1969-02-09 Shozo Saijo w pts l5 Pedro Gomez, Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan - WBA
1969-02-09 Shozo Saijo w pts l5 Pedro Gomez, Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan - WBA. Referee: Ko Toyama. Scorecards: 74-68, 74-71, 74-69. Using his four-inch reach advantage to good effect, Saijo (125½), always alert to an opening, generally kept Gomez (123¼) at arm's length by dint of an excellent left jab and speedy footwork. Not even world rated, the challenger, who was cut over the left eye in the eighth round and complained that he had been hit low on occasion without Saijo being reprimanded, was a disappointment and proved to be sluggish, pedestrian and an easy target at times. Coming to Japan with the reputation of being a puncher, having once stopped Hiroshi Kobayashi, he also landed very few blows on Saijo.
Having won and lost to Saijo prior to the latter winning the title, Jose Luis Pimentel would be the next challenger. He had also lost against Dominado Manalang and drawn with Frankie Crawford. Rated number five by the WBA, the twin brother of Jesus Pimentel was a exciting, hard-hitting fighter who had won 12 of his 16 contests, nine of them finishing inside the distance.