5 Great Trash Talkers in Sport

Written by Andy


Welcome again sports fans sorry its been a few days since the last blog but I have been busy outside The Sports Lab this week!

Anyway today I will discuss some of sports well known and great trash talkers!

Bit of fun in this one so lets get started


Muhammad Ali (Boxing)

An obvious one yes but few better places to start!

Ali has appeared in some of my previous blogs before and we highlighted his legendary boxing skills but his trash talking was as impressive as his power and speed! Sometimes it was poetry,other times it was a little more aggressive and personal but Ali’s end game was to always get the edge over his opponent.

With trash talk its all about getting into your opponents head and if you do this successfully it can draw mistakes out of the opponent and few used this better than Ali. Some of the classic’s are as follows :

Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee…his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”, 

“After the fight I’m gonna build myself a pretty home and use him as a bearskin rug. Liston even smells like a bear. I’m gonna give him to the local zoo after I whup him.”

and some poetry we spoke of earlier!

Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat,

If Liston goes back an inch farther he’ll end up in a ringside seat.

Clay swings with his left,

Clay swings with his right,

Look at young Cassius carry the fight.

Liston keeps backing but there’s not enough room,

It’s a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom.

Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing,

And the punch raises “The Bear” clean out of the ring.

Yes the crowd did not dream, when they laid down their money,

That they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.

Those are just some of the classic examples of how Ali would get into his opponents head and one of the big reasons he became such an icon as controversy creates headlines and Ali took up many headlines!


Chael Sonnen (MMA)

Fans of MMA knew this one was coming on the blog!

Sonnen is an exceptional wrestler and has done very well in his MMA and UFC career to date but he is known as the best trash talker in all of MMA and is not far off Mr Ali!

Sonnen is very aggressive in his approach but at times is also very articulate and funny also! He does go for the facts most of the time and doesn’t just give it some random line just to be funny!

Some examples below before his fight against Middleweight Champion Brazil’s Anderson Silva :

“When I was in high school, me and my buddies would talk about new technologies in science and advances in medicine. Then, over in Brazil, Anderson and his buddies are outside playing in the mud.”

“Sure your ribs hurt, Anderson, they have the same problem your hands and your feet have, they’re attached to a cowardly charlatan named Anderson Silva.”

“I want an easy fight Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, either of the Silva’s, Big foot Silva…THEY ALL SUCK give me a Silva”.

Again those are just a few examples I’m sure if you were to YouTube Chael Sonnen Trash Talk you would not be disappointed as its absolute gold some of the stuff he comes away with.

Like Ali, Sonnen has the skills to back up his talk and isn’t one of those loud-mouth Americans who can’t back shit up no Sonnen is one of the elite fighters in MMA today. Sure he may have lost to Anderson Silva twice (the first a late tap out after he dominated the first 4.5 rounds of the 5 round fight) but Sonnen is the only man who has given the great Anderson Silva an actual challenge in the Octagon.

You could also say Britain’s Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping is quite high up in the trash talking stakes in MMA but for me nobody touches Sonnen!

Floyd Mayweather Jr (Boxing)

Now we all know this man is a class act in the ring and one of the greatest of all time no doubt but his form of trash talking is all about the hype to make some more dolla! Floyd’s approach is a little different and more meticulous in what he is trying to get out of it.

You can’t really blame Floyd as he does add an edge to the fight with his trash talk and controversy creates  cash as they say in America as half of the people watching genuinely want Floyd to do as he says and knock the opponent out and the other half want to see the opponent knock him out!

But to keep the common theme in this blog going Mayweather is yet another top fighter who can back up his talk and his unblemished record of 43-0 proves this.

So as said before this man isn’t one that uses humour and iconic lines to get his trash talking done he gets tore into his opponent in what seem a very personal manner but at the end of the day its all hype to sell the fight, that being said with the buys Floyd’s fights generate it shows he is one of the best trash talkers in the game all be it for a different reason to some other fighters who do it to get into the head of the opponent.

You just have to look at the Mayweather & Pacman situation, whether it was intended or not they have actually used each other very well and in a clever manner. People want to these these two fight and with every fight Mayweather or Pacman has been in people not only watch to see top fighters but they watch in the hope that the roads and paths each fighter takes will ultimately end up in a showdown between the two.

I’ve said on another blog I’d have ideally liked to have seen them both fight a year or two ago as both were in their absolute prime. With Pacman going into politics and also losing his last fight to Timothy Bradley the fight is in question now even more than ever but there is no doubt these two have used each other to gain more PPV sales in their own fights.

So there you have it you have clever and business like trash talkers also and Floyd is easily one of the best at that.

Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball)

Once famous for his classic line I just want to play the game, drink Pepsiwear Reebok”.

Shaquille O’Neal or ‘Shaq’ as most will know him by became the master of the trash talk and the changing of his nickname and has had a few stints as a rapper releasing four albums!

This man isn’t shy when talking about opponents as Van Gundy, Dwight Howard, the whole Sacramento Kings team will testify but it was his trash talking feud with Kobe Bryant that of course made the headlines many times over despite the fact they once were good friends and team-mates at the LA Lakers for around 8 years!

To get back to the nickname change here are the names Shaq has gone by over the years:

“The Big Aristotle,Hobo Master,Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Daddy, Superman, The Big Agave, The Big Cactus, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Galactus, Wilt Chamberneezy, The Big Baryshinikov, The Real Deal, Dr. Shaq, The Big Shamrock, “The Big Leprechaun, Shaqovic and The Big Conductor”.

Quite a list eh!

I know your thinking this guy is clearly nuts, a bit insecure or a bit of an ass-hole

Or maybe he is showing us another type of trash talking but in giving himself ridiculous nicknames it not only hypes himself it can also be done to strike fear into his opponent with some of the names given ie getting into their head but for me and this is the interesting part by giving himself these nicknames or referring to himself as the 3rd person or in Shaq’s case the 30th person…it actually takes the pressure off him in a weird kind of way!

By being so ridiculous it can play a part in making him better with whatever persona he wanted to use that day!

It also keeps him in the headlines as Americans love their villains and Shaq has been in many headlines along  with being a top player in the NBA for many years.

Mike Tyson (Boxing)

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to end this blog than add the legendary ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson to the list of 5 Great Trash Talkers.

The Mike Tyson we know and love today from TV and film appearances such as The Hangover series was a very different person back in his boxing days.

Tyson like Muhammad Ali defeated a lot of his opponents before they even stepped into the ring  with him.

There head was so gone and out of it the time they stepped into the ring it didn’t take much especially in Tyson’s case with 15 of his 25 fights ending via win by knock out in the very first round.

This guy actually deserves a blog of his own and maybe one day I will entertain that wonderful idea as I have been a huge fan for many years of Tyson.

It was when Tyson fought Lennox Lewis that we saw a very dark and scary side. Not only the violent scenes at the press conference it was the comments of Tyson towards Lewis that would have sent shivers done the spine of a lot of fighters when he said “Lennox Lewis, I’m coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children!” 

That is just scary stuff and clearly a man going through a lot of issues at the time!

Tyson already had problems with law outside of the ring to add to his intimidating persona and there was of course the bout with Evander Holyfield when Tyson bit part of Holyfield’s ear off after several attempts!

According to his former coach Terry Atlas, Tyson only went into that second match with Holyfield (he lost the first fight between the two in his previous fight) was so he could come out being known as savage and brutal and that the ear biting was actually planned.

Thankfully Iron Mike is in a much better place now and is such a character as we have seen on TV and Film and its great he is doing so well but there is no doubt his trash talking in his boxing days was one that struck pure fear into the vast majority of his opponents.

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