AN Australian surfing star has died after he was punched in the face outside a pub near Sydney.
Chris Davidson, 45, reportedly smashed his head on the pavement after he was hit and knocked to the ground during a fight on Sunday night.
Paramedics rushed to the scene but the surfing champ died a short time later in hospital.
Grant Coleman, 42, was reportedly arrested 30 minutes after the alleged assault and charged over his death.
He was refused bail on Monday and will appear in court in November.
Chris grew up in Sydney and competed on the world surfing tour in 2010 and 2011.
He shot to fame at 19 after the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia, in 1996, where he beat reigning world champion Kelly Slater in two heats.
Kelly was among those who have paid tribute to the surfing champ.
The 11-time world champion wrote on Instagram: “Had many a good battle with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”
Surfing New South Wales executive director Mark Windon said Chris was “one of the most stylish surfers”.
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Nathan Hedge, one of Chris’ best best friends, told the Today Show: “I will miss him hanging out with our daughters. He was just robbed too early.
‘He had so much more life to give, enjoy and cherish. I will miss his laugh. I will miss his practical jokes, and I just miss his passion. He was always up for anything, and I will miss his hugs.
“He was the most kind-hearted, charismatic incredible person, he’d give you the shirt off his back.”
Cops have not released further details about the incident in South West Rocks, a small coastal town north of Sydney.
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