American boxer Muhammad Ali was out of shape when he lost a 15-round decision to Leon Spinks on February 15, 1978. Ali trained harder than he ever had before and won the rematch on September 15, 1978, regaining the world title.
Ali was quoted in September 1978 about his intense training:
“I hated every minute of it. But I said to myself, ‘Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
The quotation is often given as “Don’t quit! Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.” The quotation has been printed on many posters that have been posted at many gyms for inspiration.
Wikipedia: Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. A controversial and even polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded not only for the skills he displayed in the ring but for the values he exemplified outside of it: religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principle over expedience. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
In February 1978, Ali faced Leon Spinks at the Superdome in New Orleans. At the time, Spinks had only seven professional fights to his credit, and had recently fought a draw with journeyman Scott LeDoux. Ali sparred less than two dozen rounds in preparation for the fight, and was seriously out of shape by the opening bell. He lost the title by unanimous decision. A rematch followed shortly thereafter in New Orleans, which broke attendance records. Ali won a unanimous decision in an uninspiring fight, making him the first heavyweight champion to win the belt three times.
September 11, 1978
The Old Lion Eyes Leon
Getting into shape has been torture for the 36-year-old Ali, but he vows he’s tough and ready to pounce upon the confident young champion
“All my life I knew the day would’ come when I would have to kill myself,” Ali says. “I always dreaded it. And now it’s here. Never have I suffered like I’m forcing myself to suffer now. I’ve worked this hard for a fight before, but never, never for this long. To win, all I need to do is suffer. I don’t want to lose and then spend the rest of my life looking back and saying, ‘Damn, I should have trained harder.’ “
For his part, Ali hates to run, but he drove himself unrelentingly before leaving his camp for New Orleans. He would run on the rutted, rural back roads and in the hills, plodding in pain, gasping for air. mile after mile, pushing himself another 100 yards, another quarter mile. He was followed in a battered old car by Gene Kilroy, his business manager, and Bundini Brown, his faithful second and constant companion. “I want to stop, but I can’t,” he tried to explain one morning. “My chest burns, my throat is dry, I feel like I’m going to faint. My body begs me to stop. But I make myself run another mile, two more miles up those damn hills. Pain, all the time I’m in pain. I hurt all over. I hate it but I’m taking it. I’m making myself suffer. I have to suffer. I know this is my last fight and it’s the last time I’ll ever have to do it. Just a few more weeks of pain and suffering to live good all the rest of my life, to always be champion.”
Volume 92, Issues 10-18
He also did more than 8,000 sit-ups, by the diligent count of one of his hangers-on. “I hated every minute of it,” admitted Ali. “But I said to myself, ‘Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”
1 October 1978, The Sunday Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), “Ali Born Again,” pg 15, cols. 4-5:
“I ran until my lungs burned and my tongue was swollen,” he said. He also did more than 8,000 sit-ups, by the diligent count of one of his hangers-on. “I hated every minute of it,” admitted Ali. “But I said to myself, ‘Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
07-30-2008, 01:40 PM
Famous Boxing “QUOTES”
here are some of my favorites by the great Muhammad Ali:
“Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.”
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘’Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’’
Chicken Soup for the Soul:
Runners: 101 Inspirational Stories of Energy, Endurance, and Endorphins
By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark
Cos Cob, CT: Chicken Soup for the Soul Pub.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” ~Muhammad Ali.
November 12, 2013
Todd Snyder Goes to the Gym
That ubiquitous poster claiming that “pain is weakness leaving the body” has been replaced with a famous Muhammad Ali quip – “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” – painted on the wall.
[Todd Snyder City Gym, 242 Elizabeth Street, New York]
– Andrew Burmon
New York City • Exercise/Running/Health Clubs • Monday, November 25, 2013 • Permalink