Whilst Hara was unbeaten and showing some signs of being a future world champion Horikawa was a man who had been a regular top tier domestic fight but had fallen short in every major bout he had had, including a previous Japanese title fight to Akira Yaegashi and an OPBF title fight against Michael Landero, which he was comfortably winning prior to a 9th round stoppage.
Although the bout was supposed to be a mismatch it actually turned out to be a very, very competitive contest with Horikawa using his experience to really test the unbeaten man in a very close and competitive fight. It was Hara's first step up in class and it showed his limitations more than any previous fight that he had been involved in. For Horikawa it showed he belonged in domestic title fights and he would later feature in very close losses to Noknoi Sitthiprasert, in a WBC International title fight, and Yu Kimura, in a Japanese title bout.
As for Hara he would later go on to claim the OPBF Minimumweight title with a win over Donny Mabao, a title he will defend shortly against Kosei Tanaka in what looks to be a potentially brilliant contest.