Originally written on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 11/17/14
September 20, 1973, on national television and in front of the largest US audience to view a tennis match, Billie Jean Kind and Bobby Riggs competed in the highly anticipated “Battle of the Sexes.” King defeated Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, amidst controversy due to the age difference between the two (Riggs was 55 and King was 29) and the unusually poor play of Riggs, who just a few months prior defeated top female player Margaret Court in convincing fashion. Now, 40 years later, 79-year-old former assistant golf pro old Hal Shaw, says that the whole thing was a set up brokered by Riggs and the Mafia to help pay off gambling debts. H/T: Bob’s Blitz Shaw, who said he was working late in the pro shop, claims he secretly listened in as club member Frank Ragano, Santo Trafficante Jr. and Carlos Marcello met with a fourth man he did not recognize. Trafficante and Marcello, now deceased, were reputed to be powerful mob figures in Florida and New Orleans, respectively. Ragano was an attorney who represented Trafficante. Shaw, now 79, said the conversation in late 1972 or early 1973 centered upon an arrangement to be worked out with Riggs, who owed more than $100,000 from lost wagers on sporting events. Shaw said Ragano explained that Riggs “had the first match already in the works … and the second match he knew would follow because of Billie Jean King’s popularity and everything that it would be kind of a slam dunk to get her to play him bragging about beating Margaret Court.” Shaw said Ragano mentioned an unidentified mob man in Chicago who would help engineer the fix. “Mr. Ragano was emphatic,” Shaw said. “Riggs had assured him that the fix would be in — he would beat Margaret Court and then he would go in the tank” against King, but Riggs pledged he’d “make it appear that it was on the up and up.” Given the facts it does seem a little suspicious, but you can view the Outside The Lines report below and come to your own conclusions.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Ex-NHL player viciously attacks opponent before game

Rick Barnes a possibility for Tennessee coaching job?

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.