By News Team
19th February 2020
Saturday will see two of boxing’s biggest motormouths square up to each other when Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet in their highly anticipated rematch in Las Vegas.
Ahead of their titanic clash, we celebrate boxing’s biggest ever motormouths by looking back at some of the greatest quotes in the history of the sport.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”
Where else to start than with Muhammad Ali. The greatest boxer to ever enter the ring and the sport’s greatest wordsmith. Ali spoke many memorable lines throughout his career, but none so memorable as this one, which he delivered when he was just a 22-year-old ready to take on world. Few lines in history are more iconic and none sum up ‘The Greatest’ better than this.
“Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.”
Sugar Ray Robinson is thought by many to be the best boxer of all time, including Ali, who called him the greatest pound for pound boxer ever. It makes sense then for young boxers to listen to Robinson here, who was in a better position than most to offer out advice.
“The [temptation] for greatness is the biggest drug in the world.”
Greatness is a theme that runs through the history of boxing, from Ali to the modern day. It’s something all boxers aspire to achieve in their careers, including Mike Tyson, who delivered this quote. Tyson had his own problem with drugs, but it is this temptation for greatness that inspired him to go on and become undisputed world heavyweight champion.
“I don’t fight for legacy. I don’t fight for none of that, I fight for that cheque. I’m in the cheque cashing business.”
While greatness is the inspiration for most boxers, perhaps that is not the case for Floyd Mayweather Jr., given he was the one to utter these words. Mayweather even went so far as to nickname himself ‘Money’. Whether such talk is all part of his gimmick or money really is his real inspiration, it’s hard to argue either way with a man whose record stands at 50-0-0.
“Sure the fight was fixed. I fixed it with a right hand.”
Accusations of fixed fights or controversial points decisions often rear their ugly head – many dispute the outcome of the draw in Wilder and Fury’s first fight, for one – but this expertly delivered line from heavyweight legend George Foreman puts any false accusations into the shade with one full swoop.
“It’s like someone jammed an electric light bulb in your face, and busted it. I thought half my head was blown off…”
While Ali is able to bring out boxing’s poetic side through his words, is there a more brutal delivery on what boxing is really like than James J. Braddock’s here? Braddock, who was world heavyweight champion from 1935 to 1937, was attempting to describe what being on the other end of a Joe Louis punch was like, and it reminds us what a brutal sport boxing can be.
“Once that bell rings you’re on your own. It’s just you and the other guy.”
Talking of Joe Louis, it was the former world heavyweight champion who spoke these immortal words, words that are perhaps the truest ever spoken about boxing. You can prepare all you like with your coach or mentor beforehand, but when it comes down to it, it’s just you and your opponent for 12 rounds – something Wilder and Fury are set to experience on Saturday night.