It's generally easier to be certain an object is a star than a black hole. HDE 226868 is one of our site moderators and a blue supergiant star. The latter has a 5.6 day companion that supplied a magazine subscription to Kip Thorne:
According to the updated tenth-anniversary edition of A Brief History of Time, Hawking has conceded the bet due to subsequent observational data in favor of black holes. In his own book, Black Holes and Time Warps, Thorne reports that Hawking conceded the bet by breaking into Thorne's office while he was in Russia, finding the framed bet, and signing it. (While Hawking referred to the bet as taking place in 1975, the written bet itself (in Thorne's handwriting, with his and Hawking's signatures) bears additional witness signatures under a legend stating "Witnessed this tenth day of December 1974". This date was confirmed by Kip Thorne on the January 10, 2018 episode of Nova on PBS.)
Question: What observational data convinced Stephen Hawking that Cygnus X-1 was indeed a black hole and caused him to break into Kip Thorne's office?