More details are emerging about the long and troubled relationship between Manny Pacquiao and Eman Bacosa who made his pro debut last week. The latter was born in 2004 but did not have much contact with the man alleged to be his father during his early years.

In fact his mother, Joanna Rose Bacosa, took legal action against Pacquiao in 2006. Phil Star reported that after initially being supportive the boxer had stopped sending her money.

The newspaper wrote at the time that,

“Pacquiao admitted he had a one-night stand with Bacosa in 2004, saying he was drunk at the time. He said Bacosa met him after a month and told him that she was pregnant with his child.”

Bacosa lost the court case because she could not prove the boxer was the father. Something has clearly changed in the intervening years because her son is now representing Manny Pacquiao’s gym and fighting on his shows:

Arm punches

Bacosa’s pro debut didn’t exactly go according to plan. He fought to a draw with Jommel Cudiamat who had moved up in weight to take the fight and the man alleged to be Pacquiao’s son had a clear height advantage.

Bacosa was proudly representing Team Pacquiao. The boxer has never publicly acknowledged that the 19 year old is his son but certainly seemed to be giving him tacit approval here.

His opponent only made his pro debut a couple of months ago and lost by mixed decision. But Cudiamat came to fight and threw some vicious right hooks from the southpaw stance.

It is unlikely anyone would have noticed Bacosa making his debut if a journalist in the Philippines hadn’t made the connection:

Global scrutiny

As a result there has been a lot of scrutiny on Bacosa’s debut with millions of people viewing the online footage. It seems the judges might have been aware of the Pacquiao connection as they generously awarded him several rounds despite Cudiamat clearly being superior throughout the four round fight.

Bacosa came in slightly overweight but standing 5′10″ tall he could cause problems for opponents in the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions. At one stage Cusiamat accidentally headbutted him in the groin, not a problem his father would have had to deal with frequently.

He was down on multiple occasions in the third round and even appeared to take a knee during a heavy onslaught of punches to the body. But the referee repeatedly gave him the benefit of the doubt, ruling Bacosa to have made a series of slips.

To his credit the teenager finished the final round swinging wild punches, he clearly has the type of heart that helped Pacquiao come back from the brink so many times. But Bacosa looked a complete beginner and Cudiamat was mystified when the scores were announced.

Bacosa clearly isn’t ready to embark upon his professional career but with one of the best teams in the Philippines behind him who knows how much he could eventually achieve? But, perhaps more importantly, the 19 year old had been publicly welcomed into the Pacquiao fold for the first time in his life.