Wayne (Kid Nitro) Williams, the guy boxing Flaming Floyd Weaver in the Copa Room of Atlantic City's Sands Hotel on July 12, might have thought he had taken one too many punches. Inside the ropes, Weaver was sticking, moving and scoring with his jab. Outside the ropes, two more Weavers, identically dressed and perfectly synchronized, mirrored their brother in the ring. They too were sticking, moving and scoring with their jabs.
When Flaming Floyd dropped Williams in the first round, brother Too Tough Troy yelled, "Flame on, Floyd!" Then Floyd dropped Nitro again. "Flame on, Floyd!" yelled brother Lightning Lloyd. Floyd dropped Nitro a third time. The Weaver triplets were ecstatic. Troy and Lloyd had won their fights on a card that served as an opening act for Frank Tate's USBA middleweight title fight with Troy Darrell.
But Floyd had a bit of trouble holding up his end of the act. The referee seemingly ignored the three-knockdown rule. Nitro rose up and popped Flaming in the chin. Floyd dropped but struggled back up. Williams and Weaver banged each other until the end of the round; then Nitro took advantage of the bell and exploded a right to the head. Floyd went straight down and remained down long enough for the ref to declare Williams the winner. Troy and Lloyd entered a dissent: "We was robbed." They was, too. The decision was revised to "no contest" due to the late hit.
Flaming Floyd, Lightning Lloyd and Too Tough Troy are 23-year-old triplets, numbers 9, 10 and 11 in a clan that includes older brother Mike, who held the WBA heavyweight title from 1980 to '82. "We're the Huey, Dewey and Louie of pro boxing," says Troy. Or Floyd. Or Lloyd. They look alike, they walk alike, sometimes they even talk alike—you could lose your mind when brothers are three of a kind.
"The Trips," as Mike calls them, are so amazingly identical that the only way to tell them apart in Atlantic City was by their shoes. They look as if they might have been separated at birth from Eddie Murphy. They have the same innocent smile and guileless assurance, and the Murphy laugh that sounds like something between a mallard and a clogged vacuum cleaner.
The triplets have been fighting since birth, maybe even before. "Troy tried to be first," says Floyd, "but I pulled him back in line." One minute after Floyd emerged, Troy made a second charge. "He didn't make it," says Lloyd. "I tripped him."
For a long time their mother, Juanita, couldn't tell them apart. When one misbehaved, she snapped, "I know you live here, just tell me your real name." She usually nabbed the right one. Now she has developed a system: "Troy's got a bigger head, Lloyd's got bigger eyes and Floyd, Floyd's just plain Floyd."
At Edgewood High in West Covina, Calif. they were triple threats in football and track. But big brother Mike kept them interested in boxing. They had decent, if unspectacular, records as amateurs. Last winter they signed on as sparring partners for Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who was training for his April 6 middleweight title bout with Sugar Ray Leonard. Hagler's comanager, Pat Petronelli, liked the Trips' foot and hand speed, and took them on. "Marvin couldn't tell one brother from another," says Troy. "To him, we were just Hard, Harder and Hardest."
Inevitably, the Trips finally pulled a fast one on Hagler. One day he asked for Lloyd (Harder) and got Troy (Hardest). "You guys tricked me," Hagler later said. "You snuck the big one in on me." The big one, Troy, is 5'11" and 167 pounds; Lloyd is 5'10", 160; and Floyd is 5'9", 154.
They asked Lenny Shaw to comanage them this summer. Shaw, who handles former WBA lightweight champ Ras-I Aluja Bramble, booked them into the Copa Room, perhaps the first sibling trio to play Atlantic City since the McGuire Sisters hit the comeback trail.
Lightning Lloyd opened against Eddie (Ice Man) Taylor and won on a third-round TKO. Too Tough Troy knocked out John (Cardiac Kid) Salas in the first round. But Flaming Floyd's burnout halted the celebration. The brothers consoled each other in a private, speeded-up, triplet version of English that nobody else understands. "All three of us have to win," explained Troy. "If one of us loses, we all lose." Even if the loss turns into a no contest.
The Trips want to stay with boxing until each wins a world championship. "Either we're all going to win a title belt," says Troy, "or we'll get one big belt to wrap around all three of us."
Floyd (left), Lloyd and Troy worked Atlantic City's Copa Room.