(ABC NEWS) The “Battle of the Sexes,” a 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and a former Grand Slam champion, was rigged by the mob, according to a new report.
The tennis match between King and the late Bobby Riggs, a former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ, was a spectacle watched by millions around the world Sept. 20, 1973. More than 30,000 people packed the Houston Astrodome to see whether King, 29 at the time, could defeat a man.
King beat Riggs, who was 55 at the time of the match, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. The win gave women’s tennis a huge boost in terms of respect and gender equality, but an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report says the whole match was fixed because Riggs owed mobsters more than $100,000 and threw the match to erase the debt.