I know we have some hockey fan's on this site and this article from the New York Times about former NHL enforcer Derek Boogard is one of the better expose's of the life of fighter in the NHL.
It talks about the road Boogard took to get to the NHL, the fights, the opponents, the battle's with prescription drugs and fears of fighting some of the league's toughest and strongest men.
John Branch of the New York Times was able to speak with Boogards parents, Len and Joanne about their beloved son, also known as "The Boogeyman." The article also talks about the trauma the brain takes from repeated blows to the head from opposing fighters and what years of ultimately bare knuckle fighting can do to a person.
A great read and the video's, "An enforcers story: Punched Out" are great to watch as well.