BOXER James DeGale will return home to Harlesden with at least a bronze Olympic medal after ending the challenge of Kazakhstan's Bakhtiyar Artayev to reach the semi finals in Beijing.
The 22-year-old 2006 Commonwealth bronze medallist overcame the Olympic champion 8-3 yesterday (Wednesday) after producing his best performance of the Games.
The southpaw led 1-0 after the first round and extended that to 4-1 with a flurry of fine left handers in the second.
DeGale headed into the fourth and final round at 7-3 and boxed sensibly to ensure a medal.
He now faces Ireland's Darren Sutherland in tomorrow's (Friday's) semi final.
DeGale eased past the USA's Shawn Estrada 11-5 in the quarter finals and was full of confidence ahead of his clash with Artayev, who he had fought twice previously, winning one and losing the other.
"I boxed all right against Estrada, but I know there's more to come, there will have to be and there will be," said DeGale, almost prophetically.
"I've beaten him already so I know I can do it, but he's a handy fighter and
it is a big challenge. I felt a bit of pressure out there against Shawn but I'm just glad to get the win and I can't wait to get back in the ring against the Kazakh.
"I'm 1-1 with him. It's going to be a tough fight but I'm ready for him."
The southpaw blitzed Egyptian Mohamed Hikal before downing Estrada and Artayev to buck the trend of Britain's Beijing boxers.
DeGale's semi final opponent, Sutherland, produced an outstanding display to despatch world silver medal-list Alfonso Blanco Parra in their quarter final clash.