108 Greatest Boxing Quotes of All Time

Boxing Quotes

Boxing is one of the greatest sports on the planet, with a rich history dating back thousands of years. Over the course of its long and storied history, boxing has produced some of the best athletes, coaches, and commentators the world has ever seen.

Every boxing fan loves to hear the insights of a highly regarded figure in the world of “sweet science.” Hearing motivational quotes from our favorite boxers inspires us to become better versions of ourselves and to persevere through hard times. As a lifelong boxing fan and former amateur boxer, I loved listening to the greatest boxing minds from the past and present.

In this list, I’m going to share my choices for the best boxing quotes of all time. Whether it’s an inspirational or just plain funny quote about boxing, these famous boxer quotes will deepen your understanding of what it means to be a fighter.

Inspirational Boxing Quotes

Everyone knows that being a boxer is very difficult. It tests not only your physical endurance and skills, but also your mental fortitude. When training gets tough and doubt begins to creep in, these inspirational boxing quotes can motivate you to push forward.

  1. “All that is worth seeing in good boxing can best be witnessed in a contest with soft gloves. Every value is called out: quickness, force, precision, foresight, readiness, pluck, and endurance. With these, the rowdy and ‘rough’ are not satisfied.” – John Boyle O’Reilly.
  2. “In life and in a boxing ring, the defeat is not declared when you fall down. It is declared only when you refuse to get up.” – Manoj Arora
  3. “I’ve been as low as anybody can go and as high as anyone can go, and you can always overcome these problems that one may have.” – Tyson Fury
  4. “If you work good, you’re gonna get paid very well for it. Simple as that. That’s how life goes. If you work hard, you’re gonna get good results. If you talk baloney, you’re gonna be at the bottom with a bunch of people that’s at the bottom.” – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  5. “A champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognized in the ring. His ‘becoming’ happens during his daily routine.” – Joe Louis
  6. “I remember as a little boy I ate one meal a day and sometimes slept in the street. I will never forget that and it inspires me to fight hard, stay strong and remember all the people of my country trying to achieve better for themselves.” – Manny Pacquiao
  7. “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.” – Cus D’Amato
  8. “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey
  9. “I want my legacy to be that I was a man of character, I was a God-fearing man and somebody who bettered the sport in terms of the way I represented the sport. But also that fact that I was a fierce competitor and fought the best in the world and was able to come out on top, so if those things could be said about me, then I look at it as a job well done.” – Andre Ward
  10. “The world is full of people who like to play it safe, people who have tremendous potential, but they never use it. Somewhere deep inside them, they know they could do more in life, be more, and have more.” – George Foreman
  11. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
  12. “Within our dreams and aspirations, we find our opportunities.” – ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard
  13. “A champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested. When a person gets up and says ‘I can still do it,’ he’s a champion.” – Marvin Hagler
  14. “You have to speak from a place where all is possible. When you speak from a place where there’s limits, you’ve already set yourself up to fail.” – Anthony Joshua
  15. “When you have something in life that you want to accomplish great, you have to be willing to give up your happiness…I’ve lost all my sensitivity as far as being embarrassed, being shy. You just have to lose that.” – Mike Tyson
  16. “To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will.” – ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson
  17. “Anyone will succeed in whatever field of endeavor in life by acquiring the same virtues and character that boxing world champions do – dedication, perseverance, courage, extreme self-discipline and prayers.” – Manny Pacquiao
  18. “Boxing is a sport of self-control. You must understand fear so you can manipulate it. Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you; it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you’re in the dark and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you – fear is a friend of exceptional people.” Cus D’Amato
  19. “When I was a young fellow, I was knocked down plenty. I wanted to stay down, but I couldn’t. I had to collect the two dollars for winning or go hungry. I had to get up. I was one of those hungry fighters. You could have hit me on the chin with a sledgehammer for five dollars.” – Jack Dempsey
  20. “Having patience is one of the hardest things about being human. We want to do it now, and we don’t want to wait. Sometimes we miss out on our blessing when we rush things and do it on our own time.” – Deontay Wilder
  21. “Every fighter is my toughest challenge to date. After I get done with one fight, the next challenge is the toughest.” – Andre Ward
  22. “Many people fail not so much for their mistakes. They fail because they are afraid to try!” – George Foreman
  23. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
  24. “To be the best, you need to spend hours and hours running, hitting the speed bag, lifting weights and focusing on weights.” – ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard
  25. “There are a lot of things and in order to be at the top and maintain your focus, you have to have something that motivates you. For me, it was what I perceived as a lack of respect from the boxing world as well as the media, which made me want to work so hard and be great.” – Marvin Hagler
  26. “You’re hated by some, loved by others, but that’s what’s great about being different. If everybody loved you, that means you’re not doing the right thing most of the time.” – Bernard Hopkins
  27. “Just set yourself a goal and try to stick to it, because you’ll always end up better than where you started.” – Anthony Joshua
  28. “To come back from the brink of no return to get back to the top of the world, that is gonna be a statement for mental health itself.” – Tyson Fury
  29. “Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t have fun accomplishing your goals. Sometimes people don’t have the determination, the will, the steadfastness, the tenacity. They give in under the slightest struggle.” – Mike Tyson
  30. “There are three things you need to remember in boxing: work hard, work harder, and work hardest.” – Manny Pacquiao
  31. “To see a man beaten not by a better opponent but by himself is a tragedy.” – Cus D’Amato
  32. “Getting hit motivates me. It makes me punish the guy more. A fighter takes a punch, hits back with three punches.” – Roberto Duran
  33. “To become a champion, fight one more round.” – James Corbett
  34. “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them. A desire, a dream, a vision.” – Muhammad Ali
  35. “Sometimes there’s no way to get the upper hand without taking a few uppercuts.” – Curtis Tyrone Jones
  36. “You can be free. You can be black. Look at me: I’m the heavyweight champion! Can’t nobody stop me.” – Muhammad Ali
  37. “We all have boxing gloves within, trying to conquer our spirits in the ring we call our minds. Souls never get knocked out.” – Goitsemang Mvula
  38. “To be a boxer is to be within yourself, inside your thoughts and feelings.” – Brian D’Ambrosio
  39. “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
  40. “As long as you have discipline, you can be a success. Discipline is what makes you do everything you need to do.” – Anthony Joshua
  41. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.” – Muhammad Ali
  42. “That’s the most beautiful thing that I like about boxing: you can take a punch. The biggest thing about taking a punch is your ego reacts and there’s no better spiritual lesson than trying to not pay attention to your ego’s reaction.” – David O’Russell
  43. “I’m scared every time I go into the ring, but it’s how you handle it. What you have to do is plant your feet, bite down on your mouthpiece and say: ‘Let’s go!’” – Mike Tyson
  44. “That’s my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck’s back. If it’s not positive, I didn’t hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy.” – George Foreman
  45. “I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.” – Muhammad Ali
  46. “It is not the size of a man, but the size of his heart that matters.” – Evander Holyfield
  47. “What do I see when I look in the mirror? One handsome man? No. I see the same person I have seen for the last 27 years; the person I believed I could be when I was a child, the person I have inspired and dreamed of being all my life, and that’s the person I have seen. From being that big to as big as the roof – the same guy.” – Tyson Fury
  48. “If there’s magic in boxing, it’s the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you!” – Paul Haggis
  49. “A sight game is that I am hurt, but I aim to make you believe I am not even hurt, and with this confidence appearing on my face, I don’t panic. Otherwise, your opponent will know that you are hurt. That’s the whole art game in boxing.” – Evander Holyfield

Best Boxing Quotes on Training and Fighting

Everyone who wants to become a boxer understands the necessity of training. To become a boxer, you have to spend hours inside a boxing gym, honing your skills to be ready to step into the ring.

For many, training is the worst part of being a boxer. Others think it’s the most enjoyable. Regardless of how you feel about training, these famous boxer quotes lend insight into what it means to dedicate yourself to the sport of boxing, day in and day out.

  1. “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
  2. “It’s tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5 A.M. when you’ve been sleeping in silk pajamas.” – Marvin Hagler
  3. “The only way you can get experience is from the clock. Time works with some people and against some people. Fortunately, the clock has worked in my favor.” – Bernard Hopkins
  4. “If you cheat on your road work in the dark of the morning, you will be found out in the big fight under the bright lights.” – Joe Louis
  5. “I’m training and preparing because nothing is predictable in boxing. I’m preparing for those rounds, and if it happens that I get a shot, whatever advantage I have, I will be ready for 12 rounds.” – Canelo Alvarez
  6. “I have always adhered to two principles. The first one is to train hard and get in the best possible physical condition. The second is to forget all about the other fellow until you face him in the ring and the bell sounds for the fight.” – Rocky Marciano
  7. “Training’s training, boxing’s boxing. Everyone does the same kind of stuff. They spar, they train, they do whatever they do to prepare for fights.” – Tyson Fury
  8. “Boxing gyms are more than training facilities. They are sanctuaries in bad neighborhoods for troubled kids and shrines to the traditions of the sport. The gym is home. For many, it’s the safest place they know.” – Katherine Dunn
  9. “It’s less about the physical training, in the end, than it is about the mental preparation. Boxing is a chess game. You have to be skilled enough and have trained hard enough to know how many different ways you can counterattack in any situation, at any moment.” – Jimmy Smits
  10. “Boxing’s not that straightforward. You can practice and practice, but the real experience will always be different. Lots of things are like that, actually.” – Franny Billingsley
  11. “Boxing is a hurt game if you can’t be your best, can’t be one-hundred percent mentally and physically switched on to performing, to win titles, defend titles, defend yourself in the correct fashion, then I don’t think you should fight.” – Carl Froch
  12. “Boxing is not always about standing in the middle, going toe-to-toe. It’s about poise and grace under extreme pressure.” – Peter Berg
  13. “Boxing is all about how cool and controlled and clear your mind is. Violence only gets in the way of you winning a fight. It’s a sport that’s more about the strategy than anything. You lose or you win in your head.” – Edgar Ramirez
  14. “A boxing ring looks different from the inside, particularly when it’s shared with another man who is intent upon rendering you unconscious. There’s no place to hide. Once a fighter climbs the stairs, he’s roped in, unable to leave until his nights work is done.” – Thomas Hauser
  15. “Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.” – “Sugar” Ray Robinson
  16. “Sometimes emotions can win fights. Sometimes letting your feelings out in a fight can win you the fight. When it means the world to you, it’s not just a sports contest – a boxing match for money or belts.” – Tyson Fury
  17. “Take the time to train your mind.” – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  18. “To win takes a complete commitment of mind and body. When you can’t make that commitment, they don’t call you a champion anymore.” – Rocky Marciano
  19. “I love boxing and it did a lot for me. But sometimes it made me think how savage human beings could be to each other. That wasn’t the kind of boxer I wanted to be. My strategy was to be as scientific as I could when I fought. I didn’t want to be seriously hurt and I didn’t want to do that to anybody else, either.” – Muhammad Ali

Funny Boxing Quotes

Boxing has the perception of being a very serious sport. After all, it’s a competition between two competitors who are trying to knock each other out! However, anyone who’s stepped into the ring understands the benefits of being able to laugh every once in a while.

These funny boxing quotes are sure to make you crack a smile and bring a little levity to the world of the sweet science.

  1. “To me, boxing is like ballet. Except there’s no music, no choreography…and the dancers hit each other!” – Jack Handey
  2. “Boxing is the most beautiful thing, after women.” – Canelo Alvarez
  3. “Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money taken, and your name in the undertaker book!” – Joe Frazier
  4. “Sometimes there’s a fine line between bravery and utter stupidity. The day I decided to climb into a boxing ring for a professional fight was probably on the side of stupidity.” – Andrew Flintoff
  5. “If you screw things up in tennis, it’s fifteen-love. If you screw up in boxing, it’s your ass!” – Randall Cobb
  6. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you!” – Muhammad Ali
  7. “Never fight ugly people…they have nothing to lose!” – ‘Irish’ Wayne Kelly
  8. “I want your heart. I want to eat his children…praise be to Allah!” – Mike Tyson
  9. “Boxing is like jazz…the better it is, the less people appreciate it.” – George Foreman
  10. “When you’re in a relationship, you’re always surrounded by a ring of circumstances…joined together by a wedding ring, or in a boxing ring!” – Bob Seger
  11. “The three toughest fighters I’ve ever been up against were ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson, ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson, and ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson. I fought ‘Sugar’ so many times, I’m surprised I’m not diabetic!” – Jake LaMotta
  12. “Fifteen referees! I want fifteen referees to be at this fight because there ain’t no man who can keep up with the pace I’m gonna set, except me! There’s not a man alive who can whoop me. I’m too fast, I’m too smart, I’m too pretty! I should be a postage stamp; that’s the only way I’ll ever get licked!” – Muhammad Ali
  13. “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing” – Emo Philips
  14. “I was called ‘Rembrandt’ Hope in my boxing days, because I spent so much time on the canvas!” – Bob Hope
  15. “Sure, the fight was fixed. I fixed it with a right hand.” – George Foreman
  16. “I done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator. That’s right. I have wrestled with an alligator. I done tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail. That’s bad! Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick! I’m so mean I make medicine sick!” – Muhammad Ali
  17. “I was in a no-win situation…so I’m glad that I won rather than lost.” – Frank Bruno
  18. “I broke my back, my back is broken…SPINAL!” – Mike Tyson
  19. “Braddock can use the title. He has three kids. I don’t know how many I have.” – Max Baer
  20. “People say I’m crazy. Well, of course I am. I have to be. You can’t make world champions if you’re not crazy!” – Chris Eubank Sr.
  21. “Newspapermen ask dumb questions. They look up at the sun and ask if it is shining.” – Sonny Liston
  22. “I can’t sing and I can’t dance, but I can lick any S.O.B. in the house!” – Jack Dempsey
  23. “It hurt to even bump into him!” – Joe Louis
  24. “Sure, there have been injuries and even some deaths in boxing. But none of them really that serious.” – Alan Minter
  25. “He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning, regardless of what time it is.” – Lou Duva
  26. “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and I was in bed before the room was dark.” – Muhammad Ali
  27. “There’s more to boxing than hitting. There’s not getting hit, for instance.” – George Foreman
  28. “All fighters are prostitutes and all promoters are pimps!” – Larry Holmes
  29. “Boxing’s an art. It’s a science, and you don’t go out to knock people out. If they happen to get knocked out, they happen to run into one of these bricks by mistake [looks at his fists], that’s their fault!” – Roy Jones Jr.
  30. “If you ever get belted and see three fighters through a haze, go after the one in the middle. That’s what ruined me – I went after the two guys on the end!” – Max Baer
  31. “I’ve seen George Foreman shadowboxing, and the shadow won!” – Muhammad Ali
  32. “If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove. That’s all I am. I love it!” – Marvin Hagler
  33. “We’ll have to take it on the chin. It’s a real body blow.” – Barry Hearn
  34. “I quit school in the sixth grade because of pneumonia. Not because I had it, but because I couldn’t spell it!” – Rocky Graziano
  35. “I’m going to go out there and smash him to pieces! Make Italian sausage out of him, and that’s it. Spicy meatballs!” – Tyson Fury
  36. “I can sell out Madison Square Garden masturbating!” – Mike Tyson
  37. “It’s like someone jammed an electric light bulb in your face and busted it. I thought half my head was blown off! When he knocked me down I could have stayed there for three weeks.” – James J. Braddock
  38. “Everyone loves a good boxing story, especially God.” – Nick Cave
  39. “I started boxing for exercise, and on the very first day, the trainer got in the ring with me and said, ‘whoever controls the breathing in the ring controls the fight.’ I immediately passed out.” – Garry Shandling
  40. “The same hand that can write a beautiful poem can knock you out with one punch. That’s poetic justice!” – “Irish” Wayne Kelly
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Sebastian Ostrowski
Sebastian Ostrowski
Hi, I’m a martial arts nerd and practiced a variety of martial arts like MMA, Boxing, BJJ, and Taekwondo in the past 6 years. 2 years ago I got into the art of eight limbs. Even though I love Muay Thai best, I don't shy away from fighting on the ground. I'm constantly changing countries as a digital nomad, but when I get to Thailand I'm hoping to get in a real fight!