe my Parkinson’s is God’s way of reminding me what is important. It slowed me down and caused me to listen rather than talk. Actually, people pay more attention to me now because I don’t talk as much.”
“I always liked to chase the girls. Parkinson’s stops all that. Now I might have a chance to go to heaven.”
Muhammad Ali, BBC
Despite the disability, he remained a beloved and active public figure. Recently he was voted into Forbes Celebrity 100 coming in at number 13 behind Donald Trump. In 1985, he served as a guest referee at the inaugural WrestleMania event. In 1987 he was selected by the California Bicentennial Foundation for the U.S. Constitution to personify the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in various high profile activities. Ali rode on a float at the 1988 Tournament of Roses Parade, launching the U.S. Constitution’s 200th birthday commemoration. He also published an oral history, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times with Thomas Hauser, in 1991. Ali received a Spirit of America Award calling him the most recognised American in the world. In 1996, he had the honour of lighting the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1999, Ali received a special one-off award from the BBC at its annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony, which was the BBC Sports Personality of the Century Award. His daughter Laila Ali also became a boxer in 1999, despite her father’s earlier comments against female boxing in 1978: “Women are not made to be hit in the breast, and face like that… the body’s not made to be punched right here [patting his chest]. Get hit in the breast… hard… and all that.”
On September 13, 1999, Ali was named “Kentucky Athlete of the Century” by the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies at the Galt House East.
In 2001, a biographical film, entitled Ali, was made, with Will Smith starring as Ali. The film received mixed reviews, with the positives generally attributed to the acting, as Smith and supporting actor Jon Voight earned Academy Award nominations. Prior to making the Ali movie, Will Smith had continually rejected the role of Ali until Muhammad Ali personally requested that he accept the role. According to Smith, the first thing Ali said about the subject to Smith was: “You ain’t pretty enough to play me”.
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on November 9, 2005, and the prestigious “Otto Hahn peace medal in Gold” of the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin for his work with the US civil rights movement and the United Nations (December 17, 2005).
On November 19, 2005 (Ali’s 19th wedding anniversary), the $60 million non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to displaying his boxing memorabilia, the centre focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth.
According to the Muhammad Ali Center website in 2012,
“Since he retired from boxing, Ali has devoted himself to humanitarian endeavours around the globe. He is a devout Sunni Muslim, and travels the world over, lending his name and presence to hunger and poverty relief, supporting education efforts of all kinds, promoting adoption and encouraging people to respect and better understand one another. It is estimated that he has helped to provide more than 22 million meals to feed the hungry. Ali travels, on average, more than 200 days per year.”
Muhammad Ali died on 3 June 2016, from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease.
“Will they ever have another fighter who writes poems, predicts rounds, beats everybody, makes people laugh, makes people cry and is as tall and extra pretty as me?”
– Muhammad Ali
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Muhammad Ali”, Oxford, UK

Published by CERUTTI MEDIA & BOOKS Inc.


All the material contained in this book is provided for educational and Informational purposes only. No responsibility can be taken for any Results or outcomes resulting from the use of this material. While every Attempt has been made to provide information that is both accurate and Effective, the author does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or use/misuse of this information.

 About the Author

Also known as the’ THE AFRICAN WORDSMITH” is the very definition of a "grass to grace" brand of success stories writer. Originally a sports' Writer, he was dramatically converted by Africa’s foremost publisher, Chief Nduka obaigbena, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY newspapers to a people and life style writer. Mike Cerutti Osagie has since expanded his talent to deeper areas of writing from style, to branding, to business, to inspirational, to politics and is today carving out a niche as a premier luxury /Secret of Rich and famous people writer
  A well-travelled showman, Mike has been on the wings from the word go  and is the current award winning best style writer, best celebrity prolific writer and only recently voted as teens favorite young charity personality of the year. This is on account of his tireless efforts of bringing the world's attention to the plight of the blind and orphans in society.
An avid reader and prolific writer, Ceruti Osagie remains one of the few pen pushers who regularly writes about the rich and famous globally, and what they passed on way to top. He has written on a large number of famous people over the last few years on his online blogs: www.worldindustryleaders.blogspot.com/www.ceruttimediaandbooks.wordpress.com , and today has over 7 books to his credit, including the highly controversial and globally accepted Donald Trump Book:

·         He can be contacted on roaming number + 234 7042631895 or chiefcerrutti@gmail.com


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