He never shied away from proclaiming his greatness or speaking his mind so it is not surprising that Muhammad Ali has gone down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time as well as one of the most inspiring men that ever lived.

Born Cassius Clay, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, is still one of the most recognisable and influential figures in sporting history.

Throughout his 20-year career, and even after he retired, he has breathed countless, memorable quotations.

As he celebrates his 70th birthday on January 17, The International Business Times UK recalls the top ten most memorable quotes that made him an icon, in and out of the ring.

10. "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life"

9. "I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was."

8. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."

7. "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."

6. "Its lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself."

5. "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."

4. "Service to others is the rent that you pay for your room here on earth"

3."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."

2."It will be a killer and a chiller and a thriller when I get the gorilla in Manila."

1."Float like a butterfly sting like a bee"