Bob Arum on Steinbrenner

Boxing promoter Bob Arum, who dealt with George Steinbrenner on the 1976 Muhammad Ali-Ken Norton heavyweight title fight at Yankee Stadium, earned The Boss’ unending admiration when he was involved in a plane crash while on a promotional tour for the Oscar de la Hoya-Francisco Vargas fight in 2003. Seeing newspaper photos of the charred wreckage of the plane -- from which everyone miraculously emerged unhurt -- prompted Steinbrenner to send Arum the following note: “You really are a great promoter. Imagine crashing a plane just to sell tickets to a fight!’’

Arum, who promoted last month’s Miguel Cotto-Yuri Foreman fight at the new Stadium, a deal Steinbrenner was not directly involved in, said the two remained friends through the years and frequently dined together at Elaine’s when Arum, who lives in Las Vegas, was in New York. “I never had a bad moment dealing with George Steinbrenner,’’ Arum said. “He was one of the best businessmen in New York sports history. Setting up the YES Network was a stroke of genius.’’