I like entertaining people. I like being on stage. I like being in the life. This is what I do. This is the only thing I know how to do besides rob people and fight. Even when I was robbing people, I was entertaining them. But that's just what I love doing.
I just did what I did in my era, basically because of my admiration for the guys who came before me. That's how I've always looked at it. I never thought of boxing like, I'm going to be the greatest fighter ever and make a lot of money. Instead, I thought I was going to win because I learned from the best. I carefully studied the videotapes of all the fighters from the past, dissected their styles, and entered the ring with their spirit.
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.
People tell me I'm a comedian, but I don't approach acting from that perspective. I do know that everything in life has to do with your timing and perception. You have to be comfortable with the rhythm that you're in. You can't just jump into a fast rhythm if yours is slow. You might have to pick up the pace but in your own particular way. It has to do with personality, too.
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.
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.
Without struggle, there is no progress. There has to be struggle in your life. You have to grow in experience to control your ego. Cause, you know, an ego can be crushed, it can be killed, it can be smashed, but it comes back. It never dies. That's the thing about the ego: it never dies.
" This white woman came up to me, and I'm thinking, WOW. When I was a kid, she would have been robbed and raped and left for dead. This is a real strange scenario, and I just wanted to cry. I'm like, "Who am I? Where's my heritage?"
Everyone in boxing probably makes out well except for the fighter. He's the only one that's on Skid Row most of the time; he's the only one that everybody just leaves when he loses his mind. He sometimes goes insane, he sometimes goes on the bottle, because it's an intensive pressure sport that allows people to just lose it.
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.
I ain't never loan friends money; I give it to 'em and I don't expect to get it back. Even when he says, "I'll pay you back," I never expect it. If he gives it back, then hey, that's a feather in his cap, but I don't expect to get it back.
Me? I see an old, broke-ass black guy taking care of a bunch of kids, living life, taking them to school, and all that stuff, who's asking himself: What the hell is this? But I wouldn't give it up for the world because I love my wife. I never expected to have a life like this. No chaos... no confusion... no lawsuits... no violence... no going to jail...
It's interesting that you put me in the league with those illustrious fighters [Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson], but I've proved since my career I've surpassed them as far my popularity. I'm the biggest fighter in the history of the sport. If you don't believe it, check the cash register.
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.
I don't want my kids to be like me, I don't want my daughter to date a guy like me. You know, for a guy like me success is to take care of my children to take care of their life and make 'em cushioned. I don't want them to be around people like me. You know, success for me would be that they never have the opportunity of being in the presence of someone like me.
If I was fighting myself, I always say that I would kill Mike Tyson but then again I don't know how hard a punch Mike Tyson can take and I don't know how hard Mike Tyson's punch is. I don't know. For me looking at me, I think I can beat me.