What for you is the definition of a gentleman?
A gentleman is a person who is considerate in almost all situations and usually cloaked in dignity.
Can you name an example of a perfect English gentleman, living or deceased?
And his female counterpart?
Does the dandy still exist in modern society?
Yes, however, he or she is usually recognized as an eccentric. They want to make anyone who wants to be charismatic feel awkward, so that one backs up into conformity.
Would you consider yourself to be a dandy?
I simply am what I am.
Where do you think the best-dressed people may be found today?
As I do not base style on either cloth or expense, and do so on charisma, I would have to say Jamaica.
It took the same courage to walk on to a TV set carrying a cane as it takes to vault the ropes and then engage in a professional fight
Have you ever considered the wearing of sportswear for any activity other than sport?
If you go through archive photos you will find a picture of me going to a world movie premier in boxing boots, shorts and T-shirt and Tour de France cap (orange).
Are you happy with the way in which modern society is heading, or do you see room for improvement in any particular areas?
Do you think there has been any decline in standards in sport over the last fifty years?
It is what it is at the time. Like the seasons of the year, there are always changes, sometimes not so good and sometimes amazing. The decline is not necessarily a bad thing, because when the amazing inevitably does come around, there is so much more wow, e.g. Tyson, Bolt…
What is your opinion of the poor social behaviour displayed by some of today’s well-known sportsmen?
I should remind them that they are custodians of their father’s surnames, and that they have a responsibility to upholding what they are only caretakers of. It is incomprehensible to me that they should slap the very face of their future legacies. The phenomenon of modern-day cannibalism. Girls without virtue and men without code.
Should sportsmen conduct themselves in any particular way outside of their sporting arena, or should they have licence to behave as they wish?
I refer to the above.
It’s not easy being a dandy, at least not to start with. Once initiated, it is truly a badge worth wearing
How should a true gentleman conduct himself?
I refer to the first question.
Erroll Flynn took the role of Gentleman Jim in a biopic about the great boxer. Who would you like to play you in a film about your life?
This is not my field of excellence; I would seek the council of Guy Richie or Martin Scorsese, as they seem to understand how to portray the grit in a man.
You are officially Lord of the Manor of Brighton and spent over £1M of your own money on flats for the homeless. Do you think of yourself as a modern-day philanthropist in the 19th century style?
If I was that, then it is not something that I should second.
Does your dress code reflect the position you hold in society, or do you think anyone can dress like an English gentleman, regardless of his position?
Anyone can wear what they choose, however, it should be noted that frocks do not suit men. One should never try to be what one isn’t. If one is comfortable in a suit of clothes, then the majority will pay it no mind, but if one is not comfortable and at ease with himself, then the public will smell the stench.
You are often described as “eccentric”. Are you happy with this description?
I am not an eccentric, however, I heard that if three different people on different occasions call you a horse, you should go and buy yourself a saddle.
You retired from boxing in 1998. How have you amused yourself since then?
I have struggled hard, but with dignity.
Have you ever been interested in English country sports such as hunting, shooting or fishing?
I used to have catch men, so those three pursuits are a little out of my league.
What advice would you give to our younger readers, who would like to become proper English dandies?
If you want to be one, then you already are; all you have to do now is intellectualise and realize your balls of steel. The first time I used a cane on a TV show was terrifying. I walked out to the set, which had a studio audience, and it took the same courage as it takes to strut, vault the ropes and then engage in a professional fight. It’s not easy being a dandy, at least not to start with. Once initiated, it is truly a badge worth wearing.
What item of clothing would you advise any man never to wear?
What three items of clothing do you think should form the basis of every gentleman’s wardrobe?
Jeffery West shoes, Cad & The Dandy tweed jackets and I would like to make swagger one of the items of clothes, but it must be with a sense of dignity,
Do you obey the traditional gentlemanly dress codes such as never wearing brown shoes in the city etc?
That I would certainly obey; old school can never be out schooled.
Would you ever visit a horse-racing track, and if so, how would you dress for it?