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Happier times four years ago with Mike Nutter and Joe Frazier

This is one of Metro photographer Rikard Larma's great shots. Four years ago, on Nutter's second day in office, a certain boxer waited outside City Hall.

On a day that at the time seemed like a much bigger deal than it seems today, Mayor Michael Nutter hosted an "open house" at City Hall for anyone and everyone who wanted to meet the new honest mayor and get a tour of his new digs.

The line stretched around the largest municipal building in America as thousands of citizens waited on Dilworth Plaza to take Nutter up on his offer.

Almost comically, one of the greatest American sportsmen of the 20th century waited diligently, patiently among the masses. Smokin' Joe Frazier, his son and a couple of others in the entourage of the man who beat Muhammad Ali in 1971's "Fight of the Century" held a spot in that long winding line.

Nutter, or at least someone from his newly forming administration, luckily noticed Frazier. And thus, the new mayor was lucky enough to have Metro's Rikard Larma waiting nearby to snap this photo.

It's odd timing, the death of Frazier on what will in all likelihood be Nutter's re-election to his second term as mayor. Larma caught up with Nutter earlier today at Dilworth Plaza.

"Joe Frazier was just a great man, great fighter, great boxer and a wonderful ambassador for the city," Nutter said. "Joe frazier gave it all, put it all in the ring. ... I admire him a great, great deal."

 
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