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Muhammad Ali’s inspiring speech about life and death

Watch: ‘What am I gonna do in the next 16 years? Get ready to meet God.’

It was 1967 when Muhammad Ali refused to go fight in the Vietnam War. He’d just joined the Nation of Islam and his religious beliefs were behind his rebellion. He was later found guilty of draft evasion and was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title.

During that time, Ali could not enter the boxing ring. He made his money by making public speaking appearances. His faith was a prolific element in his life. At one of his speaking engagements, he delivered a powerful message to a child who asked him what his plans were after he retired from boxing.

“Life is real short,” Ali answered after he made snoring noises and said he was going to sleep. He slowly broke down the number of hours of sleep we get in a lifetime and came up with the number 16. He said he’d have 16 more years before he’d retire from boxing.

“What am I gonna do in the next 16 years? Get ready to meet God,” Ali replied.

After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali died Friday at the age of 74.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.