"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," Muhammad Ali famously said. Nobody said it better than Muhammad Ali. Getty Images/Tim Graham World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali addresses a Nation of Islam congregation at London's New Victoria Theatre on December 2, 1974. Ali spoke on the importance of black nationalism and denounced white racism during his speech.
Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He became one of the greatest boxers of all time through his mastery of the heavyweight division. The path that led him to the top started with great talent and hard work. When he was just three years old, his father brought him to watch a boxing match live on television. The sight of two black men fighting each other caused some people in the audience to shout racist remarks. However, this only inspired Mr. Clay to put his son into training even more so that when he grows up he can fight racial injustice every step of the way.
As a child, Ali showed an interest in sports such as basketball and football but when he was nine years old his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario where he began to focus solely on boxing. He debuted in the sport when he was 12 years old and only a few months later he won his first tournament. From then on out, he never lost a bout until 1953 when he suffered his first defeat at the hands of Sonny Liston.
Ali's most famous phrase was spoken in 1964, ahead to his first world title bout against champion Sonny Liston, when Ali described his combat techniques in lyrical style. "Fly about like a butterfly." bee-like sting and knock down power.
It is believed that the 22-year-old Cassius Clay coined this phrase while talking with journalist George Plimpton during an interview for The Paris Review in May 1964. During this interview, which was later published in the book The Ghost Writer, Clay explained that he had been told by some African Americans not to worry about being hurt because they would take care of him in the boxing ring. He said that he had tried to explain that this wasn't true for everyone but didn't fully understand himself until after he made his first few professional fights.
Clay continued: "Then I started thinking about it and trying to figure it out and finally I just decided to go ahead and float like a butterfly. Don't try to hit too hard. Let them think you're dangerous."
The statement became very popular after it was quoted in many newspapers around the world. It has been attributed to many people over the years, including African American tennis player Arthur Ashe, Indian independence activist Mahatma Gandhi, and Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. You can't hit what your eyes don't see." Why we love it: Ali's most famous phrase is well-deserved. He was one of the greatest boxers of all time and known for his charisma and humility off the ring.
Ali worked as a boxer before becoming an activist. In 1964 he joined the civil rights movement and helped organize African American voters in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1967 he became the first person to be stripped of his title after being convicted of refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Four years later he was again convicted for refusing to serve in the war and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. He served three years before being released on bail while he appealed his case. When his appeal was denied in 1971, he resigned from the United States Army to focus on boxing again.
So, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Ali said this after he won his third fight back from his third loss during his exile. The quote has been attributed to many people over the years but it is believed to have originated with Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi is known for his slogan "Satyagraha", which means "truth force".
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," Muhammad Ali once said. "The hands cannot strike what the eyes cannot perceive." The term was frequently used to characterize his fighting technique, and it became shorthand for the guy who thought himself "The Greatest" before the rest of the world did. It's also an excellent description of how honeybees work: by floating around looking for flowers to bite, bees are able to find many more sources of nectar than they could by sticking to one spot and sucking up all the available juice.
Honey is made when pollen from one flower fertilizes an ovary of another flower. Pollen can only travel so far on its own, so it needs something to carry it. Honeybees use their bodies as this "something". When a honeybee finds a new source of food, she will fly back to the hive and deposit some of her precious cargo in a special area called a "ballooning chamber". There, the workers will break down the pollen with their teeth and digest it before passing it along to their babies through milk.
So, by floating around looking for flowers, bees are able to find many more sources of nectar than they could by sticking to one spot and sucking up all the available juice. And since pollen can only be transported so far on its own, it needs something to carry it.
Float about like a butterfly. "Float about like a butterfly. Like a bee, sting." This was Muhammad Ali's catchphrase. It is said that he used to repeat it when he was young and unable to find his way home after wandering away from the house.
Over time, this phrase has become more than just another saying of Muhammad Ali. It has become an inspiration to people around the world. During a time when many people were afraid to fight back against racial injustice, Muhammad Ali fought for what he believed in. He showed that with courage and conviction, one can never be defeated. Today, if you ask anyone what Muhammad Ali's motto was, they will most likely say "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee".
Although he was known as "The Greatest", Muhammad Ali wasn't only considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he was also praised for his activism against racism and discrimination during his lifetime. In addition to being awarded several medals for his contribution to society, he was also given the key to cities across the United States.
Muhammad Ali died on January 3, 2016 at the age of 74. He still remains one of the most influential people in history, even though he spent much of his life in prison.
"Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," said boxing's self-proclaimed "Greatest." And he did float. With his beautiful feet, the famous Ali bounced, shuffled, leaped, sprinted, slid, twisted, cut, and raced his way into the boxing hall of fame. Few could move as gracefully and lyrically as he did. Even fewer had such brilliant footwork or used their feet so cleverly in combat.
Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers of all time and over the course of his career he won an incredible number of fights by knockout. He was also known for his flashy footwork, which often involved dancing away from his opponents with his feet.
Ali began learning how to dance at a very young age. His father, a former dancer who performed with the Ringling Brothers Circus, taught him many different styles of dance, including jazz, tap, and waltz, and made sure he practiced what he learned. When Ali was only 6 years old he started training in karate, and by the time he turned 10 he was already winning medals in international competitions.
As he grew older, his love for boxing led him to study it further. By the time he was 18 he had read every book that had ever been written on the subject and was one of the few black athletes at the time who knew his rights under the law.