James DeGale insists there is no chance of him making up with bitter rival George Groves once he has knocked him out in May's super-middleweight showdown in London.
DeGale is putting his British title on the line to fight Commonwealth champion Groves on the undercard of Nathan Cleverly's world title clash with Jurgen Brahmer at the O2 on May 21.
The pair have shared a long-running rivalry that stretches back to their amateur days at the Dale Youth Boxing Club in west London when Groves out-pointed DeGale in a 2006 bout which still irks DeGale to this day.
DeGale went on to outshine the 23-year-old after the fight, winning gold at the Beijing Olympics and taking the British title off Paul Smith as a professional, before sounding out Groves for a grudge match which was finally set up earlier this month.
Promotion and showmanship usually come hand in hand with boxing, but DeGale insists the animosity between the two is real - and anyone who saw the explosive press conference that launched the fight would find it hard to disagree.
Old friends Audley Harrison and David Haye seemingly kissed and made up despite the verbal jousting that preceded their one-sided bout, but DeGale insists his rivalry with Groves is so strong that it is on a par with the hostile relationship between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank that accompanied their classic fights in the 1990s.
For that reason, DeGale will not be offering the hand of friendship to Groves if he delivers on his promise to knock him out in May's fight.
"I can't see me and ugly kid making up. After I knock him out I might shake his hand but after that I don't even want to hear that boy's name again," DeGale told Press Association Sport.
"This ain't acting. We genuinely don't like each other. The rivalry goes back years. He has lived half his life in my shadow.
"It's not messing around. In domestic fights people usually build it up as a grudge match but this is genuine. The background from when he beat me in the ABAs to when we were both trying to win a domestic title first as professionals... It's Benn v Eubank number two."
Groves, the much quieter of the duo, did not quite match the level of DeGale's insults during last month's press conference, and vowed to use his rival's barbs as to motivate him for the fight.
DeGale sees no reason why he should stop the war of words between the two though and insists it will not harm his chances of success.
"It won't affect my performance against him," the 25-year-old added.
"This is fun to me. All the stuff at the press conference, me bantering him and winding him up is all fun.
"I'll keep calling him ugly kid because that's what he is to me. He is ugly and he is a kid. It's a fact. It's reality.
"At the end of the day it will be just me and him in the ring."
Both fighters will enter the ring undefeated, with DeGale having recorded 10 victories since turning professional - two fewer than his younger rival.
DeGale is a big favourite to beat Groves given his impressive performances in dispatching Carl Dilks and Smith recently, and is confident that victory over Groves will be the first step on his journey to world domination.
"The future is bright for me," he said.
"When I turned professional I said the plan for me was to become a world champion by the end of 2012 but with the rate that I'm going at right now it could be by the end of 2011."
Tags: James DeGale , George Groves , DeGale vs Groves , DeGale-Groves