How Faith Transformed Former Boxing Champion Andre Ward’s Life

Photo from Andre Ward’s Instagram

How Faith Transformed Former Boxing Champion Andre Ward’s Life

By Movieguide® Contributor

Former boxing champion Andre Ward grew up surrounded by drugs and bad influences, but God used a family tragedy and boxing to bring the athlete back to his faith.

His mother was a “full-blown” addict, while his dad, who was raising Ward as a single parent, was a “functional” addict. Because of this, Ward became bitter, but thankfully, his lifelong trainer, Virgil Meyer, reminded him of the right way to live, even though he wasn’t receptive to it at the time.

“And instead of me trying to lean into my faith and let God be my outlet and communicate with Him, I shut down, I went inward,” Ward explained on an episode of the “Jesus Calling” podcast. “I didn’t speak to Him, I didn’t speak to the ones around me. And things got worse.”

One day, Ward’s father “passed abruptly.” As “someone who was both Mom and Dad for many years in my life, that was the thing that took me over the edge.”

“That was my excuse or my reason to go full steam ahead, abandon the sport that had gotten me to that point, and really just throw caution to the wind, including my faith,” he added.

“When I hit rock bottom…I had to look up,” he told the Texas Tech football team.

Thankfully, he had people speaking into his life.

“My pastor at a certain point. Just two or three voices in my life that helped me make the right decisions. And then, of course, my faith. I needed a higher power to connect me with things I wanted to do,” he said, per Boxing Junkie.

He turned inward and humbled himself before God.

“I started to understand and be honest about what I was doing,” Ward said. “Not blaming Mom, not blaming Dad, not blaming my circumstances, but just owning my stuff. When I had that conversation with God, this faith that was my father’s now started to become mine.”

He continued: “Now I had to stop hiding from my father’s death and start learning what it means to mourn, stop trying to numb the depression and the anxiety and start trying to believe and work my way toward working on those things in an organic way. And simply put, I just started to build a relationship.”

As Ward began to seek forgiveness and healing, he dove back into boxing.

“Boxing saved my life,” he declared. “It’s hard to imagine life without it, and I often ask God, ‘Man, why would you have me in a sport like that?’ There’s a lot of beauty in it, but there’s some things that aren’t so nice about it. It’s a very physical sport. It can be a violent sport at times. People want blood, and it’s just amazing to me that God will take people and put them in these different spheres and use them even in spite of where they are, and what the atmosphere is calling for.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Ward:

In a recent episode of the “Sports Spectrum Podcast,” Ward discussed what it means to give all the glory to God.

“When people see me throughout my career or they see me now and are like, ‘you know, you’re always talking about God,’” Ward said on the podcast. “Listen, when you’ve been given a second chance the way that I have–and I know I shouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing– I can’t help but give God the glory.”

Ultimately, Ward’s biggest influence in his life was his dad.

“You know, the Bible says to ‘train a child up in the way that they should go and when they are older, they won’t depart from it.’ You know that’s just the training of my dad,” he went on to say. “You know the local news stations started coming and he would give God glory, he wasn’t shying away from that. Those were seeds that were being sown.”

Quality: - Content: +3
Quality: - Content: +3