- Directed by Michael Mann. Written by Michael Mann, Eric Roth, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson
Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali
- [reacting to potential fallout over his comments about the Vietcong] So what? So what? I ain't got to be what nobody else want me to be and I ain't afraid to be what I wanna be.
- [walking with reporters over his draft-evasion charges] I ain't draft dodging. I ain't burning no flag. I ain't running to Canada. I'm staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I've been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for four or five more, but I ain't going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I'll die right here, right now, fightin' you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won't even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won't even stand up for my right here at home!
- One thousand dollars to the man who brings me Howard Cosell's toupee, dead or alive.
- Belinda/Khalilah Ali: [talking about Don King's reputation] Don King talks black, lives white and thinks green.
- Don King: Muhammad Ali, the People's Champion, my black brother! I need you. I need your strength. I need you to find a way to get George to stay. Be Moses in reverse - do NOT let my people go. Keep them the fuck right here, in Egypt, if you pardon my Swahili.
- [Drew Bundini shows up at Cassius Clay's place and wants to talk to him]
- Drew Bundini Brown: [approaches] I'm called Bundini. Rhymes with Houdini. He was a Jew too. Some people call me Fast Black. Some call me Daddy Mac. Gave Sugar Ray Robinson my power for seven years. My voodoo. My magic. Now Shorty done sent me here to work for you.
- Cassius Clay: Who's Shorty?
- Bundini: [looks in the distance] I call him Shorty. Call him Shorty 'cause he like 'em circumcised. Original people. Like Moses. And I was a babe in a basket too. Born on a doorstep with a note across my chest that read "You do the best you can for him, world." I wanna be your inspiration. Your motivator in your corner. Can I be in your corner, young man?
- [Cassius Clay's crew enters the weigh-in hall against Sonny Liston]
- Cassius Clay: Sonny Liston, you ain't no champ! You a chump!
- Cassius Clay and Drew Bundini Brown: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. HAAHHH!!! Rumble, young man, Rumble.
- Clay: [addresses reporters] Y'all wanna lose y'all money? Then you bet it on Sonny. [points to him] He know I'm great. [looks back at reporters] He will fall in eight! [taunts] Come on, you big, ugly bear. I'll whup you right now.
- [Ali is brought before the court]
- Judge Ingraham: Are you prepared to apologize about your unpatriotic remarks about the war?
- Muhammad Ali: No.
- Ingraham: No? You say you are the people's champion.
- Ali: Yes, sir.
- Ingraham: Do you think you're acting like you're the people's champion?
- Ali: Yes, sir. I am not going to apologize to you. This is not a courtroom and I do not have to sit here and answer your questions. [walks out]
- Muhammad Ali: Man, without me, you'd just be a mouth and a microphone.
- Howard Cosell: And without me, you'd just be a mouth.
- [Ali lifts up Howard Cosell's toupee on national television.]
- Howard Cosell: [to the camera] We'll be right back.
- Muhammad Ali: You want some food for that thing?
- Cosell: How could you do something like that to a man you revere?
- Ali: Cos' it's funny.
- [Over ABC's Wide World of Sports]
- Muhammad Ali: If they came to me tomorrow and say, "We want you to fight Joe Frazier. Madison Square Garden. Millions and millionses of dollars. Here's your license back." I will tell them, "I will never fight again."
- Howard Cosell: Frankly, Muhammad, I'm surprised, because unless you- or until you fight Frazier--
- Ali: Cosell, are you losin' 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 US 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: [irritated] See, there you go agitatin'. You should've asked Smokin' Joe what have he been smokin'? That boy even dream he whupped 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. [attempts blow-by-blow commentary] Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat. If Joe goes back up 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 still rising, and the referee wears a frown 'cause he can't start countin' till Frazier comes down. Frazier's disappeared from view. The crowd is getting frantic. But our radar stations done picked him up. He's somewheres over the Atlantic. Now, who would've thought, when they came to the fight, they was gonna witness the launching of a black satellite? [normal] But don't wait for that fight. It ain't never gonna happen. The onliest thing you can do is wonder and imagine.
- Will Smith - Cassius Marcellus Clay AKA Muhammad Ali
- Jamie Foxx - Drew Bundini Brown
- Jon Voight - Howard Cosell
- Mykelti Williamson - Don King
- Nona Gaye - Belinda/Khalilah Ali