JAMES DeGale has warned his next opponent blocking his path to Olympic glory: "you ain't seen nothing yet".
The Harlesden boxer put the smile back on the face of British boxing in Beijing with a classy 13-4 triumph over Egypt's two-time Olympian Mohamed Hikal. He dedicated it to former teammate Frankie Gavin, the Birmingham slugger sent home after failing to meet the 60kg weight limit.
Hikal settled quicker and edged ahead 3-2 in the first round - after that though it was one-way traffic as DeGale found his range. His quick hands and accuracy proved too much for the Egyptian fighter but DeGale says he has yet to peak.
And while his whirlwind display helped deflect attention from Gavin's plight, the 22-year-old is maintaining his focus ahead of Saturday's clash with American Shawn Estrada.
"The last couple of rounds I boxed well," said the Dale Youth ABC middleweight. "Honestly I am nowhere near my best. I am confident in myself, the team is confident in me.
"I did feel the pressure because he was half-decent. I am happy it is over and done now. I am getting ready for the next fight now.
"I have not boxed him (Estrada) before but in December in London I beat an American who beat him. I know he qualified in the last American Championships but he is not top five in the world. It is one fight at a time for me.
"I got us off to a good start now so everyone should be buzzing."
DeGale admits the Gavin affair was a hammer blow for Team GB's boxing squad but insists it is acting as a motivational tool rather than hindering their progress.
"That went out to Frankie," commented DeGale on his victory. "Everyone was down about Frankie. He would have definitely won a gold medal but now we have to put this behind us.
"Terry [Edwards, coach] is getting a bit of stick, but it is not his fault. He has given us 100 per cent support and wants us to do the best we possibly can."
Should DeGale overcome Estrada he faces a daunting task in the shape of Russian destroyer Matvey Koborov in the next round.