Surfer Chris Davidson dead at 45 after being punched outside bar: report

Chris Davidson, an Australian-born professional surfer who was once among the top-ranked competitors in his sport, died over the weekend after allegedly getting punched outside a bar, according to a report.

Another man is accused of striking the 45-year-old Davidson, whose head hit the ground after he suffered the punch to his face late Saturday in South West Rocks, TMZ reported.

Davidson was unconscious when authorities arrived, and died after being taken to a hospital, according to TMZ.

The suspect, whom officials say was 42, was reportedly arrested and charged with assault causing death.

Davidson reached the No. 14 ranking on the global surfing tour in 2010 and frequently competed against the 11-time champion U.S. surfer Kelly Slater, who paid tribute after Davidson’s death.

“Had many a good battle with this guy,” Slater wrote in a statement, according to TMZ. “One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”

South West Rocks is located along the eastern coast of Australia, about 280 miles north of Sydney.