Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua being hunted by unbeaten Russian heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov nicknamed ‘The Lion

RUSSIAN heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov wants to become an obstacle between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

Makhmudov, 31, steps back into the ring on March 20 in his quest to become a heavyweight champion.

Makhmudov, left, wants to become mandatory to the winner of AJ vs Fury

Known as ‘The Lion’ he has won each of his 11 fights including technical knockouts in the first round of his last two fights.

Although his opponent for the scrap on the Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker card in Dallas is unknown, Makhmudov has lofty ambitions.

Fury and AJ’s blockbuster showdown is deep in negotiations and Makhmudov is aiming to become mandatory to take on the winner.

His promoter, Camille Estephan, told Sky Sports: “He will be featured in the co-main event in Dallas on March 20.

“We want Arslanbek to continue to climb, getting the international exposure in order to become a ‘must fight’ for the champions.

“He is avoided like the plague. We want to put him in a mandatory position.”

Estephan added that only the best in the division will stand a chance with Makhmudov in the ring.

He added: “I believe the only opposition that can compete is really the champions and top-five contenders.

Joshua is expected to fight Tyson Fury in June

Tyson Fury’s team have received a contract worth £200m

“They are not willing to fight him unfortunately as they are so close to potential multi-million dollar flights, so they don’t want to risk it.”

Fury vs Joshua is one step closer to being announced after Eddie Hearn sent a £200million contract to Frank Warren and Bob Arum.

A final agreement could be reached within two weeks, according to Hearn.

Joshua’s Essex based promoter also confirmed the fight will take place in June.

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