You could use scikit-image block_reduce:

```
import numpy as np
import skimage.measure
a = np.array([
[ 20, 200, -5, 23],
[ -13, 134, 119, 100],
[ 120, 32, 49, 25],
[-120, 12, 9, 23]
])
skimage.measure.block_reduce(a, (2,2), np.max)
```

Gives:

```
array([[200, 119],
[120, 49]])
```