American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Ali" (2001)

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Muhammad Ali's Historic and Monumental Moment with Howard Cosell

 

Ali: Man, if they came to me tomorrow and they said, "We want you to fight Joe Frazier, Madison Square Garden, millions and millions's of dollars. Here's your license back." I will will tell them I will never fight again.

Cosell: Frankly, Muhammad, I'm surprised because unless you or until you fight Frazier --

Ali: Cosell --

Cosell: There are people who --

Ali: Are you losing your hearing along with your hair? Don't put no question to it man. I done told you I'm through fightin'. I got a much bigger contender, a much heavier opponent. I'm fightin' the entire U.S. Government.

Cosell: Do you think you're going to jail?

Ali: I don't know. I don't know.

Cosell: Joe Frazier told me on this show that he could knock you out.

Ali: See, there you go agitatin'. You should've asked Smokin' Joe" what have he been smokin'? That boy even dream he whup me, he better wake up and apologize. But if I ever was to get in the ring with Joe, here's what you might see:

 

Ali comes out to meet Frazier

But Frazier starts to retreat,

If Joe goes back an inch farther

He'll wind up in a ringside seat.

 

Ali swings with his left.

Ali swings with his right.

Just look at the kid carry the fight.

Frazier keeps backin'

But there's not enough room,

It's only a matter of time

Before Ali lowers the boom.

 

Ali swings with his right.

What a beautiful swing.

But the punch lifts Frazier

Clean out of the ring.

Frazier's still risin'

And the referee wears a frown,

'Cause he can't start countin'

Til Frazier comes down.

 

Frazier's disappeared from view.

The crowd is getting frantic.

But our radar station's done picked him up.

He's somewhere's over the Atlantic.

Now who woulda thought

When they came to the fight,

They was gonna witness the launchin'

Of a black satellite.

 

But don't wait for that fight.

It ain't never gonna happen.

Onlyest thing you could do

Is wonder and imagine.

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Copyright 2001-2011. 
American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.