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.

Chris Davidson died after he was punched outside a pub

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Chris Davidson died after he was punched outside a pubCredit: Getty

Paramedics rushed to the scene but he died a short time later in hospital.

A 42-year-old man has been arrested and charged over his death.

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.”

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