I had it in my mind: to be confident, and to keep saying that until the confidence appeared. But I took it too far. Confidence did help make me champion, but, man, I took it to a whole different level. I was a megalomaniac. I was not humble and it eventually came back on me. So I want my kids to know, keep humbleness and kindness in their hearts. It will prevail.
Fighting is all about calmness and relaxation. My appearance was all an illusion. My appearance is of a mad man, but I'm really calm and collected. Even though I'm fighting, I'm calm and relaxed as possible, despite my displays, because once you get excited, you can't fight at the highest level of your ability.
In the scheme of life, in emotion and loss, I responded the way I did. I lost. I shouldn't have responded that way. I've had some people tell me that I did a great thing - sticking up for myself - but to me, personally, with the way that I handled my emotions, I lost. But I learned. That will not happen again.
I'm the best fighter in the world. No one can beat me....My objective is to inflict as much pain as possible, to win and win spectacularly...Ever since I was 12 years old, I was groomed to be the heavyweight champion of the world. I've been prepared to handle the pressure, the dealing with the press, everything.
Every punch I threw with bad intentions to a vital area...I aimed for his ear...I wanted to bust his eardrum...Every punch had bad intentions...My record will last for immortality, It'll never be broken...I want to live forever...I refuse to lose...I would have to be carried out dead to lose...I was coming to destroy and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World, which I done.
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Sometimes you have to wait for the right deal. They all seem good, at least at first, and they may make you some quick money. But when the right deal comes, and it fits into your [overall] plan, it's just overwhelming success. Sometimes, with the long-term deals, you have to take a risk if you're going to get a reward. It's exactly like fighting. Sometimes you have to take chances to get that huge win.
Fear is your best friend or your worst enemy. It's like fire. If you can control it, it can cook for you; it can heat your house. If you can't control it, it will burn everything around you and destroy you. If you can control your fear, it makes you more alert, like a deer coming across the lawn.
I'm a Muslim, but do you think Jesus would love me? I think Jesus would have a drink with me and discuss why are you acting like that? Now, he would be cool. He would talk to me. No Christian ever did that and said in the name of Jesus even. They'd throw me in jail and write bad articles about me and then go to church on Sunday and say Jesus is a wonderful man and he's coming back to save us. But they don't understand that when he comes back, that these crazy greedy capitalistic men are gonna kill him again.
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I don't have to be that gentleman ["baddest man on the planet"] anymore. Now I have to be "this" guy. And in order to be "this" guy, I have to be smiling, I have to be gregarious, I have to be entertaining, and I have to be friendly. This is what my career needs now. I've adapted. But 20 years from now, I may need a different persona.
I don't know that person anymore, that guy in '86, '87. I don't know that guy no more. I don't have no affinity for that guy no more. I have no affinity for the guy who said, 'I am the greatest fighter God produced.' I have no affinity for the guy who said he would try to push his [opponent's] nose bone up into his brain. I just don't know that guy. I don't know who he is. I don't know where he came from. I don't have no kind of connection with him no more
This is a weird feeling in my life I have to deal with, not being a violent man anymore when my whole life's reputation was built on being extremely violent. I just don't know how to deal with that right now. I don't even go to strip clubs no more. I don't know who I am sometimes, but I am not the guy I used to be. I'm not an angel or anything. I'm still lascivious, periodically. I'm just looking for some balance in my life
Cus was my father but he was more than a father. You can have a father and what does it mean?""it doesn't really mean anything. Cus was my backbone . . . . He did everything for my best interest . . . . We'd spend all our time together, talk about things that, later on, would come back to me. Like about character, and courage. Like the hero and the coward: that the hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It's the same thing, fear, but it's what you do with it that matters.
Discipline makes hard men. Every hard man is capable of being a killer. But every killer is not capable of being a hard man. They can't endure that much. It's all about the endurance. That's why they become killers. Because they can't endure the pain. They need to kill the pain to stop it.
If you have a lawyer, sometimes you can get out of trouble. I've gotten into a lot of trouble because I didn't have a lawyer. I've also had some bad lawyers, too. But the good ones, the ones I liked, they became me. They became whatever situation I was involved in. When I felt pain, so did they. When I succeeded, so did they. They became me. They became whatever the situation was that they became involved with.
I just don't have the desire no more, I don't have the stomach to do it no more. I don't even kill insects in my house. I just don't kill anything no more. I used to kill pigeons, rip their heads off, 'You dirty rat pigeon!' I don't even have the heart to kill an animal no more. I just changed my whole life in general. That probably could have changed the way I fight.
I paid a worker at New York's zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin (his wife). When we got to the gorilla cage there was 1 big Silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas. They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant. I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback's snotbox! He declined.
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Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best friend. Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don't learn to control it, it'll destroy you and everything around you. Like a snowball on a hill, you can pick it up and throw it or do anything you want with it before it starts rolling down, but once it rolls down and gets so big, it'll crush you to death. So one must never allow fear to develop and build up without having control over it, because if you don't you won't be able to achieve your objective or save your life.
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I've been a prima-donna. I was taken care of since I was 13. That's why I am the way I am today. I was spoiled, like a brat. I had anything I wanted. That's crazy to be that way all your life. Everybody's taking care of you, but manipulating you at the same time. Very few people have a life like that. Most people have to work like slaves their whole lives. I've never had a job in my life. What I know how to do is hurt big, tough men - in the street and off
I like the hip writers: Fitzgerald, the guy who committed suicide, Hemingway, all those guys. Some of them were alcoholics and drug addicts but they had fun. They were real people. They formed the culture of American literature. Hemingway admired Tolstoy, Tolstoy admired Pushkin, and Mailer admired Hemingway. It all flows down. The greats are all connected. One day I'm gonna write a book myself. The first chapter will be about what a rough deal my momma got. She believed in you guys and your society.
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To be successful in sports or business, you really have to live the lifestyle. Success is about lifestyle. Just because I was training and working hard, that didn't make me champion or a good fighter. My lifestyle made me a good fighter. In my mind and my daily life, I was the heavy weight champ when I was 15 or 14. I lived the life of the heavyweight champion, and that's who I became. And that is so much more than just training. So, when the time presented itself, that's who I already was. I was ready. I was already there.
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One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand he was out cold, convulsing on the floor like an infantile retard.
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One minute I'm robbing a dope house. Next minute I'm the youngest heavyweight champion of the world. I'm only 20, 19, with a lot of money. Who am I? What am I? I don't even know who I am. I'm just a dumb child who's being abused and robbed by lawyers. I'm just a dumb pugnacious fool. I'm just a fool who thinks he's someone. Then you tell me I should be responsible.