As the Title race heats up, Leonardo Fioravanti is warming up right along with it; Sunday in Peniche he took down World No.5 Matt Wilkinson in Round Three of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. With his hometown crowd behind him, Fioravanti is looking comfortable in the heavy conditions on hand at Supertubos.
A massive crowd filled in for the third day of the event waiting period and they made it known that they were backing the Italian native. "The energy that they give me, it's amazing," he said Sunday in his post-heat interview. "When I win, I do it for them. I see the smiles on their faces. When I lose I see how sad they are for me."
Despite a slight drop in swell, Fioravanti was able to find a few gems, edging Wilkinson out in Round Three. Wilko was unable to find his rhythm, dropping a 4.00 and a 1.63 to close the heat. After taking a few closeouts on the head, Fioravanti charged and was able to get the first few scores on the board.
Having taken down Filipe Toledo in Round Two, it's no secret that Fioravanti is feeling it in Portugal. He earned an 8.67 against the Brazilian, becoming one of the standouts of the day despite spotty conditions. Taking both Toledo and Wilkinson out of the World Title conversation, Leo will be looking to carry this momentum into his Round Four matchup against Sebastian Zietz and Julian Wilson.