Lem Satterfield

Q&A with Mark Johnson: There’s life after jail for Mayweather


RingTV.com: What could you tell Maywather about what he is about to experience in prison?

MJ: Well, the difference between myself and Floyd is that I went to a federal penitentiary, when Floyd is going to a state facility. A federal prison, you have men who respect men. The state penitentiary, you have men who are trying to make a name for themselves.

You’ve got so many guys in there that will try to hang with Floyd because of the jealousy, and because of the money that he has. Floyd is very flamboyant, so, for him, it’s going to be a lot different than a federal prison. When I went to prison, the inmates I bumped into, a lot of them were from D.C.

I had a couple of guys who would attempt to try me. There’s always that one guy in there who has nothing else to live for but that. You might have this crazy, knuckleheaded dude who wants to be that first guy to [punch] Floyd just to get his  name in the papers. So I would try to make sure, if I’m Floyd, that they put you into maybe a separate population rather than an open general population.

[Note: Clark County officials have indicated that Mayweather will in fact be separated from the general population for his own good.]

RingTV.com: How did you assimilate yourself back into society?

MJ: Well, you know, I have two children with this young lady. She’s now my ex-wife. I can deal with my kids, who are older now. I don’t have to deal with the young lady. I’ve moved forwarwd with my life. I’ve remarried to Valeeka Johnson, who is the best thing that has happened in my life.

Valeeka gave it to me straight up from a woman’s point of view. At that point, she told me that I basically had to cut off all ties. If it’s vehicles, if it’s the house, whatever. Initially, I didn’t understand. I had to give up a lot. When I came home, I knew that I was through.

So whatever we had that was joint — like our beauty salon — I either bought her out or sold it. I had a barber shop with my dad, and she and I shared a beauty salon next door. Valeeka and I were able to buy her out. I wanted to have a clean slate.

RingTV.com: Are you saying that Mayweather has to do similarly?

MJ: Well, I’ve been around Floyd, I’ve stayed at his house, and I know the type of guy that he is. So if you know Floyd like I do, Floyd hates to lose at anything. I don’t care what it is. He’s a competitor.

I can remember one time that I beat him in ping pong, and he would not stop playing until he had won a game. At the time, we had the same manager, James Prince.

So I feel like if Floyd’s going in for those 90 days, when he comes out, everybody is going to be on his hit list. There’s no comparison between Mark Johnson and Floyd Mayweather, because Floyd Mayweather’s got millions of dollars.

I didn’t have no millions. You could say that we have this in common: We’re both great fighters. So this is from one great fighter to the next. Coming back from jail and winning another world title, I was determined to show that this one year in jail helped me more than it hurt me. I looked at it like that.

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