Pro Surfer Fights Off Shark During South Africa Competition

[Video] Mick Fanning is now a living legend.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Mick Fanning. Soon to be known as the new Chuck Norris.

Seriously, after what happened this weekend in South Africa, the surfer will go down as one of the biggest bad asses in sports history.

During the final heat of the J-Bay Open, pro surfer Mick Fanning had to beat up a shark in order to not only keep his board, but his life.

Fanning told World Surf League TV that he “punched” the shark in the back to scare it away.

“I had this feeling that something was behind (me), and all of a sudden I felt like I started getting pulled underwater. And then the thing came up and I was on my board and it was right there,” Fanning said.

“I had this thought, ‘What if it comes around for another go at me?'” he said. “Before I knew it, the boat was there. … I can’t believe it, I was tripping out. I’m totally tripping out.”

The footage has over 5 million views in less than a day.

 Fellow surfer Julian Wilson was in the water with Fanning when the attack unfolded. 

Absolutely incredible. 

When is the last time you saw someone punch a shark in the water and walk away unscathed? The answer is never.

Organizers of the Open called off the rest of the competition following the attack. Fanning and Wilson decided to take equal second in rankings points and split the prize money that would have been awarded to the winner. 

“We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick’s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our water safety personnel was commendable,” said World Surf League Commish Kieren Perrow said in a statement.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: Getty