It seems the original plan was to face a voluntary, with Hara stepping aside though Hara has shown a willingness to travel to Puerto Rico for the fight, and it sounds like that decision has opened the door to the contest taking place in early 2018.
For Acosta, who is known in Japan for his 2017 loss to Kosei Tanaka, a return to the Land of the Rising Sun was certainly not something that seemed like a problem. He had proven popular and his style was something that seemed to connect with Japanese fans, despite being clearly in the end by the exceptioanlly skilled Tanaka. It could however be a case that Hara is sick of waiting for a shot, having last fought in a bout of real note back in September 2015, when he lost in a Minimumweight title bout to Katsunari Takayama.
Both men have suffered losses to Tanaka, with the "KO Dream Boy" taking a decision over Acosta and stopping Hara, but since both have bounced back well. Acosta scored his biggest win, and claimed the WBO title, whilst Hara has gone 5-1 (4) and stayed on the verges of a world title fight, whilst also moving up in weight.
The bout would be promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and is likely to take place on April 6th or 7th. Hara hasn't yet put pen to paper, but is said to have shown genuine interest in travelling for the fight. If he doesn't it's likely he will have to wait until the late summer, at the earliest, to get the Puerto Rican to travel to Japan.
Original report - Http://thegondol.com/2017/12/seria-aqui-la-primera-defensa-de-tito/
(Image courtesy Ohashi Boxing Gym)