Timing error leads to 2 suspensions

The timekeepers responsible for allowing the first round of the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Geale middleweight world title fight to run for four minutes -- one minute longer than rounds are supposed to last -- were suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission on Monday.

Timekeeper Catherine Paolillo and backup timekeeper Clarence McMillan, neither of whom has worked an event since the fight, were each suspended for six months beginning from the date of Monday's 3-0 vote at the NYSAC meeting.

Golovkin retained his 160-pound title for the 11th time and scored his 17th knockout in a row by stopping Geale in the third round July 26 at Madison Square Garden.

"Timekeeping is an exacting function. It takes complete focus and care. We owe it to boxers and the entire boxing community to show that care and get it right," NYSAC executive director David Berlin told ESPN.com. "Although we cannot undo the error of July 26, we immediately investigated the matter and proceeded to hold accountable the timekeepers who allowed the first round of the Golovkin-Geale bout to run for four minutes. We strive to maintain the integrity and fairness of the sport and to ensure that such an error does not occur again."

After the fight, the commission filed a complaint against Paolillo, and a hearing was held Oct. 2 before an administrative law judge, whose written recommendation to the commission was for a six-month suspension.

"It is very clear from the evidence that [Paolillo] permitted the round to run an extra minute because she allowed herself to be distracted," the commission wrote in Monday's ruling, which was obtained by ESPN.com. "Most significant is the evidence showing that rather than watching the clock as she should she engaged in an animated conversation with other persons which distracted her from her duties."

The ruling later said, "It is of some significance that the fighter [Geale] who eventually lost the bout was cut at the end of the extra, improper minute. While the tribunal cannot speculate on what the result of the fight would have been without that cut, that it occurred does establish that harm was done by the failure of the respondent to fulfill her duties properly.

"Clearly, the respondent's conduct rises to the level of negligence. To the extent that the she allowed herself to be distracted from her duties by a conversation with other persons her conduct may be characterized as willful."

According to the commission, the complaint against McMillan was resolved without a hearing, as he agreed not to apply for a license until 2017. However, it was modified to match the penalty given to Paolillo, meaning both will be eligible to apply for a license on July 5.