I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.

What is interesting in this is the exchange of music that occurred between New Orleans and Cuba, I mean, they had ferries that would go from one port to another.

Getting hit motivates me. It makes me punish the guy more. A fighter takes a punch, hits back with three punches.

I don't like Communism because it hands out wealth through rationing books.

It was very interesting, and we went to Germany and we toured Germany like we were a German band in 1985.

You know, it was uncomfortable doing the same thing. I don't like a rut.

 image quote by Ruben Blades

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.

A lot of times you're just conditioned by what's around you.

I didn't do drugs, I never did do drugs.

Never. I don't have any story of drugs, you know, to speak of. Never did drugs, never was interested in drugs and then I wasn't interested in the people around the drugs.

People are a lot smarter than anyone gives them credit for being.

I think in New York we had respect and we would pretty much fill up the places where we went, but I never got the sense that we really were Number 1 here in New York among the Latin crowds.

We had something to say. Whenever we played, people didn't dance, they listened.

I decided we should book ourselves, so I started booking the band.

The grandmother, the mother, the worker, the student, the intellectual, the professional, the unemployed, everybody identified with the songs because they were descriptions of life in the city.

So that I saw music as a way of documenting realities from the urban cities of Latin America.

I was the first person to come into New York with a Latin American point of view which was also very much influenced by political happenings in Latin America.

Every band had their own distinctive sound, but it was pretty much dancing music and rhythmic music with a tremendous emphasis on copying the Cuban models.

In those days the big U.S. labels didn't have any particular interest in the Latin market.

They're making a ton of money, and no one is getting a nickel.

What I do not accept is the fact that so many people's talents were ripped off.

So I went to Miami in '74 with my family and while I was there it became obvious that we needed money and we needed to do something, because my family, we left without anything really, and we didn't have any money to begin with.

It doesn't make sense for me to be a lawyer in a place where there is no law.

So that in 1974, when I graduated as a lawyer, I figured I'm not going to be a lawyer under a military regime.

So that when I came from Panama... my family was exiled in 1973 and they went to Miami.

So that when I came to New York again, it was, I'm not too sure right now, but it was '74 or '75. I went to Miami in '74 and then I came to New York, I think, at the end of '74.

And, he'd seen me in Panama, and he talked about maybe doing something in New York so I hooked it up when I came here and I recorded in 1969 my first album with Pete Rodriguez.

Yes, I was going to law school and it was closed in '69.

So everything that ever happened, we knew about in Panama.

It's almost as if people think that in Latin America we're not hip to what's happening here.

But, when I was about thirteen, I began to sort of sing in my neighborhood.

Rock is young music, it is youth oriented. It just speaks for a generation.

And music was a very important part of our lives. The radio was on all day.

There was no television, so the radio provided you with everything.

I was a kid, and I remember my mother singing.

She was also a radio soap opera actress, but my mother sang.

Anywhere you had a commerce center, you had a lot of music.

I was born in Panama, the Republic of Panama, on July 16, 1948 in Panama City, in an area called San Felipe.

I get a kick out of watching a team defense me.

A player moves two steps in one direction and I hit it two steps the other way. It goes right by his glove and I laugh.

Hitting is an art, but not an exact science.

The life of a boxer is about fighting for world titles.

Yes, it's true I once knocked out a horse.

It was at a fiesta in my mother's home town of Guarare. Someone bet me a bottle of whiskey that I couldn't do it.

If I had the medical clearance to fight, I would want to fight the best.

The best would be Mayweather.

Nobody stands out right now. Everybody has similar styles. None of these fighters have reinvented the wheel and created a new style.

I laugh when Floyd Mayweather says that if he went back in time he would beat us all. I'll tell you this: if he was in the same era as Hagler and Hearns and Leonard and me, I don't think he would be such a big name. There is too much talk.

Right now, it's very difficult to single out one fighter, pound-for-pound, who is the best. Right now, it's very complex. Miguel Cotto, Mayweather and Zab Judah's a good fighter as well.

I was born to be champion of the world.

Everybody says it: black, white; everybody calls me a legend. Italians, Jews. Everybody.

De La Hoya doesn't know about salsa. He should keep on singing mariachis and leave the salsa to me. I'm good at salsa.

Some of the old refs have favoritism toward some of the fighters that are currently fighting. There should be a changing of the guard with the refs, the same way there are with fighters.

I really feel that if it wasn't for the accident, I'd still be fighting.

I would have handled some of these fighters. I would have made sure that the doctors would have declared me physically sound; and after that, I would have trained.

I want to thank America. You opened your heart so I could enter. Thank you everybody who lives in the United States, who saw me grow into becoming a world champion.

There is only one legend. That's me.