Andre Ward beats people up for a living. But just because he is a born-again Christian doesn’t mean he has to repent for his actions.

As the undisputed WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine Super Middleweight boxing champion of the world, and as a child of God, Ward knows his motives are pure every time he steps into the ring. He is simply doing the job with which the Lord blessed him.

“It’s a heart condition,” said the 28-year-old Ward, who will defend his title against light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 8—a fight that will be televised by HBO Sports. “If I truly was honest with myself and I intentionally and permanently wanted to hurt someone, then that would be a problem.

“If I did that, I don’t think God would be pleased with me at all, and I know he certainly wouldn’t bless me if I had that attitude. It may sound like an oxymoron, but I don’t have a heart to hurt anyone in the ring. I always pray for myself, my opponent and for our families’ sakes that neither one of us gets hurt during a fight. That’s only one of the reasons that God has blessed me so much in my life.”

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