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Report: Billie Jean King’s ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Win Rigged Due to Mob Gambling Debt

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Aug/27/2013
Report: Billie Jean King’s ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Win Rigged Due to Mob Gambling

A report surfaced Tuesday that Billie Jean King’s “Battle of the Sexes” win in 1973 may have been fixed. 

ESPN “Outside the Lines” report claims the whole match was rigged because King’s opponent, Bobby Riggs, owed mobsters more than $100,000 and threw the match to erase the debt.  King called the report ludicrous.

“I was on the court with Bobby and I know he was not tanking the match. I could see in his eyes and body language he wanted to win,” King said.

“It was 40 years ago and I won the match and I am 100 percent sure Bobby wanted to win as badly as I did. Those who bet against me lost money but the result is the same today as it was 40 years ago.”

Riggs, a former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ, was 55 at the time of the match, passed away in 1995.

More than 30,000 people packed the Houston Astrodome to see whether King, 29 at the time, could defeat a man.  The match was won, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Hal Shaw, an assistant golf pro at a Florida country club, claims to have overheard two infamous mobsters discussing Riggs months before the legendary match.

“They brought up the name of Bobby Riggs, and Riggs assured him that he would go in the tank, and he’ll make it look and appear that he’s trying his best but Billie Jean King was just overwhelming him,” Shaw told “Outside the Lines.”

Riggs was a life-long gambler.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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