While Phil Ivey has established himself as one of pokers greatest ever players, the nine-time WSOP champion is now hoping to be able to transfer his success into sport after co-founding a boxing and entertainment company. Under the name All In Entertainment, Ivey is one of a number of high-profile names attached to the company, including the likes of NBA stars Monta Ellis, Isiah Thomas, Ty Lawson and football broadcaster James Brown.
Ivey’s achievements on the poker table have seen him earn a celebrity status in the mainstream media, helped by his regular poker TV appearances and winnings that has earned him over $21 million in live tournament appearances and over $16.5 million in online poker games, including numerous PokerStars events. With his nine WSOP bracelets and a reputation as the most naturally talented player in the world, there’s no other poker player in recent memory that has experienced the level of success at the table as Ivey during recent years and the 38-year old will be hoping to enjoy similar run in his latest venture.
The company have wasted little time in adding some boxing royalty to their ranks, signing up undefeated welterweight Dusty Hernandez Harrison and super-middleweight king Andre Ward, adding some real star power to the venture in the shape of the two unbeaten and highly-respected fighters.
Despite being just 19-years old, Harrison has wasted little time in racking up a 20-0 record since making his professional debut in 2011. The three-time Golden Gloves champion has already convinced some that he is destined for the very top and the welterweight could be set to make a real push towards a world title fight over the next 18 months with the help of All In Entertainment.
Coming off the back of a comprehensive points victory over hard-hitting Hawaiian Michael Balasi, Harrison is looking at getting back in action during the summer in the hope of perhaps picking up some kind of title before the end of the year.
After a difficult couple of years, WBA super champion Andre Ward will be hoping to now start taking advantage of his incredible talent by earning some mega-fights and some mega-money. Despite being the undoubted king at super-middleweight, Ward’s lack of regular action over the past couple of years has seen the 30-year old slip somewhat off the radar when it comes to the pound for pound rankings despite his impressive 27-0 record.
Perhaps the most defensively talented fighters in the game today aside from Floyd Mayweather, Ward’s style has never been the most fan-friendly in the sport. But when it comes to skill and ability in the ring, there aren’t many better fighters in the world, certainly not in the super-middleweight division, and perhaps also the light-heavyweight division as well.
As well as the prospect of a rematch with Carl Froch sometime later this year should the Englishman come through his own rematch with George Groves, Ward is also targeting a possible clash with light-heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev in a bid to cement himself back in the minds of boxing fans.