I am now feeling triggered and microaggressed, which leaves me craving my footie pajamas and a delicious cup of hot cocoa.
The 20 Most Badass Quotes from Professional Fighters
1. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson
2. “One way or the other we’re going to hit the ground and we’ll be in my world. The ground is my ocean, I’m the shark, and most people don’t even know how to swim.” — Jean Jacques Machado
3. “Right leg is hospital. Left leg is cemetery.” – Mirko Cro Cop
4. “I’ma beat you till you respect me. I’ma beat you and make you call me pretty. I’ma beat you like that.” — Floyd Mayweather
5. “I don’t want to lose ever. I don’t want to lose at anything. I want to make weight faster than the guy that I’m fighting if we both go into the sauna at the same time. When we’re doing interviews I want to have quicker wit so that I can make him feel stupid. I want to drink my water faster. And then when we get in the cage I want to beat him up. I don’t think people really truly understand the extent that I go to try not to lose.” – Daniel Cormier
6. “He went to the hospital with bleeding kidneys and me, I went dancing with my wife.” — George Chuvalo
7. “How tall are you? So I can know in advance how far to step back when you fall down!” – Muhammad Ali
Ahh, good old Muhammad. Hawkins could have easily culled 20 great ones just from him, from the leadup to a single fight.
Update! So I got to remembering the great old banter between Ali and Howard Cosell back in the day, which was a thing of beauty to behold. That inspired me to go dig up some more Ali quotes for y’all.
- 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.
- The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
- Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.
- Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.
- What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.
- The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
- Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.
And perhaps my favorite of them all:
I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And thrown thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
Every one a gem. Number five up above is a good one too, noteworthy for the glimpse it gives us into the mindset that separates true champions from the rest of the field, in way more endeavors than just boxing. Agressiveness, drive, competitive instinct, confidence, determination, perseverance, will—these are all requirements, sure. But the really important quality in the making of a champion is not so much a strong desire to win, but a burning, inflexible abhorrence for losing.
Love him or hate him, Muhammad was the most entertaining fighter of them all to watch, from his era or any other. In the ring, he moved with the swift, smooth grace of a ballet dancer; his finely-honed skill put him head and shoulders above just about all of his contemporaries. Outside it, his charisma and quick wit made every press conference or interview unpredictable and riveting, real must-see TV. Lots of people who had little or no interest in boxing watched those interviews and press conferences anyway, just to see what outrageous, infuriating, or funny statement he might come up with next.
And since I mentioned Cosell up there, I might as well throw in a sample of the repartee between these two legends.
Cosell: “Are you taking Zora Folley too lightly?”
Ali: “Why would you say that?”
Cosell: “Because every indication has been that you’re confident that you can beat Zora.”
Ali: “I’m confident I can whup ’em all. This ain’t nothin’ new. My image has been confident. What you tryin’ to make it look like something new for? I’m always confident. I’ll whup all of ’em.”
Cosell: “You’re being extremely truculent.”
Ali: “Whatever truculent means, if that’s good, I’m that.”
Once, Ali peeled back Cosell’s famous toupee, pretending to peek at his scalp.
Or the champ would make a threatening gesture.
“Don’t touch me,” Cosell teased with a pseudo-glare. “I’ll beat your brains out.”
After Ali retired, he appeared less frequently in public as his medical condition worsened. Cosell retreated into privacy, too, particularly after his wife, Emmy, passed away. Cosell died in 1995 at age 77.
“(Ali) sat down next to me at my father’s memorial service,” Jill (Cosell’s daughter) recalls. “He could barely speak. After I read the family eulogy, Muhammad patted me. He had tears streaming down his face.
“I told him, ‘It’s OK, Muhammad.’”
Ahh, those were the days all right. Ali and Cosell were bona fide giants in their respective fields, the likes of which we won’t see again. Which brings me ’round at last to the prank he pulled on Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes, which I was fortunate enough to catch when it first aired back in…uhh…1996?!?
1996? Man, that CAN’T be right. Can it?
Damn, I’m gettin’ old.