Arthur awarded WBO belt as Guzman moves up a weight

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ALEX Arthur has quickly set his sights on proving himself as the world's top super-featherweight after being awarded the WBO belt, writes Phil Barnett.

The Edinburgh fighter became interim champion with last summer's victory over Koba Gogoladze and was awaiting his shot at outright champion Joan Guzman, but has been denied the chance to win the belt inside the ring after the Dominican Republican fighter decided to move up to the lightweight division.

The 29-year-old Scot had been set to face the fearsome puncher known as 'the Little Tyson' in the capital on 3 May, but Guzman failed to secure a visa in time. A new date had been anticipated before Guzman's decision to let the title go and move on.

Promoter Frank Warren has now begun the search to find a replacement opponent for Arthur's first defence.

Arthur said: "I'm delighted with the decision by the WBO to give me full world champion status but I felt I won the title when I beat Koba Gogoladze last July. I'm confident I would have beaten Guzman but I believe that I'm among the elite super-featherweights and want to prove myself as the best out there. I'm proud to be Edinburgh's first world champion for 30 years."

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