It's very important that people know that I really enjoy everything that has happened to me. And I tell my kids... you're not going to be the tallest, fastest, prettiest, the best track runner, but you can be the nicest human being that someone has ever met in their life. And I just want to leave that legacy that being nice is a true treasure.
As a matter of fact, there was a period of time, especially in my first career, when that's the only one who would work out with me: my dogs. As you get better and better working out, there's no one who can keep up with you running.
I'm never without my dog. They would be in every corner of the house, and my wife will not allow me to have any more than that. But I have lots of dogs. I love the dogs. I breed them. I always have a puppy coming. And I show dogs. I show German shepherds.
It's strange because you - your life goes so swiftly. You look up one day you're a teenager, the next day you're a grandfather and you want to decide, 'I sure hope my kids don't make the same mistakes.'
Getting up to Zaire - getting ready to fight Muhammad Ali - I thought this will be a matter of just a little exercise. I'll probably knock him out in three rounds. Two, three - maybe three and a half rounds. That was the most confidence I had in my whole life.
I dread handshakes. I've got some problems with my hands, and everywhere I go, people want to impress me with their grip. To make it worse, now women are coming up with that firm shake. So I'll say, 'Gimme five!' If a boy wants a handshake, I'll just give him a hug.
The sport needs a personality, not a fighter. We've got plenty of great fighters in the sport, but no personalities. No one is standing for anything. The last personality we had was Mike Tyson. He stood for something. It wasn't much, but he stood for something.
All of a sudden, one day, you're this boxer that everybody like, or you're this guy that people pass on the highway and wave at. The next day, you're this guy that everybody want to touch - be in touch with you. Then you think that this is the answer to all things.
You want to leave something; you really do. I mean, in the end, statues and all those things, that doesn't mean anything. Leave something that we're all going to benefit from. I think that's what I'd like to do.
I've been on the opposite side of decisions before when the crowd would be booing and saying that I lost. I've lived with it. Judging in boxing has been same since the beginning, and it isn't gonna change.
In 1973 I became heavyweight champion of the world with 38 victories, no defeats as a professional. You get to a point where you think you cannot lose. I felt like I had the greatest power with my fists, I was the strongest man in the world.
They call it the rope-a-dope. Well, I'm the dope. Ali just laid on the rope and I, like a dope, kept punching until I got tired. But he was probably the most smart fighter I've ever gotten into the ring with.
In raising children, life brings forth those things where you do what you should never have done and what I taught you never to do. And when my kids have done those things, I just kind of look at them and say, 'Now you know life.'
I started a youth center in Houston. The kids would come in and want to learn to box; they wanted to tear up the world, beat up the world. And I'd try to show them they didn't need anger. They didn't need all that killing instinct they'd read about. You can be a human being and pursue boxing as a sport.
I love the pigeons. I just raise them, period, and feed them. Pigeons go away, and they always come back. You get a touch of freedom, and then they are free to come back to you. I love the idea of pigeons.
I think that every boxer should understand he's on the pedestal for a short span. It's best that you use boxing and don't let boxing use you. Use boxing to sell, because people are selling you through your boxing career, so you have to learn to sell yourself, and you'll never starve.