And you’re lookin’ up at me, and said, Ali, don’t do it!
I’m choppin’ trees. I’ve done somethin’ special.
Now, don’t pay no attention to what they say about me.
I told you all, that I was the greatest of all time!
But, my main fight is for freedom and equality.
You really can’t plan a fight, when you’re meetin’ a man you never met before, right?
I’m going to dance and be pretty. I’m just gon’ win on points.
Maybe, sometimes, the wheel can outdo the skill.
You are fightin’ the greatest fighter of all times! This is the Ali Shuffle!
Muhammad Ali’s Top 10 Rules For Success
Evan: He’s an American former professional boxer.
He’s widely considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport.
He’s one of the most recognized sports figures of the past hundred years.
He’s Muhammad Ali, and here are his Top Ten Rules for Success.
Muhammad Ali’s Rules
- Think Differently
- Have Confidence
- Defy The Rules
- Stick To Your Game Plan
- Have A Bigger Vision
- Be Prepared To Handle Anything
- Show Good Sportsmanship
- Be Determined
- Outsmart Your Competition
- Be Charismatic
Rule #1. Think Differently
My thinkin’ is so superior, and my knowledge is so positive, and my logic is so wise, until it clashes with the mentality, which is down here, and I’m over there. So, me bein’ so high, I can see more, and see farther than you. And you’re lookin’ up at me, and said, Ali, don’t do it!
Ali, please stop makin’ it hurt! And you’re on the job, makin’ 60, 70 pounds a week, on whoever this guy is. Never been out of the country. Not known in his own neighborhood. Ali, don’t do it! But, I’m at such a high level, until I don’t think like you. I’m not like you. I’m not, so you, and me, and another person.
But, you know why they say that? It makes for the best possible reasons.
They fear and they are wary. It looks dangerous to them. And it’s not really that dangerous to me.
Announcer: A little more than halfway through. He’s being aggressive! Down! He was knocked down, clearly with a straight right!
Rule #2. Have Confidence
No problem! This will be the biggest upset since Sonny Liston. And I think it is befittin’, that I go out of boxing, just like I came in, defeatin’ a big, bad monster that nobody could destroy! A hard punch! I’m the underdog! If he hits me, I’m in trouble, like the Sonnny Liston fight! But, I came back, and I shook the world, and I got Liston. Now, it’s ten years since Sonny Liston.
I’m meetin’ another big, bad, strong monster, knockout artist, that beats everybody! Sonny Liston knocked out Patterson twice! And I was supposed to fall! But, he didn’t knock me out. Because he could hit hard, but he couldn’t find nothin’ to hit. George Foreman knocked out Ken Norton, knocked out Joe Frazier. True, I didn’t knock ’em out. But, I’m so fast. I’m so hard to hit.
I’m so scientific. I’m a totally different man, from Frazier and Norton. Listen, David. When I meet this man, if you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait ’til I whip Foreman’s behind! I’m tellin’ ya, David. I’m down to 215 pounds, right now.
I said it, when 215, I’m fightin’ weight already! I usually train six weeks for a fight! I’ve trained four months for a fight! I’m choppin’ trees! I’ve done somethin’ special. I’ve wrestled with a alligator.
David: I believe you totally! I believe you completely!
I have tussled with a whale! I done handcuffed lightnin’. Throw thunder in jail! Now, you know I’m bad! Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick! I’m so mean, I make medicine sick! The man’s in trouble! Listen! George Foreman, people are afraid of George Foreman! They talk about how hard he hits! The world has been deceived, you listen to me now! I’ve never told you wrong!
The man don’t hit hard! He knocked Joe Frazier down six times! He got up six times! Joe King Roman, his Tokyo, Japan fight, the Puerto Rican champion! Knocked him down three times! He jumped up three times! He knocked Ken Norton down four times! He jumped up four times! When have you ever saw the man say, seven, eight, nine, ten, count his man out?
When I hit Sonny Liston the second fight, he stayed out for the count of ten! Zora Folley stayed out for the count of ten! Cleveland Williams stayed out for the count of ten! What few I have knocked out, stayed down! Sugar Ray Robinson, knocked him out for the count of 30! Joe Louis, Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles!
They knock ’em out cold! So, this man has never knocked nobody out cold! He’s a bully! He’s slow! He has no skill, no footwork, he’s awkward! And I have even given him a name. I named Floyd Patterson The Rabbit. I named Sunny Liston The Bear. And he shall be known as, officially, as The Mummy! The Mummy!
David: Why The Mummy?
Because he fights, when he fightin’, if you ever watch him in the ring, he drags, like that, after his opponent. And how is a mummy going to catch me? When you’re fightin’ a mummy, you just keep a step ahead of the mummy! See? Yeah, just move on the mummy! No, mummy, I’m over here! No, mummy, I’m over here! Yeah, no, you’re movin’ too fast! The mummy don’t move that fast!
Rule #3. Defy The Rules
I don’t pay no attention to what they say about me. All I do, is just do what I have to do, and get paid, and that’s it. But, I don’t really pay no attention to the rules of boxing. I don’t pay no attention. I defy all the rules. I’ve added pages to the book of boxing. I have this game to such a thing now, until boxing promoters can no longer afford my shows. I have governments, like Iran, ready to put up ten million, for me to fight Joe Frazier.
I have governments, like Cairo, Egypt, wantin’ to put up six million with people like Ron Lyle. I have countries, all like, all back throughout Zaire, talkin’ to Mobuto. He wants ’em back again. They’ll put up five more million for a turn with Foreman.
When we talk about ten million, and six million, and four million, this is unbelievable! And they don’t expect to get the money back. They’re promotin’ their countries and ideals. So, I’ve like sales so, in this sport of boxing, until Madison Square Garden is too small.
Yankee Stadium is too small. The Houston Astrodome. The biggest promoters, and the wealthiest Americans, and Englishmen, you can get for promotions, cannot just promote me no more! You understand? So, I’ve not only added pages to boxing, but added new sections to the boxing book!
Announcer: We’re now well in the challenge… And there, Folley’s down! Five, six, seven, eight, nine! Folley is up at nine! Talk about Folley, right? He can’t be in there, fighting himself. There’s no question about that. Folley’s down! I don’t know if he’s going to make this one! Six, seven, eight, nine! Nope, he can’t really try to get up! And Muhammad Ali has been named the heavyweight champion!
Rule #4. Stick To Your Game Plan
And everybody stop talkin’ now, attention! I told you! All of my critics! I told you all, that I was the greatest of all time, when I beat Sonny Liston! I told you today, I’m still the greatest of all time! Never again, will defeat me! Never again, say that I’m going to be defeated! Never again, better make me the underdog, until I’m about 50 years old! Then, you might get me! But, I didn’t dance!
I didn’t dance for a reason! I wanted to make him lose all his power! I kept tellin’ him, he had no punch! He couldn’t hit! He swingin’ like a sissy! He’s missin’! Let me see ya box! I hadn’t started dancin’ yet! You can’t say my legs are gone! You can’t say I was tired, because what happened?
I didn’t dance from the second right on! I stayed on the ropes! When I stay on the ropes, you think I’m doin’ bad! But, I want all boxers to put this in the page of boxing! Stayin’ on ropes is a beautiful thing, with a heavyweight, when you make him shoot his best shots, and you know he’s not hittin’ ya! I would’ve gave George Foreman two rounds, of steady punchin’, because after that, he was mine!
Announcer: Ellis is reeling! He looks defenseless on the ropes! The referee may be deciding whether he’s going to stop the fight! He is stopping the fight!
Rule #5. Have A Bigger Vision
I really care nothin’ about boxing. Boxing is a stepping stone, just to introduce me to the audience. Like, if I was still in Louisville, Kentucky, and never was a boxer, I might get killed next week, in some type of little freedom struggle, and you’d never read the news. But now, if I even say the wrong thing, it makes news. So like, boxing is just to introduce me to the struggle.
Like, when I speak, I draw people, in the States, to draw my people, to teach ’em various things, which’ll give ’em dignity, pride, and self-help, and go for self, or help the ghetto, and help the dope, prostitution problem. The juveniles. And I use my image to help, or do all I can, to stop a lot of trouble among our own people, fightin’ and killin’ each other.
So, boxing is just going to be another year. Though my main fight is for freedom and equality. And this is what I plan to do in boxing. It’s good for livelihood. But mainly, money don’t really mean nothin’, ’cause I proved that when I gave up the title, not knowin’ if I’m comin’ back, or not, for four years. And they let me back on my terms. I didn’t deny nothin’ I believed.
I’m still the same everything. So if, even today, if my title hadn’t been given back to me, if I had gotten such in poverty, where I had to go find a job, I would have did that. But, I made a good livin’ speakin’ in colleges, ’cause the war, I got unpopular. And so many black militants, who were tryin’ to do all they could, and I was naturally right in the middle of all of it, and represented, and that kept me alive!
But, if I couldn’t fight, I would still not be fightin’. So, number one, comes freedom first, and my people, equality. And this is what I plan to do, after I through fightin’, workin’ with nothin’ but the people, the little people in alleys, the wine-heads, the downtrodden people, goin’ out among ’em, and helpin’ ’em with my image.
Announcer: Led with a left, and another left. Ali is doing damage now, and Blin is taking a beating! Oh, that right hand! It’s over, hand’s right, I think he nailed him! Blin against the ropes, hanging on, and on the canvas! He is down, this could be it!
Rule #6. Be Prepared To Handle Anything
You know, I’m sure Henry’ll tell you any fighter that knows what’s happenin’, you really can’t plan a fight, when you’re meetin’ a man you’ve never met before, right? You just have to get your tools ready. Here’s a car, it stops on the highway. They call the Triple-A, or whatever, and said, my car is broke down. What it is, the lady, she don’t know what’s wrong.
But, the man comes with all the tools, and he come equipped to handle whatever the problem is. A astronaut goes into space. And he pretends that somethin’ happens to the ship, before he take off. He gets out and he works on it. He’s not lookin’ for somethin’ to happen, but it might happen.
So, I just had everything ready. Now, after the first round, and bein’ here, able to talk professional, a man so great, had so many knockouts, never been defeated, never been even scratched. I didn’t know, really, how good he was. So, I had to come in, actually a little nervous, and with everything ready.
After one round of dancin’, I’d found out that this would tire me out. So, I would have resort to ropes. I figured that out after the first round. So, I said, I’m going to go to these ropes. And I’mma let this man through everything he can, let him tire himself out. He might look like he’s winnin’.
And if he don’t hurt me, I’mma stay here. But, if he should be great as they say he is, if he hits as hard as they say he hit, when he hits you, it breaks your arm. He knocked out Joe Frazier, I couldn’t do it, knocked out Ken Norton. He was a big, bad jabber for the fight, you remember.
And now, you remember that, don’t ya? How bad he was? They don’t say that now, but you remember he was a real bad catch of the day, right? Don’t forget that. Now, after I found out he didn’t have it, I stayed there. But, if he had had what I thought he had had, or what they say that he had, I’da kept runnin’, hopin’ I wouldn’t get tired.
Announcer: Jokin’ around from Muhammad Ali. He is trying to drop Wepner. There’s a good combination! Wepner’s ready to go! He’s ready to go! Ali goes on! Wepner is staggering! He’s out of his face right now! And the combination! Ali has this man in trouble! Wepner, attempting to hang on! He’s trying to hang on! He’s off on his feet! A right hand off a left hook! Four, it’s up to five, six, seven, eight! The referee stops the fight!
Rule #7. Show Good Sportsmanship
And it’s really silly, when you think about fightin’. I look at other fighters fight, and I say, I must be a fool. Here are two men, like two roosters, you all know them cockfights. They take two roosters, and they put ’em out, and they put knives on ’em, and the roosters are fightin’ each other, and they’re not even mad, don’t know each other. And just to please somebody!
And here are two men in the ring, fightin’ each other, and they’re hittin’ each other, and they bleed, and they’re fightin’! What they mad about? They’re not mad about nothin’! Just a bunch of agitatin’, bloodthirsty people, sayin’ you can whoop him, he can whoop him, my man can whoop your man.
Alright, you all get in there and fight! Humans should have more sense than that. And you’re sittin’ out there, dressed up, drinkin’ your beer, and… And they just fightin’, and just… And this is serious! The nose’ll bleed, and the eyes cut, the teeth is out.
And the brain, they might have a concussion. Just to please you human beings! It’s real savage. And I said, I’m not gon’ be that kind of fighter. I’m going to dance, and be pretty. I’m just gon’ win on points. And if I hurt my man, I’m going to let him go.
I’m not going to kill him, just because somebody’s watchin’. I did it to Floyd Patterson. I did it to George Chuvalo. I did it to Karl Mildenberger. I did it to Henry Cooper, when he started bleedin’. I pulled off of him, deliberately, blood just pumpin’ and gushin’! And he’s got a family.
He’s got children. And I just can’t, James Ellis. I can’t see myself with a man on the ropes, and just to prove how bad I am, and I see I got him! His eye’s in his head, he’s helpless, and I’m just deliberately hittin’ him! I don’t do that.
Announcer: 1:30 left in the fight! That left! What a, it came from nowhere! Ali came through with a left! The crowd’s screaming! The first knockdown of the fight! He took the man to eight! And now, Ali is behaving like the old Ali! One more knockdown in this round, the fight is automatically over! Bonavena is running! If he goes down again, it’s over! Ali is the knockout winner! At two minutes and three seconds! By my unofficial clock, of the final round, it’s again with the left! I’m going up to ring center!
Rule #8. Be Determined
Whether it’s a world champion boxer, a basketball player, a track star, a horse, even animals, I find out that this Mark Spitz, for an example, he’s a world champion. But, what made him the world champion, was that he seemed to, at the right time, when the pressure’s down, at the last few yards, he can get that lead, or he’s got enough left to make it. I fought Ken Norton. My last fight, the fight was even, up until the last round. But, I had somethin’ that he didn’t have, although I’m much older. And that was the last minute kick.
Interviewer: What’s that last minute kick? Is that something – Just the stamina, the strength.
Interviewer: It’s more than training.
The mental capacity to realize what’s involved and how important it is, and make it about to do somethin’ that’s really too tired to do. Your mind makes you do it. Mark Spitz, this Olympic track star I was mentionin’, he wasn’t that much greater than all the people in the world.
But, sometimes, he won by just that much. And the champion is just one who can come out at the last minute and close the show. As they say, the star closes the show. A 14, 15 round fight, and it’s even, and usually, this champion, you can depend on him to come through at the last two seconds, and find some initiative from somewhere.
Interviewer: Is it discipline?
Not only that, it’s mental and physical. His body’s in physical shape to do it. Plus, mentally too. He’s got his self in condition, where both fellas may be, sometimes, the wheel can outdo the skill. And sometimes, the fella’s will is stronger than the man who’s actually better physically. And the determination weakens the other man, just to see him so determined.
Announcer: Ali’s moving in on London! A huge line of punches by Muhammad Ali! London goes down! The referee sends Ali to a neutral corner!
Rule #9. Outsmart Your Competition
Your pre-fight build ups and when you go to the weigh-in, and you have, they appear, mock-up battles with the other opponent. Are they really? How much is that is towards the – Well, I’m not really wantin’ to fight them, because I wouldn’t be paid. But, I really do be angry! I have to psych myself up. I put myself on spots. I say…
Man: It’s just for press, for the build up for the fight?
Well, not really, because even in the fight is when that happens. And it’s really sold out by them. But, it actually puts fear into your opponent, like George Foreman. Just before the fight, I’m lookin’ at him when the man’s givin’ us instructions. I said, sucka, you are in trouble tonight! You are fightin’ the greatest fighter for all times! You heard I was the greatest, like you just said you heard this.
Now, you see it! I said, you said I was the greatest! But, you’re going to see, I’m fast, sucka! I’m going to burn you up! You’re fightin’ your idol! When you were a little kid, you heard about me! You know, and he was, he wasn’t even fightin’. He didn’t have his first fight until 1969. I’d been in exile two years after all I’d done! He just started fightin’! So, and when I was fightin’ people like you in the 60s, he was just a little kid in junior high school! I said, you’re meetin’ your master, your idol.
He looked at me! And then, I went back, first round. I laid in the corners, right? I said, come on, show me somethin’! I talked through the whole fight. I don’t know if you all knew it. I talked through the whole fight. I said, come on, sucka! I said, show me somethin’! They told me you could hit hard! You’re just a sissy! Come on, sucka! Show me somethin’! Come on, you can do better than that, George! You want to carton me around? You waitin’ to carton me? And he just… And then, once in a while, I just go…
You see, the quickest way to a point, is a straight line. To hit me, he had to do that. And while he’s doing’ that, I said… I’m taggin’ him with jabs, right? Pop, pop! You’re a fighter, you know. When you ever meet a man, comin’ at ya like that, don’t worry about it. Don’t duck like it’s so powerful. Just pop him, pop! See, see, he’s goin’… I’da hit him, before he got there. He’s just takin’ one hit!
Dickie: What else did you say to him, Ali? What else did you say to him?
Oh, I grabbed his head sometimes, and I said, look at you, look at you! Round seven and you’re tired! You have eight more rounds to go! Come on, keep punchin’! I want ya to get tired! I said, uh oh. I said, this is the wrong place to get tired! This is the wrong place to get tired! And he just throwin’ ’em! I said, then, he got a couple bruises, his nose, his face is kind of swollen. I said, look at ya!
You’re the world heavyweight champion! You’re the world, wop, I was hittin’ him, wop! You’re the world heavyweight champion! And look at me, you can’t, pop, I hit ya! Just, watch, here come another one, pop! I said, looka there, looka there! He threw one at me. I said, come on, come on, get me! I’m going back to the rope now. I laid back. I said, okay, take your best shot! Take your best shot! He’s breathin’! I said, aw, aw, you finished boy! You are in trouble! I said, you don’t have, but two chances, slim and none! You in trouble! I talked to him through the whole fight.
Rule #10. Be Charismatic
I was told that it’s a big honor to be invited to speak at a place like Harvard. I’m trying to be serious, but you want to make me laugh anyway! I understand that out of people, such as you all, come presidents, and governors, and mayors, and great doctors, and physicians, and scientists, and everything. So, I say, well to get somethin’ together, to talk to these people, it’s got to be pretty heavy.
If you had told I’d be offered a professorship to teach philosophy, and poetry at Oxford, and speakin’ at Harvard. Man, I never would’ve believed it. So, I’m really humble, and I’m thankful, to be here at such a high seat of learnin’. And now, I’m just a boxer. But, most boxers can’t even talk. You couldn’t invite Joe Frazier or George Foreman! This is the Ali Shuffle! This here…
Reporter: In a long and glorious history of Harvard University, no speaker ever receives such a tumultuous standing ovation!
Announcer: Very even fight. Ali, a sneaky right hand! Another sneaky right hand! This time… Three, four, five, six, seven, Foreman, just stumbling to his knees, eight! That’s it! The fight is done! Muhammad Ali, tonight, instant knockdown! George Foreman…
Evan: Thank you so much for watching. I made this video, because Lex Vendenherich asked me to. So, if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know which of Muhammad Ali’s Top Ten Rules meant the most to you. Leave it in the comments and I’ll join the discussion. Thank you so much for watching. Continue to believe and I’ll see you soon.
It’s Okay To Be Nervous
Did you ever get frightened before a fight? You ever get nervous before a fight?
I’m nervous, but not frightened. I’m nervous, because I have a great insight on, I just don’t see the audience, every camera. I see millions of people. Like, the Frazier fight was watched by ten hundred million people, which is five times the population of everybody in the United States.
Just to picture a arena with one million people. I imagine you couldn’t see ’em all. And just think about a hundred million, and ten hundred million. And all those people, and everything, and that makes me nervous. Just the idea of me, just bein’ a humble fella from Kentucky. Got lucky in sports. And now, here’s the house, the famous Pipeton.
A place like Thailand, to the government house, and Arabian, the government officials took time off to watch the fight. And just for two men boxing, attracting so many people of all races, and nationalities, and Hawaii, you understand, they stopped, closing all of the factories, and the people, they set televisions on every other street corner.
People came out, watchin’ the fight on the streets. And every bar in America, every house, even traffic was still during that fight. And Madison Square Garden, ten thousand people couldn’t get in, and just over one man. And just imagine all them people watching you. That makes me nervous, until I get started.
Michael: And then, no nerves at all?
How about this villain, though? You’re getting to be the villain and Liston is getting be – Yeah, at first, Liston was the villain and didn’t know about it. Like Liston, Liston was a thug, Liston was a gangster, Liston was this, Liston was that, everybody wants to see Liston beat! And now, all of a sudden, Liston is the savior!
You know, I get – Actually, I like it! That makes me rumble! Don’t we rumble?
Group: Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee! Rumble, young man, rumble!
That’s what we going to do! We’re going to rumble! Well, I have a poem. We got one minute? The poem goes like this. People said, what’s going to happen, when you meet Joe Frazier again? Here’s how the fight’s going to sound on the radio, for those of you who can’t afford to buy the expensive theater seats. And the fight goes like this.
Ding, Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat! If Frazier goes back on his father, he’ll wind up in a ringside seat! Ali swings with a left! Ali swings with with a right! Look at the kid carry the fight! Frazier keeps backin’, but there’s not enough room! It’s a matter of time! There, Ali lowers the boom!
Now, Ali lands with a right! What a beautiful swing! And the punch-less Frazier, clean out of the ring! Frazier. Frazier’s still risin’. But, the referee wears a frown. For, he can’t start counting ’til Frazier comes down. Now, Frazier disappears from view! The crowd is gettin’ frantic! But, our radar stations have picked him up! He’s somewhere over the Atlantic! Who would have thought, when they came to the fight, that they would’ve witnessed the launchin’ of a colored satellite!